The Loreto earthquake of 26 May 2019 occurred below the extreme northeast part of Peru at a depth of 140 km within the subducting Nazca plate at a distance of 700 km from the trench Peru–Chile. The orientation of the seismic source was obtained from waveform inversion in the near field using velocity and strong‐motion data. The rupture occurred in normal faulting corresponding to a tensional process with T axis oriented in east–west direction similar to the direction of convergence between the Nazca and South America plates. The analysis of the strong‐motion data shows that the levels of ground shaking are very heterogeneous with values greater than 50 Gal up to distances of 300 km; the maximum recorded acceleration of 122 Gal at a distance of 100 km from the epicenter. The Loreto earthquake is classified as a large extensional event in the descending Nazca slab in the transition from flat‐slab geometry to greater dip.