- For the town in New Caledonia, see Païta.
Paita is a city in northwestern Peru. It is the capital of the Paita Province which is in the Piura Region. It is a leading seaport in that region. It is located 1,089 km northwest of the country's capital Lima and 57 km northwest of the regional capital of Piura.
The seaport Paita is located at Río Chira on an area of 1,785 km².
Paita faces on the Bay of Paita, and is sheltered from southerly winds by a headland called Punta Paita and by a large hill called Silla de Paita.
90 km to the south east is the capital of the Piura Region, Piura, and 160 km to the south is located Chiclayo, commercial centre of the Lambayeque region.
The population of the seaport Paita was 3,800 in 1906 and 97,500 in 2003.
In 1875, a railway line of 97 km length was completed from Piura to Paita, but it was destroyed in the war with Chile from 1879 to 1883 and reconstructed in 1884. A street railway opened on 30 August 1891 and ran until the late 1920s.
Today the port of Paita is Peru's fifth largest port and an important container port. It is located in a geopolitically important position on the Pacific coast.
On 24 September the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is celebrated, lasting a week and including pilgrimages in honor of the catholic iconic image.
In the 1947 film Dark Passage, Humphrey Bogart's character, falsely blamed for three murders, flees to Paita, with hopes of linking up with love interest. He tells her of "a little cafe right on the bay". Parts of the telephone conversation are used in the 1982 film Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.