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Founded in 1782 by Baltazar Martínez Jiménez de Compagnon, the "City of Palms" is 350 meters above sea level, and has a population of 63,484 (downtown) and over 117,184 inhabitants with the outlying Morales and Banda de Shilcayo districts , according to the 2007 census.
Tarapoto is often used by tourists and local visitors as a "jumping off" point for excursions into the vast Amazon Rainforest. The region's main activities are tourism, commerce, agriculture and a thriving illicit "shadow economy" including the production of coca leaves, the extraction of lumber and the trade in land concessions.
Tarapoto is home to the Universidad Nacional de San Martin, an important center of higher education serving the professional and technical needs of the bio-diverse region. With its active night-life, Tarapoto offers a wide variety of hotels and restaurants in and around the city. Moreover, beautiful landscapes, amazing waterfalls, lagoons, and adventure tourism, such as river rafting and hiking in the tropical Andes, attracts numerous visitors to the "City of the Palms".
Tarapoto is served by the Cad. FAP Guillermo del Castillo Paredes Airport. Nationally speaking, the Tarapoto-based airport is the third in importance in flow for passengers and cargo. It operates flights from/to Lima in a daily basis as well as it is a stopover to other cities such as Iquitos and Pucallpa from/to Lima.