Founded in 1574 by the conquistador Luis de Fuentes as San Bernardo de la Frontera de Tarixa as a Spanish frontier outpost on the far southeast edge of Alto Peru to guard against incursions by the indomitable Chiriguano tribes of the Chaco, Tarija is one of Bolivia’s oldest settlements.
Today the town feels prosperous, with a thriving middle-class, and is the second fastest growing city in Bolivia economically thanks to large gas reserves.
The surrounding country landscape includes rivers and lakes flanked with vineyards surrounded by sprawling valleys and beautiful mountain scenery. Mild climate and sunny blue skies year round complete this postcard-like setting.
The city itself has a small-town feel and the “Chapacos”—as Tarijeños call themselves—are friendly and easy-going people who are proud of their indigenous and colonial heritage.
Located at an altitude of 6.070 ft (Tarija airport) to 6400 ft (central plaza), the city of Tarija is well known for its pleasant and sunny weather, with warm days and cool nights.
The climate is mild and even year round, with an average high of 29°C (84°F). In June and July though, night time temperatures combined with cool wind can plummet down to 8°C (46°F).
Religious affiliation as of 2012 survey was Roman Catholic 76.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 8.1%, Protestant 7.9%, other 1.7%, none 5.5%.