Tarija Department

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Tarija Department

Autonomous Department of Tarija
Flag of Tarija.svg
Escudo de Tarija.png
Coat of arms
¡La Muy Leal y Muy Fiel! (The very loyal and very faithful!)
Anthem: Lyrics: Tomás O’Connor D'Arlach Music: Juan Fiori - starts with "Tarijeños la fama pregona...."
Tarija in Bolivia.svg
Tarija in Bolivia
Coordinates: 21°35′S63°50′W / 21.583°S 63.833°W / -21.583; -63.833 Coordinates: 21°35′S63°50′W / 21.583°S 63.833°W / -21.583; -63.833
Country Bolivia
Capital Tarija
  GovernorÓscar Gerardo Montes Barzón (UNIR [n. 1] )
  Lieutenant governorMaya Soruco Urzagaste(UNIR)
  • Rodrigo Paz Pereira (CC-PG) [n. 2]
  • Nely Verónica Gallo (CC)
  • Miguel Ángel Rejas (MAS)
  • Gladys Valentina Alarcón (MAS)
  Total37,623 km2 (14,526 sq mi)
  % of Bolivia3.42 km2 (1.32 sq mi)
  Density13/km2 (33/sq mi)
Languages (speakers)
  Quechua (migrants)37,337
  Aymara (migrants)7,219
Time zone UTC-4 (BOT)
ISO 3166 code BO-T
Official language Spanish, Guaraní, wichí-matacoa-weenhayek, tapieté
HDI (2017)0.741 [1]
high · 2nd
Website Department website

Tarija (Spanish pronunciation:  [taˈɾixa] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a department in Bolivia. It is located in south-eastern Bolivia bordering with Argentina to the south and Paraguay to the east. According to the 2012 census, it has a population of 482,196 inhabitants. It has an area of 37,623 km2 (14,526 sq mi). The city of Tarija is the capital of the department.



Provinces of Tarija Tarija dpto 001.png
Provinces of Tarija

The department is divided into five provinces and one autonomous region:

  1. Gran Chaco Province (autonomous region)
  2. Aniceto Arce Province
  3. José María Avilés Province
  4. Cercado Province
  5. Eustaquio Méndez Province
  6. Burdett O'Connor Province

Notable places in Tarija include:

The Department of Tarija is renowned for its mild, pleasant climate, and comprises one of the country's foremost agricultural regions. Its citizens have traditionally felt close to, and conducted a lively international trade with, neighboring towns of northern Argentina. Between 1816 and 1898, the region was part of Argentina, and was ceded to Bolivia in exchange for Puna de Atacama.

Tarija boasts South America's second-largest natural gas reserves. Increased gas revenues and foreign direct investment in gas exploration and distribution are fueling growth and turning Tarija into Bolivia's next industrial hub. Political instability at the national level has hindered development of the reserves, as the region has chosen to align with pro-autonomy forces which aim at the devolution of considerable powers away from the central government in favor of the departments.

More than 20 different indigenous tribes, ranging in population from 20 persons up to 1500, live in the region. The Guaraní is the largest tribe.

Important battles and events related to the 1932-35 Chaco War with Paraguay took place in the department's eastern dry lands. Tarija was the home of Víctor Paz Estenssoro, leader of the 1952 Bolivian Revolution and four-time Constitutional President.


The main economic activity is the wine industry. The land and climate are ideal for grape and wine production. The city of Tarija holds an annual Festival of Wine and Cheese.

The petroleum industry is important not only for the region but also for the country as a whole, especially the gas industry which is exported to Argentina and Brazil. The autonomous region of Gran Chaco is from where most of the gas is exploited.


Angostura Canyon, Bolivia Canon Angostura.jpg
Angostura Canyon, Bolivia

The languages spoken in the department are mainly Spanish and Guaraní, And spoken by the migrants Quechua and Aymara. The following table shows the numbers belonging to the recognized groups of speakers. [2]

Quechua 37,3372,281,198
Aymara 7,2191,525,321
Guaraní 4,57862,575
Another native2,46849,432
Only native4,562960,491
Native and Spanish44,4612,739,407
Spanish and foreign322,0984,115,751

Places of interest

Nuevo Guadalquivir River near the city of Tarija 2012-05-07 Rio Nuevo Guadalquivir.jpg
Nuevo Guadalquivir River near the city of Tarija

Related Research Articles

Chaco War Territorial conflict between Bolivia and Paraguay from 1932 to 1935

The Chaco War was fought between Bolivia and Paraguay over control of the northern part of the Gran Chaco region of South America, which was thought to be rich in oil. It is also referred to as La Guerra de la Sed in literary circles, for being fought in the semi-arid Chaco. It was the bloodiest interstate military conflict fought in South America during the 20th century, between two of its poorest countries, both having previously lost territory to neighbors in 19th-century wars.

Geography of Bolivia

The geography of Bolivia includes the Eastern Andes Mountain Range which bisects Bolivia roughly from north to south. To the east of that mountain chain are lowland plains of the Amazon Basin, and to the west is the Altiplano which is a highland plateau where Lake Titicaca is located. Bolivia's geography has features similar to those of Peru which abuts Bolivia's northwest border; like Bolivia, Peru is bisected from north to south by the Eastern Andes Mountains, and these two countries share Lake Titicaca which is the highest navigable lake on Earth. Unlike Peru, however, Bolivia is one of the two landlocked countries in South America, the other being Paraguay which is located along Bolivia's southeast border.

Bolivian gas conflict Social confrontation in Bolivia reaching its peak in 2003

The Bolivian gas conflict was a social confrontation in Bolivia reaching its peak in 2003, centering on the exploitation of the country's vast natural gas reserves. The expression can be extended to refer to the general conflict in Bolivia over the exploitation of gas resources, thus including the 2005 protests and the election of Evo Morales as president. Before these protests, Bolivia had seen a series of similar earlier protests during the Cochabamba protests of 2000, which were against the privatization of the municipal water supply.

Chuquisaca Department Department of Bolivia

Chuquisaca is a department of Bolivia located in the center south. It borders on the departments of Cochabamba, Tarija, Potosí, and Santa Cruz. The departmental capital is Sucre, which is also the constitutional capital of Bolivia.

Santa Cruz Department (Bolivia) Department of Bolivia

Santa Cruz is the largest of the nine constituent departments of Bolivia, occupying about one-third (33.74%) of the country's territory. With an area of 370,621 km2 (143,098 sq mi), it is slightly smaller than Japan or the US state of Montana. It is located in the eastern part of the country, sharing borders in the north and east with Brazil and with Paraguay in the south.

Pilcomayo River river of Argentina

Pilcomayo is a river in central South America. At 1,100 kilometres (680 mi) long, it is the longest western tributary of the Paraguay River. Its drainage basin is 270,000 square kilometres (100,000 sq mi) in area, and its mean discharge is 200 cubic metres per second (7,100 cu ft/s).

Gran Chaco Region of Southern America

The Gran Chaco or Dry Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semiarid lowland natural region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided among eastern Bolivia, western Paraguay, northern Argentina, and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, where it is connected with the Pantanal region. This land is sometimes called the Chaco Plain.

Chaco may refer to:

Chaco (Paraguay)

The Paraguayan Chaco or Región Occidental is a semi-arid region in Paraguay, with a very low population density. The area is being rapidly deforested. Consisting of more than 60% of Paraguay's land area, but with less than 10% of the population, the Chaco is one of the most sparsely inhabited areas in South America.

Tarija City & Municipality in Bolivia

Tarija or San Bernardo de la Frontera de Tarixa is a city in southern Bolivia. Founded in 1574, Tarija is the largest city & capital and municipality within the Tarija Department, with an airport offering regular service to primary Bolivian cities, as well as a regional bus terminal with domestic and international connections. Its climate is semi-arid (BSh) with generally mild temperatures in contrast to the harsh cold of the Altiplano and the year-round humid heat of the Amazon Basin. Tarija has a population of 234,442.

Cordillera Province (Bolivia) Province in Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia

Cordillera is a province in the Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia. Its capital is Lagunillas.

Gran Chaco Province

Gran Chaco is a province in the eastern parts of the Bolivian department Tarija. The province voted to become an autonomous region on 6 December 2009.

Burdett OConnor Province Province in Tarija, Bolivia

Burdett O'Connor is a province in the northern part of Tarija Department in Bolivia.

Aniceto Arce Province

Aniceto Arce is a province in the southern parts of the Bolivian department Tarija. The province is named after Aniceto Arce Ruiz (1824-1906), President of Bolivia from 1888 until 1892.

Eastern Bolivian Guaraní, known locally as Chawuncu or Chiriguano (pejorative), is a Guaraní language spoken in South America. In Bolivia 33,670 speakers were counted in the year 2000, in the south-central Parapeti River area and in the city of Tarija. In Argentina, there were approximately 15,000 speakers, mostly in Jujuy, but also in Salta Province, and 304 counted in the Paraguayan Chaco.

Yacuiba City in Tarija, Bolivia

Yacuiba is a city in southern Bolivia and the capital city of Gran Chaco Province in the Tarija Department. It lies three kilometers from the Argentine border. It has a population of approximately 80,000 and lies 620 to 680 m (2,034–2,231 ft) above sea level. Yacuiba is one of the cities of fast growth population in Bolivia due to the commerce and boom in hydrocarbon exploitation. It was part of Salta Province of Argentina until its cession to Bolivia in 1900.

Outline of Bolivia Overview of and topical guide to Bolivia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Bolivia:

Indigenous peoples in Bolivia Bolivian people of indigenous ancestry

Indigenous peoples in Bolivia, or Native Bolivians, are Bolivian people who are of indigenous ancestry. They constitute anywhere from 40 to 70% of Bolivia's population of 11,306,341, depending on different estimates, and belong to 36 recognized ethnic groups. Aymara and Quechua are the largest groups. The geography of Bolivia includes the Andes, the Gran Chaco, and the Amazon Rainforest.

The Spanish language is spoken in Bolivia by the majority of the population, either as a mother tongue or as a second language. Within the Spanish of Bolivia there are different regional varieties. In the border areas, Bolivia shares dialectal features with the neighboring countries.



  1. Unidos Para Renovar (United to renew) or UNIR, is a political party create 2005 by current governor Óscar Montes Barzón, the ideologies that the party supports are autonomism-federalism, conservatism, reformism and centrism, its position in the political spectrum is the center.
  2. Primero la Gente (First the People) or PG, is a political party create on April 2019 by former mayor Rodrigo Paz Pereira, the ideologies that the party supports are autonomism-federalism, reformism and centrism, its position on the political spectrum is center and center left.


  1. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. obd.descentralizacion.gov.bo (Spanish)