Chile's northernmost city (pop. 175,000) features excellent beaches for bathing year ‘round, historical sites from the War of the Pacific, and nearby archeological attractions in museums and in the Azapa and Lluta Valleys. Arica is also the starting point for trips to Lauca National Park, a World Biosphere Reserve in the nearby Altiplano. Lauca boasts incredible landscapes, with volcanoes, lagoons, salt flats, tiny pre-Hispanic settlements, as well as a wide variety of animal life such as llamas, vicunas, guanacos, alpacas, flamingos and wild duck.
When to go
Dubbed as the “City of Eternal Spring”, Arica is blessed with a mild, dry climate that makes it a perfect destination year ‘round.
• Azapa Museum: Chinchorro culture mummies dating from 18,000BC are considered the world’s oldest.
• Lauca National Park: Spectacular altiplano scenery including snow capped volcanic peaks, alpine lakes, and roaming herds of wild vicuna.