Official language: Spanish
Time zone: UTC-4 (summer), UTC-3 (winter)
Currency: Chilean peso (CLP)
Arica is the city with smallest yearly amount of rain on Earth. Each year only around 0,7 cm of rain falls down there.
In February 2017 after 20 years of break, a touristic train route Arica-Poconchile was launched. What’s important – train sets off from station only a few times per year.
If you want to see the city’s and the shore’s panorama, go to a hill El Morro. Don’t get surprised if you meet there flocks of condors.
Located by the Pacific Ocean Arica is not only a great starting point to travel through Chile or Peru, but also a paradise for surfers with guarantee of perfect weather whole year round. What’s worth seeing in there?
Arica is a port city located just 18 kilometres from a border with Peru. As the most interesting culture of this region considered is Chinchorro, which traditions included mummification of bodies of all decedents. More than 120 mummies were preserved in good shape to this day and they are exhibited in the archaeological museum of University Tarapaca. The city is also tempting with other attractions. One can find there neat boardwalks, parks and historical places, for instance the church of St. Mark from the 19th century by Plaza Colon, which was designed by Gustav Eiffel – the same man who created the famous Parisian tower.
Arica is described as „la ciudad de la eterna primavera”, which means the city of eternal spring. This feature of the city is admired by tourists, as well as windsurfers – waves can be really high there! It is also worth to visit situated in high Andes the national park Lauca. Located on the altitude of 4500 metres above sea level lake Chungara is sanctuary of wild Chilean flamingos. If you decide for an organized trip with travel agency, for sure you will encounter on your way a herd of llamas or alpacas, as well as prehistory drawings on stones (geoglyphs), one of the oldest Chilean churches in Poconchile, as well as remains of Incan buildings.
What to eat in Arica? Definitely pastel de choclo, which is flat-cake from minced corn with pieces of chicken, raisins and cooked egg, as well as humanitas – corn mass with basil wrapped in corn leaves. In Arica popular are also hot dogs and burgers with avocado, mayonnaise and tomatoes. Due to their colours, shared with those of Italian flag, they are called complete italiano (hot dog) or churrasco italiano (burger). Try also seafood, fish, for instance soup paila marina or dish jardín de mariscos and curanto, stewed seafood with meat and vegetables (e.g. bean, peas). Where to eat? We recommend restaurants Maracuya, La Pica del Muertito and low-key eatery Mata Rangi.