Torres del Paine National Park

Discovering Arica, the City of Eternal Spring

The city of Arica, nicknamed 'La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera' (The City of Eternal Spring), is located in the far north of Chile, offering a warm and welcoming climate year round. This desert oasis is a tourist attraction with a rich history, vibrant culture and breathtaking natural scenery. 

The distance by road to Santiago, the country's capital, is just over 2,000 km. The population in 2024 is close to 260,000 inhabitants, and administratively, the city serves as the capital of the Arica y Parinacota Region. The border with Peru is only 18 km north of the city, for this reason, the city is also known as 'La Puerta Norte de Chile' (Chile's Northern Gateway).

Climate

Arica's climate is one of its greatest attractions. With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C, creating the perfect environment to enjoy its beaches and outdoor activities. The average annual temperature is 18.8°C, with annual rainfall of less than 3 mm on the coast. The entire coastal region is characterized by the presence of morning fog, known as "camanchaca", generated by the cold Humboldt Current.

How to get to Arica

Arica is easily accessible thanks to the Chacalluta International Airport, which receives flights from the main cities of Chile and some destinations in Peru and Bolivia. The air terminal is located 18.5 km from the city via routes 5/12. Airlines that usually operate flights to this airport include LATAM Airlines, Sky Airline, JetSmart. 

By land, it can be reached from the south via Route 5, also by the international highway that connects with Peru through the Chacalluta border complex, or from Bolivia in the east through the Tambo Quemado-Chungará border crossing. 

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Attractions in and around the city:

Catedral de San Marcos

(St. Mark's Cathedral), designed by the French architect Gustave Eiffel, renowned for the Eiffel Tower in Paris, boasts a unique metallic structure, which lends it a particular, unparalleled appearance.

The Catedral de San Marcos is an important tourist and cultural attraction in Arica, built in the second half of the 19th century and considered one of the most outstanding architectural symbols of the region. It attracts many visitors as it is open to the public for tours where visitors can admire its architecture, explore its history and enjoy the peace and serenity that this sacred place offers. Inside it houses valuable works of sacred art, including paintings, sculptures and liturgical objects of great historical value.

Morro de Arica 

(Cape Arica), combining history, landscape and symbolism, the Morro de Arica is a must-see for anyone visiting this charming northern city. The emblematic hill is much more than a simple geographical feature, from its strategic location that made it a key point during the War of the Pacific, to its value as a natural viewpoint that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the city. 

The Morro captivates visitors and locals alike, by climbing its steep slopes, visitors can visit the Monument to the Unknown Soldier, a tribute to those who fought in the War of the Pacific, this monument is a reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers.

There is also the Museo Historico del Morro de Arica, located at the top of the hill, a gallery that tells the history of the battle and the transition of Arica to Chilean territory, offering a detailed look at the events that marked the region. The Mirador de la Virgen del Carmen viewpoint, from this point you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the sea, an ideal place to contemplate the beauty of the surroundings and reflect on the history of the place.

You can also visit the Cristo de la Paz, a large sculpture that crowns the hill, whose motivation was to seal the peace between Chile and Peru. In addition, you can see trenches and historical vestiges such as defensive installations that recall the strategic importance of this place during the War of the Pacific.

Museo Arqueologico San Miguel de Azapa

The San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum, founded in 1967, is currently administered by the University of Tarapacá. The gallery is located 12 km from the city of Arica, in the Azapa Valley.

It is renowned for housing the mummies of the Chinchorro culture, the oldest in the world. These mummies are kept in a preservation room. Radiocarbon dating has revealed that the mummies are more than 7,000 years old, making them 2,000 years older than the known Egyptian mummies.

The museum showcases over 10,000 years of history through its collections, which include approximately 86,000 pieces, with about 1,000 on display. Additionally, it features a petroglyph park and a display of pre-Hispanic art. It serves as a custodian of an important heritage group related to the archaeology and anthropology of Chile, playing a vital role in understanding the rich cultural history of the region.
Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. 
Contact Telephone: 56 582205555
E-Mail: masma@uta.cl

Museo del Mar (Sea Museum)

The Museo del Mar de Arica, located at 315 Pasaje Sangra, in the center of the city, is an important yet small museum housed within a room of only 90m2 in a 150-year-old mansion. However, it contains one of the most complete collections of its kind in Latin America.

Founded in 2006, the museum exhibits approximately 1,700 species of mollusks and other marine life from Chile and around the world in its aquariums and displays. These specimens come from the private collection of its founder, who began collecting shells in the 1960s.
Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 14:00 and from 15:00 to 19:00 hrs.
Monday Closed

Beaches of Arica

Arica's beaches offer a unique combination of natural beauty, warm waters and a wide range of activities to enjoy under the northern Chilean sun.

Playa Chinchorro, an extensive beach located just minutes from the city center, ideal for long walks by the sea and to observe the surrounding desert landscape. It is also known for its crystal clear waters, ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. It has facilities as well as restaurants, food trucks and cafes to make the visit a complete enjoyment.

Playa El Laucho, small beach located South of the city, one of the favorite spots for locals and visitors alike due to its easy access from the city center, calm and safe waters for swimming, ideal for relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

Playa La Lisera, following Avenida Comandante San Martin, South of El Laucho, we find La Lisera, a semicircular beach perfect for water sports such as surfing and bodyboarding. It also has picnic areas and barbecues to enjoy a day at the beach with the family.

Playa Corazones, a beach located 15 km south of Arica, known for its stretch of golden sand and calm waters, making it ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

A distinctive feature of Arica's Corazones Beach is its heart shape, hence its name. In addition to its bathing-friendly waters, the beach also offers facilities for water sports such as surfing and bodyboarding, although conditions may vary depending on the season and tide. The beach extends into the Anzota sector, providing an opportunity to appreciate natural caves and paintings from past eras.


Playa Las Machas, another of the favorite spots in Arica, located within the urban area of the city and up to the mouth of the Lluta River. It has strong currents along the shore, so it is not suitable for swimming. However, there are several activities to enjoy such as sport fishing (there are places where you can get everything you need to practice this sport) and another activity that draws many visitors: surfing, which can be practiced to perfection, surfing enthusiasts will find ideal conditions, especially during high tide.

Cuevas de Anzota

The Anzota Caves, located just 10 km south of the Morro de Arica, are a fascinating tourist destination that combines history, archaeology and natural beauty. Their location so close to the center of the city makes them an easily accessible excursion for any visitor.
The tourist-archaeological site offers a unique experience for visitors who wish to explore the rich cultural heritage of the region. These caves are of great importance as they have been inhabited since pre-Columbian times by different cultures, such as the Chinchorro, who left evidence of their presence in the form of rock art and archaeological remains. In addition to their historical value, the Anzota Caves are also impressive from a natural point of view. They are located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offering spectacular panoramic views of the sea and coastline. Erosion has sculpted interesting formations over the years, creating an unusual coastal landscape, with contrasting colors between the white of the rocks, the ochre tones of the desert and the deep blues of the ocean. Visitors can explore the caves and admire cave paintings dating back thousands of years, providing a fascinating insight into the lives of the ancient cultures that inhabited the area. In addition, the location of the caves on the cliff allows tourists to enjoy activities such as watching seabirds and a rich fauna as well as photographing spectacular scenery. In summary, the Anzota Caves are an impressive tourist destination that combines history, archaeology and natural beauty. With their easy access from Arica and rich cultural heritage, these caves are a must-see for any traveler interested in exploring the best the region has to offer.

Parque Nacional Lauca

Lauca National Park, located in the province of Parinacota, Chile, near the border with Bolivia, is a natural wonder that extends over 137,883 hectares. It covers altitudes ranging from 3,200 meters above sea level in its lowest parts to 6,342 meters in its highest parts. The protected area is characterized by its spectacular landscapes, which include imposing volcanoes, altiplanic lagoons with crystalline waters, extensive grasslands, and flora and fauna adapted to the harsh conditions of the altiplano. Among the most outstanding volcanoes are Parinacota, Pomerape and Guallatiri. Lauca National Park is a popular destination for nature and ecotourism lovers. Activities available in the park include hiking, trekking, bird watching, landscape photography, and visits to archeological sites, such as the rock paintings of the region's first inhabitants. The area surrounding Lauca National Park is inhabited by indigenous Aymara communities, a peaceful native people who have developed a rich and unique culture, with traditions rooted in Altiplano life. The Aymara villages near the park offer the opportunity to learn about their way of life and ancestral customs. This park is recognized as part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves due to its rich biodiversity, which includes more than one hundred species of birds and a variety of mammals such as the alpaca, vicuña and guanaco. Visitors can explore its impressive topography that varies from 3,200 to more than 6,000 meters above sea level, admiring the Parinacota and Pomerape volcanoes, as well as the lagoons of Cotacotani and Lake Chungará, offering a unique experience in one of the most breathtaking landscapes in Chile. To access Lauca National Park, you can get there from Arica, the nearest city, via Route 11-CH. Local agencies offer a variety of tours. In the park, there are camping areas and shelters for visitors, as well as basic services such as tourist information and public restrooms.
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Apart from the places above mentioned, local agencies offer a variety of excursions such as archaeological, historical and adventure tours. In terms of tourist services, the city has a wide number of restaurants, hotels and lodging facilities.

Arica is also a starting point for exploring the rest of the Arica y Parinacota Region, which has a variety of archaeological, natural and cultural attractions.

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