Nestled in the northernmost region of Chile, Arica is a vibrant city that offers a plethora of attractions and activities for all kinds of travelers. From stunning beaches and archaeological wonders to outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, Arica has something for everyone. If you’re planning a trip to this enchanting city, here are 10 things you must do to make the most of your visit.
1. Visit the San Marcos Cathedral
Start your exploration of Arica by visiting the iconic San Marcos Cathedral, a magnificent neo-Gothic church that dates back to the late 19th century. Admire the intricate architectural details and step inside to witness the beautiful stained glass windows and religious artifacts. The cathedral also offers a panoramic view of the city from its bell tower, providing a great photo opportunity.
2. Explore the Azapa Valley and Archaeological Museum
Head out to the picturesque Azapa Valley, located just outside the city, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Arica. Visit the Archaeological Museum to discover ancient artifacts and mummies that offer insights into the region’s pre-Columbian civilizations. Take a stroll through the valley’s fertile landscapes, dotted with ancient petroglyphs and preserved rock art.
3. Relax on Playa El Laucho
A trip to Arica wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Playa El Laucho. This stunning beach offers golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back atmosphere. Soak up the sun, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, or simply unwind with a beachside picnic. The beach is also equipped with amenities such as restaurants, cafés, and water sports facilities.
4. Discover the Chinchorro Culture
Delve into the fascinating history of the Chinchorro Culture, one of the oldest known civilizations in the world. Explore the Chinchorro Mummies Museum, which showcases mummification practices that date back thousands of years. Gain a deeper understanding of this ancient culture through exhibits displaying artifacts, tools, and reconstructed mummies.
5. Hike up the Morro de Arica
For breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean, embark on a hike up the Morro de Arica. This prominent hill rises above the city and offers a rewarding experience for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. At the summit, you can find the Monumento al Soldado Desconocido (Monument to the Unknown Soldier), which commemorates the heroes of the War of the Pacific.
6. Visit the Archaeological and Anthropological Museum of San Miguel de Azapa
Expand your knowledge of Arica’s ancient civilizations by visiting the Archaeological and Anthropological Museum of San Miguel de Azapa. Marvel at the extensive collection of artifacts, including pottery, textiles, and tools, which provide valuable insights into the region’s indigenous cultures. The museum also offers guided tours and educational programs for a more immersive experience.
7. Explore the Lauca National Park
Venture into the breathtaking Lauca National Park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve known for its exceptional natural beauty. Marvel at the snow-capped peaks of the Andes Mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and stunning wildlife. Keep an eye out for flamingos, vicuñas, and other unique species that inhabit this remote and pristine environment.
8. Enjoy Water Sports at Playa Chinchorro
Take advantage of Arica’s coastal location and indulge in a variety of water sports at Playa Chinchorro. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced enthusiast, you can try activities such as surfing, bodyboarding, and kayaking. The beach is known for its consistent waves, making it a popular spot among surfers.
9. Visit the Museo del Mar
Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of marine life at the Museo del Mar. This unique museum showcases an extensive collection of marine fossils, shells, and specimens that highlight the region’s rich biodiversity. Gain insights into the marine ecosystems of the Pacific Ocean and learn about the importance of conservation efforts.
10. Experience the Carnaval de Arica
If you’re lucky enough to visit Arica during February, don’t miss the vibrant Carnaval de Arica. Join the lively celebrations, featuring colorful parades, traditional dances, and lively music. Dive into the local culture and witness the exuberance of this popular festival that showcases the region’s heritage and traditions.
In conclusion, Arica offers a diverse range of attractions and activities that cater to all interests. From immersing yourself in the rich history and culture to exploring the natural wonders and enjoying the coastal beauty, Arica is truly a gem in the northernmost region of Chile. Plan your visit to this enchanting city and embark on a memorable journey filled with unforgettable experiences.
Q: What is the first thing to do in Arica?
A: The first thing to do in Arica is to visit the San Marcos Cathedral, a neo-Gothic church known for its intricate architectural details and beautiful stained glass windows.
Q: Where can I learn about Arica’s pre-Columbian civilizations?
A: You can learn about Arica’s pre-Columbian civilizations by visiting the Archaeological Museum in the picturesque Azapa Valley, where you can discover ancient artifacts and mummies.
Q: Which beach should I visit in Arica?
A: Playa El Laucho is a stunning beach in Arica that offers golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back atmosphere. It is equipped with amenities such as restaurants, cafés, and water sports facilities.
Q: What can I explore to learn about the Chinchorro Culture?
A: To learn about the Chinchorro Culture, you can explore the Chinchorro Mummies Museum, which showcases mummification practices that date back thousands of years. The museum displays artifacts, tools, and reconstructed mummies.