What to see in Arica, the port city of Chile?

Arica

Arica

Arica is one of the most popular Chilean towns which attracts tourists from all over the world. It is known as the “City of Perpetual Spring” due to its location as it is so well situated that it never sees any rain. Another common name for Arica is the “Northern Gate of Chile”, the distance to the border with Peru is only 20 km.

History of Arica

The appearance of the first people in the area where the city of Arica, Chile is now located, occurred more than 10,000 years ago. Various tribes lived here, and in the 16th century the Spaniards appeared, to the credit of which belongs the foundation of the city. The rapid development of the settlement began after silver was found in what is now Bolivia and began to be exported from the port of Arica. At the end of the 19th century a fierce struggle for Arica took place between the Chileans and the Peruvians, and the town was not officially assigned to Chile until 1929.

Panoramic View

The climate and location of Arica

Arica in Chile is located in one of the best climatic zones, it is considered one of the driest places on the planet. It may rain once every 10 years, but it never gets too hot. But the city stands out not only for its extremely favorable weather conditions, but also for its location in an earthquake-prone area. Arica sits on the Peruvian-Chilean tectonic fault, which is characterized by the likelihood of major earthquakes. One of these occurred in 1868, causing significant damage to the city and resulting in the deaths of residents.

The City of Eternal Spring

Cultural attractions in Arica

Tourists who find themselves in the city are given a unique opportunity to visit cultural attractions, of which there is a large number. You can see for yourself if you look at the photos of Arica. The most famous objects include:

  1. The Cathedral of Saint Marcos is a building erected in 1876 by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel. Its peculiarity is that the entire structure is built of reinforced concrete, it contains only one detail not made of metal – it is the entrance doors made of wood. The temple received the title of a national monument of the country.
  2. Aduana, the House of Culture – the credit for its creation also belongs to Eiffel. The building has a small size, but is attractive with its bright colors: the facade is painted in contrasting colors – red and white.
  3. El Morro Hill is about 130 m high, climbing up it tourists can enjoy an incredibly beautiful view of the city. At the top of the hill are military museum, history museum, Peruvian trenches, monument “Cristo de la Paz”, containing the coats of arms of Chile and Peru.
  4. Plaza de Colón is a square located in the center of the city. It is rightly called the center of Arica, as this is where all the festivities take place.
  5. Museo Mar, which has a unique collection of more than 700 species of snails and an aquarium that reproduces a mini-ecosystem of the ocean.
  6. San Miguel de Asapa Museum, a unique archaeological museum 12 km from Arica, contains many artifacts and archaeological finds, such as the Chinchorro mummies, belonging to a prehistoric civilization that was one of the first on the planet to mummify the dead.
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Attractions near Arica

Making a trip out of Arica, tourists can visit many interesting natural attractions, the most famous of which include:

    – Mountain lake, which is one of the highest located in the world, it is located at an altitude of 4860 m above sea level. The distance from the lake to Arica is about 160 km, but this route is considered the most convenient to visit this natural site. – You can see desert landscapes, lush green areas and snow-capped peaks of volcanoes. The park has about 140 species of rare birds, which include flamingos, and there are unique lakes Chungara and Kotakotani. – a small place, which is famous for its picturesque nature: around it flows mountain streams, there are volcanoes, salt lakes, hot springs for bathing, here grows marjoram, which is recognized as the best in the country.
  1. Asapa Valley is rightly called a green oasis, the distance to Arica is only 3 km. Parinacota is a resort town famous for the slaves of local craftsmen. Here you can visit The Inn, a restaurant known throughout the region for its traditional Chilean cuisine. There are sites of historical value in the valley: Chuño Hill, Acha Gorge and Cerro Sombrero (“Hill of the Hat”), in which geoglyphs and petroglyphs can be seen.

Entertainment in Arica

In addition to visiting cultural and natural attractions, tourists can find many fascinating activities:

  • Visit the local beaches, which have a length of about 20 km, they are characterized by the highest water temperature on the entire Chilean coast. Here you can enjoy a traditional beach holiday or go surfing;
  • Taste the Asapa olives that are grown in the area and they are very tasty;
  • Sunday shopping in Chacabuco street where you can buy anything you want: clothes, souvenirs, local food and drinks.

How to get to Arica?

There is an international airport 19 km from the city, which can be reached by flight from Santiago, Iquique-La Paz. Another option would be to take a bus, the routes to Arica are from Bolivia, Cochabamba, La Paz and Oruro.

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Attractions in Arica

Atacama Desert Lake Chungara History and Weapons Museum Copaquilla Archaeological Site Sapauira Geysers El Tatio Cathedral St. Mark’s Fortress of Arica

This site compiles the sights of Arica – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Arica, where to go, and where are the popular and interesting places in Arica.

Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert (photo)

The Atacama Desert is the driest desert on the planet, located in Chile and bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Peru to the north and Argentina and Bolivia to the east. There are areas of the desert where it has never rained. Because of its dry climate, it is rich in deposits of borax, saltpeter, iodine, copper, and table salt.

The desert landscape consists of barchans, mountains, sandy and stony deserts. The flat part of the desert is practically lifeless, with only occasional blue-green algae, lichens, and small cacti. Fauna is sparse, but the coastal Pacific cliffs are home to colonies of birds that feed on fish. The desert mountains, up to 6,885 meters high, have no glaciers at all. However, on May 19, 2010, the Atacama Desert was abnormally snowed for the first time and several towns were covered with snowdrifts.

The most famous tourist spot in the Atacama Desert is Lunar Valley, where you can observe interesting landscapes that resemble the surface of the moon, in the form of unique formations of salt, sand, and stone, which have been formed by thousands of years of exposure to water and wind. Here you can watch a delightful sunset, which amazes with its range of colors. Many science-fiction films have been shot here.

Coordinates: -27.52775800, -70.03955800

Chungara Lake

Lake Chungara (photo)

Chungara Lake is one of the highest elevated lakes on the planet and is located in Lauca National Park in northern Chile. The lake is located in the mouth of an extinct volcano at an altitude of 4,517 meters above sea level. The lake is surrounded by several mountain peaks: the double volcano Payachata, made up of volcanoes Parinacota and Pomerape, Mount Sahama and the volcano Gualiatiri. Lake Kotakotani is located near Chungara.

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The lake was formed as a result of the eruption of the Parinakota volcano 8,000 years ago, which blocked the beds of mountain rivers with its huge eruption, resulting in the formation of Lake Chungara. The valley of the lake has an original and rich flora and fauna with more than 130 different species of plants and animals. Protected uichacha, Andean condors, llama and Aymara alpaca live here. The lake is inhabited by a variety of birds, especially flamingos stand out for their beauty. Amazingly beautiful landscapes of mountain peaks that surround the lake will leave unforgettable emotions and memories, and lovers of outdoor activities can climb to the top of one of the snow-covered volcanoes.

You can get to the lake only by land transport, overcoming a few hundred kilometers. Here you can even stay overnight, in small comfortable cottages, which are specially prepared for tourist visits. Or you can pitch your tent just beside the water of the lake.

Coordinates: -18.25000000,-69.16666700

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History & Weapons Museum

Museum of History and Weapons (photo)

The Museum of History and Weapons, located on the high hill (130 meters) of Morro de Arica, in the Chilean town of Arica, will be of interest to all history buffs. It occupies the premises of the former fortress, which was the first defensive building of the Spaniards in the city.

The museum exhibits introduce visitors to the history of the Second Pacific War, during which the former Peruvian city of Arica was seized by the Chileans. Chile’s war against Bolivia and Peru lasted from 1879 to 1883. Among the exhibits of the museum one can see artifacts of that war, uniforms of Chilean, Bolivian and Peruvian soldiers, weapons, battle plans and other historical documents.

Coordinates: -18.48004700,-70.32458600

In photo mode, you can browse the landmarks in Arica by photo only.

Copaquilla Archaeological Monument

Copaquilla Archaeological Monument (photo)

The Copaquilla archaeological site is located in northern Chile, in the Arica y Parinacota region, northeast of the major city of Arica. The name “Copaquilla” is translated from the Quechua language as “dust” or “ashes”. It is a fortification that dates back to the 12th century. In 1983, the complex was declared a national monument.

In 1979, the Copaquilla defensive complex was restored in the form of a model at Chile’s Tarapaca University. This unique structure was fully reconstructed based on the materials of archaeological excavations carried out here.

The fortress is surrounded by rocks and is located on a hill, so it is difficult to approach it from the outside. The outer walls are parallel and double, with embrasures and parapets. The inside, according to the plan, was a circular enclosure and everything necessary to live in the event of a long siege of the fortress.

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Coordinates: -18.39361100,-69.64138900

Sapauira Archaeological Site

Sapauira Archaeological Monument (photo)

The Zapauira Archaeological Monument is located in northern Chile in the Arika y Parinacota region, east of the large city of Arika. The construction of this structure is attributed to the Incas; it is the oldest complex with traces of burials as well as sacred sites found. In 1983, the complex was declared a national monument along with another archaeological site, Copaquilla.

Archaeological excavations have been carried out here for a long time, and many of the items found have been transferred to Chile’s historical museums. The unique Zapahuira complex consists of a series of adjacent rectangular-shaped enclosures with small doors. Presumably, these were ancient burial grounds or places of worship. At 150 meters from the enclosures, there are two rows of tombs made of clay and stone. Every year thousands of tourists visit this monument to observe the ancient Incan culture.

Coordinates: -18.35333300,-69.61833300

El Tatio Geysers

El Tatio Geysers (photo)

El Tatio Geysers are some of the largest geysers in the world, located in the Andes, on the border with Bolivia, in the Atacama Desert, at an altitude of 4,200 meters. The Valley of Geysers, which consists of more than eight dozen active springs, is part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve. The height of their fountains ranges from a dozen centimeters to thirty meters.

A unique natural phenomenon caused by extreme volcanic activity attracts tourists from all over the world. At dawn, when geysers wake up you can see powerful columns of steam bursting out of the holes. Before sunrise they form a fantastic picture of the many colors that are constantly changing in the light of the first rays of the sun, and go out by 9 -10 am. Near the geysers are thermal springs, where you can swim in the warm pleasant healing water. Thermal wells are rich in sulfur, potassium and sodium, and the water temperature reaches 49 degrees Celsius. The water here is very useful for those who suffer from nervous disorders, respiratory and neurological diseases.

You can also bathe in the thermal waters of Puritam. This is a fantastic place where small pools of hot water are fed by the waters of the Puritama River, which is located at an altitude of 3,500 meters in a deep narrow gorge. The water in the river always maintains a temperature of 32°C.

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Coordinates: -22.34944100,-68.03019800

St. Mark’s Cathedral

The Saint Mark's Cathedral (photo)

St. Mark’s Cathedral is located in the city of Arica, in the Arica y Parinacota region of northern Chile. This cathedral belongs to the diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. It was inaugurated in 1876 and was built entirely of metal and reinforced concrete, with the exception of the wooden entrances. The author of the design of St. Mark’s Basilica was Gustave Eiffel, creator of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

All parts of the structure, made of cast-iron, were cast in France and then brought to Chile by ship. The exception is the double-leaf entrance doors, made of precious wood. The cathedral is designed in the tradition of Gothic architecture – with pointed spires and an elongated shape of towers. In 1984 St. Mark’s Cathedral was recognized as a national monument of Chile. The cathedral is located in the central square of the city of Arika – Plaza de Armas, it is not difficult to reach and the entrance is free. It is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city.

Coordinates : -18.47704400,-70.31453300

Arica Fortress

The fortress of Arika (photo)

The Fortress of Arica is located in the town of the same name in the region of Arica y Parinacota, in the north of Chile. The fortress is located on the Morro de Arica coastal hill, which is the main attraction of the city. It is the first Spanish fortress in Chile and in 1971 it was recognized as a national monument of the country.Today it houses a historical museum and a weapons museum.

At the top of the hill there is a balcony and an observation deck from which you can enjoy a great panoramic view of the city of Arika as well as of the coast and expanse of the Pacific Ocean. In addition, there are various interesting monuments and memorials on the territory of the fortress. Central among them is considered a monument dedicated to the Battle of Arika, the bloodiest battle that took place here in 1880. Every year thousands of tourists visit Arica Fortress, a must-see tourist attraction while in Chile. You can admire the colorful fireworks from the top of the hill at New Year’s Eve and other holidays.

Coordinates : -18.47704400,-70.31453300

The most popular attractions in Arica with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Arica on our website.

More attractions in Arica

Parinacota Volcano, Arica, Chile Salar de Surire Natural Monument Reserve, Arica, Chile Fort Alacran, Arica, Chile Lake Cotacotani, Arica, Chile Volcano Gualiatiri, Arica, Chile

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