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Arica - Chile's Far North
Destination Arica - take a bus pass there
Sometimes referred to as The City of Eternal Spring, Arica is situated to Chile's north on the border with Peru hugging the shores of the Pacific. It is a fortunate city to host such mild, dry weather and warm waters ideal for beach activities, and this also contributes to its popularity during the whole year. The most impressive swim locations are several protected coves towards the south of city, offering tranquil seas and an attractive environment.
Arica advances from the base of El Morro Hill, the once location of a significant campaign during the War of the Pacific (1879-83) where Chile wrestled Arica from Peruvian territory. Nowadays, the hill stands as a historic monument, featuring an open-air museum. On top of El Morro you will discover fantastic picturesque views, which provide a panorama of the town, the sea, and also the far off Atacama desert.
Another site of great interest in Arica is the San Marcos de Arica cathedral, who's design is accredited to Gustav Eiffel of the Paris tower fame.The Museo Arqueologicò San Miguel de Azapa, to be found not far from town, allows a fantastic introduction to the historical past belonging to this region.
Traditionally, Arica was a very important commerce hub for items originating from North Chile's inland region, and still today the Quechua and Aymara Indigenous arrive to town to trade traditional crafts. Most backpackers in Chile arrive to Arica travelling north from San Pedro de Atacama and Iquique; by crossing the border of Peru via Tacna and there it is also serviced by an international airport. Many travellers also use Arica as a base to explore the Atacama Desert including visiting Lake Chungara and Putre.
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