The city of Callao
is the port of Lima
. It was founded in 1537, just two years after Lima (1535), and soon became the main port for Spanish
commerce in the Pacific. At the height of the Viceroyalty
, virtually all goods produced in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina were carried over the Andes
to Callao, to be shipped to Panama
, carried overland, and then transported on to Spain via Cuba
In 1746, an earthquake caused a tidal wave which destroyed the entire port.
An historical military fortress, the Castillo de Real Felipe, still stands on the promontory. There is also a large naval base in Callao, in which the leader of Sendero Luminoso rebel movement, Abimael Guzman, and Vladimiro Montesinos, the ex-director of internal security during the Fujimori regime are imprisoned.
Callao, although contiguous with urban Lima, is a separate department within the province of Lima.