MundoAndino Home : Andes Peru Andes Travel: Peru culture, lodging, travel, and tours


Moyobamba is a city and capital of the San Martin Region in northern Peru. There are about 50 thousand inhabitants. Some 3,500 species of orchid are native to the area, which has led to the city's nickname of The City of Orchids. The city is the capital of both Moyobamba Province and Moyobamba District.

The name Moyobamba derives from the Quechua word "muyupampa" meaning "circular plain".

It is linked by road with Tarapoto to the southeast, Rioja to the west and Bagua to the northwest. Roads connect Moyobamba to the Pacific coast by way of Bagua and Olmos to the north and Cajamarca to the southwest.


The city was established by Juan Perez de Guevara on 25 July 1540, who named it Santiago de los Ocho Valles de Moyobamba (Santiago of the eight Moyobamba Valleys). It was founded on the site of an Inca settlement and was the first city founded by the Spanish in the Peruvian Amazon. It is the second oldest Spanish town east of the Andes.

During the Conquista, Moyobamba was a base from which incursions were made into the surrounding areas.

The city was the seat of the first religious missionaries established in the region. The Church used the city as a base, where it begun the task of converting the natives to Christianity.

It was an important commercial centre during the colonial era (15331821) and it was given city status in 1857.

The historic "Punto de Tahuishco" was once a vibrant port along the Mayo River, but has since become one of the last waning vestiges of the river trade route.

On 7 June 1897, Moyobamba was made the capital of the Loreto Region.

On 4 September 1906, it became the capital of the San Martin Region.

On September 25 2005, Moyobamba was affected by the 2005 northern Peru earthquake.


The city sits on a bluff overlooking the Mayo River, at 2,820 feet (860 m) above sea level, in the humid, tropical region known as the selva.

Native Orchids are the most famous of the Moyobamba flora.

The surrounding area consists of rivers, caves, waterfalls, hot springs and lakes. These include the Tioyacu River and the subterranean river in the cave of the Huacharos (Cueva de los Huacharos), the natural hot springs at San Mateo, the Laguna Azul lake, the Ahuashiyacu and the Gera waterfalls.


Moyobamba is the centre of a large agricultural region and one of the major trading centers for the Aguaruna Native Communities, which inhabit the surrounding valley known as the Upper Mayo River Valley. The most lucrative crops grown in the region include rice, coffee and corn. Cotton, sugarcane, tobacco and cocoa are also produced.

Alcohol, liquor, wines, and straw hats are produced in the city.

Hot springs, gold, and some petroleum are found nearby.

After the slow demise of its airport, this regional capital began to fall behind the faster-developing Tarapoto, a neighboring city further down-river. Farmers and regional government workers often clash in a geopolitical battle over local control and access to outside markets.

San Juan Festival

"Moyobambinos" (residents of Moyobamba) celebrate the region's patron saint (San Juan - Saint John) every 24th June. Locals celebrate with traditional dances and dishes, most notably Juane, a dish that is meant to resemble the head of John the Baptist on a platter before Herod Antipas. It is made by stuffing a ball of sticky green rice with chicken and wrapping it in bijao (Heliconia bihai) leaves for cooking. Then, celebrants dance the "Pandilla" around wooden poles dug into the ground before chopping them down with an axe and collecting the treasures from the top.

External links

http://www.munimoyobamba.gob.pe/ - Official Website of Moyobamba's government.

http://www.moyobamba.net/index.htm - Website primarily in Spanish

http://www.tinganaperu.com/ - Ecological reserve of the Alto Mayo

http://www.moyobambaperu.com/galeria/ - gallery of images Website primarily in Spanish

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Cities in Peru or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Moyobamba

Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009