Cruise ships dock near the center of town. A pedestrian area extends for 5 blocks to the east, away from the port, and the ever-present hilltop serves as an excellent orientation marker.
Distance to the town center is about one mile (1.5 km). Taxis can be found outside the port gate. Shuttle vans are available for the short transfer from the pier to the port exit. From there, the main square is within walking distance.
Printable map to take along on the cruise.
Watch a destination video.
Arica spreads out at the foot of El Morro Hill, the site of a major battle of the Peruvian War (1879-83). Today, the hill is a national historic monument, complete with an open-air museum. The summit of El Morro affords excellent panoramic views, which survey the city, the ocean, and even the distant Atacama. Also of interest in Arica is the San Marcos de Arica church, designed by the famed tower-builder Gustav Eiffel.
Historically, Arica was an important trade center for products from the interior, and the Quechua and Aymara Indians still come to the city to sell traditional handicrafts. Arica is also a major transportation center, with international air links to Bolivia and Peru. Among adventure travelers, the city is best known as the starting point for excursions into the Atacama Desert.
The Museo Arqueologicò San Miguel de Azapa, located a short distance out of town, gives an excellent introduction to the history of the area. Among its most fascinating exhibits is a collection of Incan mummies, whose bodies were perfectly preserved in the extraordinarily arid sands of the forbidding Atacama.
Known as "The City of Eternal Spring," Arica is located at the northern tip of Chile on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It is blessed with a mild, dry climate and waters warm enough for swimming, making it a popular, year-round beach resort. The best bathing spots are a number of sheltered coves south of town, which offer calm waters and a picturesque, unspoiled setting.
North of downtown, the long Chinchorro beach will give you plenty of room for sunbathing, swimming, or in-season jet ski rental, and there are restaurants, cafes, parks, and an Olympic-size pool near the shore.
Llama sweaters and musical instruments are popular items in Arica.
There are several markets and artisan shops that sell a variety of
The main shopping street is 21 de Mayo.
Credit Card acceptance is considerably reduced in small towns and communities, for which reason when visiting these it is recommended you take with you cash in local currency: the Chilean peso. 1 USD = 712 CLP. This will prevent any unpleasant surprises.
Spanish is Chile's official language
Chile has so-called cyber-cafes, stores offering Internet access. The cost of accessing the world info network varies from town to town. In Santiago, an hour online costs 4 dollars, while in Calama it costs 6 dollars, approximately. On the other hand, the main hotels and lodging places frequently offer Internet access to their guests, in many instances at no extra charge.
Ambulance service: 131 Fire Brigade: 132 Carabineros (Chilean police): 133 Drug Enforcement: 135 Andean Mountain Rescue Squad: 136 Sea Rescue: 137
Business and trade establishments in Chile are generally open to the public from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a 60-minute lunch break at 1 p.m. Saturday timetable is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In malls, the timetable is Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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