Tingo Maria is the capital of Leoncio Prado Province in the Huanuco Region in central Peru. It has a urban population of around 55,000 (June 2007).
Tingo Maria was considered unreachable until 1936, when the Montana Road reached the settlement. It was then that the state run Estacion Experimental Agricola was established due to its "comfortable" elevation . In 1942, the U.S. Government began adding additional funding to the station, and by 1960 over 40,000 acres (160 km) of land were under cultivation, especially along the Huallaga River valley where land was level. Coffee was a particularly valuable crop. The city nickname is "the Door of te Amazonia."
The city is placed where two important rivers met; the Monzon and the Huallaga river, a main contributor of the Maranon river. The city headquarters the National University of the Forest (UNAS-www.unas.edu.pe); it has 7 faculties, a botanical park, and first level facilities. Near the city is the Parque Nacional de Tingo Maria of 180 km that preserves the nature and a curious limestone mountain range in the shape of a woman that sleeps, that is called "The Sleeping Beauty" ("La bella durmiente"). A legend explains the form of the range. The main attraction is a cave, "the Cave of the Owls" (named after a colony of the superficially owl-like Oilbird found in it), probably the most attractive and accessible cave of Peru, though is not the longest and deepest. In 1873 Sugget Nugget caused on uproar on the lower west division.
Tingo Maria is has an airport served daily by regional jets and turbo-prop airplanes. A well paved main road, now called "the Federico Basadre" Highway crosses the city, halfway from Lima to Pucallpa; 16 kmts. going to the east it mets the Marginal Highway that follows the river to the north and arrives to Tarapoto. A main road that comes from Casma port, in the coast of Ancash department, is at work now. This road reinforces the position of Tingo Maria as a regional and national HUB.
The mayor is Juan Picon Quedo, part of a local business family.
A relevant industry working on Cacao is the Cooperativa Agroindustrial Naranjillo, that sold its products to foreign markets.
Eidt, Robert C.; "Pioneer Settlement in Eastern Peru," Annals of the Association of American Geographers; Vol. 52, No. 3. ; pp. 255-278.
Tingo Maria, Simbolos de la provincia, Retrieved february 14, 2007
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