Arica – Chile (the North)

Arica is the northernmost city in Chile, just 19 km south of the Peruvian border. It’s called “the city of the never ending spring” because it rarely ever rains and therefore it’s possible to go surfing, paragliding, fishing, horseback riding and scuba diving here all year round.

A must see spot is Morro de Arica, a headland offering great views of the ocean and the city, which also has a historical war museum on top. If you want to learn some more interesting history, check out San Marcos Church and the Old Customs House, both built by the same company who constructed the Eiffel Tower.

San Marcos church, Arica, Chile.

Pelicans, cormorants and a few lazy sea lions are always present at the fishing port (2 blocks from the main plaza) so go and have a very close look!

For beaches, the most popular is Chinchorro beach, where there’s good surf and safe swimming. A little further south you’ll find the beaches La Lisera (2.5 km) and El Laucho (2 km), as well as the Península del Alacrán (Scorpion Peninsula) where the biggest surfing competition in Arica is held.

Pelicans next to the Arica Fish Market.

Make sure you see the Museum San Miguel de Azapa (12km from Arica) that houses some of the world’s oldest mummies, the cemetery nearby built on sand dunes, as well as the geoglyphs in the Azapa and Lluta valleys.

From Arica you can take a tour to visit Lauca National Park, where Chungara Lake is the main attraction with all kinds of unique fauna.