Destination guide: Arica, Chile
Located on the northern tip of Chile's coast, Arica is one of the top resort destinations in the country. The setting is idyllic, with more than 20 km of stunning beaches and luxurious accommodations. Many people fly to Arica simply to escape from the daily grind, to relax and unwind in a beautiful location.
Traveling to Arica also offers a lot to see for the more active vacationer.
Chungará Lake is among the highest lakes in the world, and is found within the scenic Lauca National Park. In addition, the National Monument Pucará de Copaquilla is a short distance away. LAN offers flights to Arica for people to experience the world-class surfing, or to observe the annual competitions held there.
Arica - Things to do
Iglesia San Marcos
Arica’s oddest attraction is also its most admired. The Gothic Iglesia San Marcos has a threefold claim to fame. First, it was designed by celebrated Parisian engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, before his success with the Eiffel Tower. Second, it was prefabricated in Eiffel’s Paris shop in the 1870s (at the order of the Peruvian president), then shipped right around the world to be assembled on site. Still more curious is the construction itself: the entire church is made of stamped and molded cast iron, coated with paint. That’s everything from its unusually thin walls to its pillars, beams and pointy arches; only the door is wooden. The resulting atmosphere is somewhat mechanical for a house of God, but as a feat of engineering it’s impressive.
Latitude: -18.4790100000000 / Longitude: -70.3206600000000
Opening Hours: 9am-2pm & 6-8pm
Pricing: admission free
Address: Plaza Colón
Museo Histórico y de Armas
The imposing coffee-colored shoulder of rock, El Morro de Arica, looms 110m over the city. It makes a great place to get your bearings, with vulture-eye views of the city, port and Pacific Ocean. However, this lofty headland has a far greater significance to Chileans, for this was the site of a crucial battle in 1880, a year into the War of the Pacific.
The Chilean army assaulted and took El Morro from Peruvian forces in under an hour. The story is told step by step in the flag-waving Museo Histórico y de Armas, which has information in Spanish and English. Look for plaques placed by ever military-minded Pinochet.
Latitude: -18.4800400000000 / Longitude: -70.3243637084961
International Number: (56-58) 2229 192
Opening Hours: 8am-8pm
Pricing: adult/child CH$600/300
Address: City Center
Extras: El Morro de Arica
The 1924 German locomotive that once pulled trains on the Arica–La Paz line now stands in the Plazoleta Estación. On the north side of the Plazoleta is the train station, Estación Ferrocarril Arica-La Paz, which dates from 1913. There are no longer passenger trains to La Paz.
Address: cnr 21 de Mayo & Pedro Montt