The port of Callao.


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): El Primer Puerto (the first port)
Callao is located in Peru
Location within Peru
Coordinates: 12°2′S 77°8′W / 12.033°S 77.133°W / -12.033; -77.133Coordinates: 12°2′S 77°8′W / 12.033°S 77.133°W / -12.033; -77.133
Country  Peru
Region Callao
Provinces Constitutional Province of Callao
Founded 1537
 – Mayor Félix Moreno
 – City 146.98 km2 (56.7 sq mi)
Population (2005 est)[1]
 – City 9,009
 – Urban 876,877
 – Urban density 5,608.4/km2 (14,525.7/sq mi)
 – Metro 8,187,398
 – Demonym chalaco/a
Time zone PET (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 14

Callao (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈʎa.o] or [kaˈʝa.o]; English pronunciation: /kɑːˈjaʊ/) is the largest and most important port in Peru. The city is coterminous with the Constitutional Province of Callao, the only province of the Callao Region. Callao is located west of Lima, the country's capital, and is part of the Lima Metropolitan Area, a large metropolis that holds almost one-third of Peru's population. Callao borders Lima Province on the north, east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west.



Callao was founded by Spanish colonists in 1537, just two years after Lima (1535). It soon became the main port for Spanish commerce in the Pacific. The origin of its name is unknown; both Indian (particularly Yunga, or Coastal Peruvian) and Spanish sources are credited, but it is certain that it was known by that name since 1550.

At the height of the Viceroyalty, virtually all goods produced in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina were carried over the Andes by mule to Callao, to be shipped to Panama, carried overland, and then transported on to Spain via Cuba.

On 20 August 1836, during the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy, President Andrés de Santa Cruz mandated the creation of the Callao Littoral Province (Provincia Litoral del Callao), which had political autonomy in its internal affairs. During the government of President Ramón Castilla, Callao was given the name of Constitutional Province (Provincia Constitucional), on 22 April 1857; before that, Callao had the name of Littoral Province. All of the other Peruvian provinces had been given their names by law, while Callao was given it by constitutional mandate.

Callao was never part of the Lima Department nor of any other departments.

The province's first mayor was Col. Manuel Cipriano Dulanto.

By 1949, Callao was known as one of the biggest centers of coca-based products and cocaine traffic in the world.[2]

Notable events

City highlights

Callao is built on and around a peninsula, the district of La Punta, a wealthy residential neighborhood. An historical fortress, the Castillo de Real Felipe (site of "Rodil's Last Stand"), stands on the promontory overlooking the harbor.

A large naval base is sited in Callao. Its prison holds Abimael Guzmán, the leader of the Shining Path rebel movement, and Vladimiro Montesinos, the ex-director of internal security during the Fujimori regime.

Jorge Chávez International Airport is located in Callao.

On a bluff overlooking the harbor sits Colegio Militar Leoncio Prado, the military high school. The city also has a university, the National University of Callao.

Callao has several islands: San Lorenzo (currently a military base), El Frontón (a former high security prison), the Cavinzas, and the Palominos, where numerous sea lions and sea birds live in a virtually untouched ecosystem. There are proposed plans to build a huge naval, terrestrial, and air port on San Lorenzo Island. This project is called the San Lorenzo Megaport Project.

Residents of Callao are known as chalacos.

Callao's football professional team is called Sport Boys and Atletico Chalaco.


Jorge Chávez International Airport (IATA: LIM, ICAO: SPIM), known as Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez in Spanish, is Peru's main international and domestic airport. It is located in Callao, 11 km (6.8 mi) from the Historic Centre of Lima and 17 km (11 mi) from Miraflores. Callao is the port city now fully integrated with Lima, the nation's capital. In 2008, the airport handled 8,288,506 passengers and 98,733 aircraft movements.

For many years it was the hub for now defunct Aeroperú and Compañía de Aviación Faucett, one of the oldest airlines in Latin America. Now it serves as a hub for many aviation companies such as TACA Perú and LAN Perú


Local government affairs are divided into two levels. Regional matters are handled by the Regional Government of Callao (Gobierno Regional del Callao), which is located in the Bellavista District. Affairs such as city cleaning, promoting of sports and basic services are handled by the Provincial Municipality of Callao, which is headquartered in the Callao District. Also, each of the six districts has its own Municipality which handles matters in their respective jurisdictional areas.


Callao is divided into six districts, (Spanish: distritos; singular: distrito), each of which is headed by a mayor (alcalde).

* The rest of Callao Region is composed of the islands of San Lorenzo, El Frontón and Cavinzas, which all together have an area of 17.63 square kilometres (6.81 sq mi).


The port is served by the Ferrocarril Central Andino railway, which in 2006 is to be modernised from narrow gauge of 3 feet (914 mm) to the world standard gauge of 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm).

In popular culture

  • The Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa attended the military school and referred to it in his first novel, La Ciudad y los Perros (1962) (published in English as The Time of the Hero in 1963). The book was adapted as a film entitled The City and the Dogs (19xx). It featured exterior shots of the school.


  1. ^ INEI– Censo INEI (2005)
  2. ^ "The White Goddess", TIME Magazine, 11 April 1949

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Callao — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para otros usos de este término, véase Callao (desambiguación). Callao Escudo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Callao — El Callao Héraldique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Callao —   [spanisch ka jao],    1) Hauptstadt des Departaments Callao, Peru, bildet mit Lima eine Stadtregion, 424 000 Einwohner; Bischofssitz; größter Fischereihafen Perus, über den auch mehr als 50 % des Außenhandels des Landes abgewickelt werden;… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Callao — (Мадрид,Испания) Категория отеля: Адрес: Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 25 1º izq., Центр …   Каталог отелей

  • Callao — Callao, MO U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 291 Housing Units (2000): 152 Land area (2000): 0.501693 sq. miles (1.299380 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.501693 sq. miles (1.299380 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Callao, MO — U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 291 Housing Units (2000): 152 Land area (2000): 0.501693 sq. miles (1.299380 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.501693 sq. miles (1.299380 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Callāo — (spr. Kalljao, Callao de Lima, San Felipe del C.), befestigter Hafenort der Provinz Lima in der südamerikanischen Republik Peru, an der Mündung des Rimac in den Stillen Ocean. Das frühere C. (gebaut unter Philipp IV. von Spanien) stand näher nach …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Callao — (spr. kaljāo), Haupthafen der südamerikan. Republik Peru, mit dem 14 km nordöstlich gelegenen Lima durch Eisenbahn verbunden, unter 12°4 südl. Br., im Halbkreis an der Bai von C., die, im S. durch eine langgestreckte Halbinsel begrenzt und durch… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Callao — (spr. kaljāo), befestigter Haupthafen der Republik Peru, an der Bucht von C., im S. der Mündung des Rio Rimac, (1896) 48.118 E. Hauptausfuhrgegenstände: Erze, Blei, Silber, Häute, Koka. 28. Okt. 1746 furchtbares Erdbeben, das das alte C. im S.… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Callao — Callao, peruanische Hafenstadt am stillen Ocean. 1 M. von Lima. 7000 E., befestigt, mit bedeutendem Verkehre. Das alte C. ging den 28. Oct. 1746 durch ein Erdbeben unter. C. übergaben die Spanier erst am 19. Jan. 1826 durch Capitulation …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Callao — princ. port du Pérou, près de Lima; 512 200 hab.; ch. l. de la prov. du m. nom. Pêche, comm. (1er exportateur mondial de farine de poisson) …   Encyclopédie Universelle