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Arica, Chile - Gateway To Peru, Walk Up The Headland El Morro de Arica

Chile travel blog by Mark Berman - May 2009 May 2010 April 2014 May 2014   » View Photoset (73 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
4 times I have come to Arica, stayed or passed through. 2014 I stayed in Arica twice this year, once before heading south and once again on the way back from Iquique. I had a good day exploring a few new things I hadn't
Chile Photo - Red flowers and trees in the Arica park.
Red flowers and trees in the Arica park.
done before in the city. I hunted out some street art and murals around town and had a look at the military base. I enjoyed lunch in a backstreet restaurant where all the locals were.

Headland El Morro de Arica

I was waiting for the mid-afternoon to walk up to the top of the headland El Morro de Arica so that the sun would be in the best position for taking photos. I walked up the path from the big yellow monument that you can see at the top of the sidestreet off of Paseo Peatonal 21 de Mayo. You start getting some great views pretty quickly. At the top is a museum Museo Historico y de Armas. Around the walking area at the top are a few sights, cannon, flag, busts of important figures and of course the big Jesus statue. Vultures buzz around the skies beside the hill high above the city below. Using
Chile Photo - Flower gardens in the park in Arica.
Flower gardens in the park in Arica.
my camera zoom I searched the streets below for wall murals and spotted some. I headed down to go find them while passing the blue house Casa Bolognesi on the way. Once again from Arica as I have now done several times I took a co-op taxi 1hr across the border into Peru to Tacna.

City Tour

2010 I arrived in Arica late one night after about 12hrs travel during the day. The first thing I did was get a taxi from the bus terminal and find a bed for the night which I did find in the center of the city. The next morning I set out to have a look around Arica. The first thing I noticed was that the taxis are the color black, not yellow.

A Desert Feel

Arica has a kind of desert feel to it, at the ends of the streets in the distance you see rock mountains and hills. I wandered around the shopping areas and places
Chile Photo - Nice cross-section of things to see at El Morro de Arica, Jesus statue, flag, cannon and monument.
Nice cross-section of things to see at El Morro de Arica, Jesus statue, flag, cannon and monument.
where all the people were like Paseo Peatonal Thomson where there is markets and stalls.

Towards the Sea

I headed in the direction of the sea and found myself in a nice area where people were sitting and taking things easy. The famous tall trees of Arica I could see in the distance. As I walked towards the trees I could see the great headland El Morro de Arica with the flag of Chile flying at the top. Around this area it is very nice with parks, fountains, many trees, paths to walk and the open sea breeze. Nearby is an old steam train sitting beside some trees and a statue of Gabriela Mistral, she was the first Latin American to win the Nobel
Chile Photo - Church in Arica - Iglesia en Mision Permanente.
Church in Arica - Iglesia en Mision Permanente.
Prize in Literature.

Naval Base

Across the road is the naval base in a white building with the title Armada de Chile. I sat on a chair and sheltered from the sun near some flower gardens and had a drink. Nearby is a statue of Captain de Frag. Don Arturo Prat Chacon, a naval officer, standing with his sword held up towards the sky. A big black canon sits beside a lamp and palm tree on a grass area. 4 dogs lay under or beside a 4 wheel drive to escape the heat of the day as I walked past. Arica is a very dry place with very little rainfall. I came down to the sea edge to have a look out and try to catch a cool refreshing breeze then walked back across to where
Chile Photo - 'El Roto' statue in Arica.
'El Roto' statue in Arica.
I saw a monument of a man on a horse. I went to investigate to find it is Bernardo O'Higgins (1778-1842) who was a leader for independence in Chile.

A Nice Plaza and Church

In a big open plaza nearby there is a big fountain and some walking bridges, the water from the fountain shoots up to form different patterns, very nice. On a tall orange poll stands a bust of Cristobal Colon which is the Spanish name for Christopher Columbus. Also closeby is a church - Iglesia de Mision Permanente and another statue, this time of a man standing holding a musket, it says El Roto which refers to a person of poverty.
Chile Photo - Woman and dog walk past a skull-like piece of wall art in Arica.
Woman and dog walk past a skull-like piece of wall art in Arica.

Around the Streets

At this time I started walking back towards my hotel passing shoeshine men, very colorful local buses, some colorful street art, things for sale on the sidewalk and a coffee stall.

Border Crossing to Peru

I collected my things from the hotel and made my way for the 2nd time inside a year to Arica's bus terminal to cross the border to Peru. Again like the year before I took a co-op taxi to the border and through all the way to Tacna. Instead of staying in Tacna which I had already done a year before I took another bus 150kms north to a place called Moquegua. For the 2nd time the border control here was very simple, quick and easy for me.

     

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Distances & times (if available) from Arica (Chile) to:


Map location: Arica, Chile. An interesting city-scape in the desert and gateway to Peru, it's just 1hr to Tacna in Peru from here!
 A : Chile Border to Tacna - Peru 15 kms 15 kms straight distance | 53mins 53mins by car (33 kms) | 1hr 3mins 1hr 3mins by bus (33 kms) (33 kms)
 B : Tacna - Peru 50 kms 50 kms straight distance | 1hr 14mins 1hr 14mins by car (62 kms) | 1hr 28mins 1hr 28mins by bus (62 kms) (62 kms)
 C : Iquique to Arica to Peru Border - Chile 124 kms 124 kms straight distance | 2hrs 13mins 2hrs 13mins by car (178 kms) | 2hrs 39mins 2hrs 39mins by bus (178 kms) (178 kms)
 D : Moquegua to Desaguadero - Peru 156 kms 156 kms straight distance | 2hrs 51mins 2hrs 51mins by car (214 kms) | 3hrs 25mins 3hrs 25mins by bus (214 kms) (214 kms)
 E : Iquique - Chile 195 kms 195 kms straight distance | 3hrs 54mins 3hrs 54mins by car (316 kms) | 4hrs 40mins 4hrs 40mins by bus (316 kms) (316 kms)
 F : La Paz to Desaguadero - Bolivia 253 kms 253 kms straight distance | 6hrs 17mins 6hrs 17mins by car (377 kms) | 7hrs 32mins 7hrs 32mins by bus (377 kms) (377 kms)
 G : Puno to Bolivian Border - Peru 272 kms 272 kms straight distance | 6hrs 35mins 6hrs 35mins by car (394 kms) | 7hrs 54mins 7hrs 54mins by bus (394 kms) (394 kms)
 H : Copacabana - Bolivia 286 kms 286 kms straight distance | 6hrs 55mins 6hrs 55mins by car (409 kms) | 8hrs 18mins 8hrs 18mins by bus (409 kms) (409 kms)
 I : Arequipa - Peru 263 kms 263 kms straight distance | 5hrs 37mins 5hrs 37mins by car (421 kms) | 6hrs 44mins 6hrs 44mins by bus (421 kms) (421 kms)
 J : Camana - Peru 324 kms 324 kms straight distance | 6hrs 2mins 6hrs 2mins by car (430 kms) | 7hrs 14mins 7hrs 14mins by bus (430 kms) (430 kms)
 K : Puno / Juliaca - Peru 293 kms 293 kms straight distance | 7hrs 36mins 7hrs 36mins by car (472 kms) | 9hrs 7mins 9hrs 7mins by bus (472 kms) (472 kms)
 L : La Paz - Bolivia 318 kms 318 kms straight distance | 7hrs 11mins 7hrs 11mins by car (482 kms) | 8hrs 37mins 8hrs 37mins by bus (482 kms) (482 kms)
 M : Oruro - Bolivia 342 kms 342 kms straight distance | 7hrs 25mins 7hrs 25mins by car (521 kms) | 8hrs 54mins 8hrs 54mins by bus (521 kms) (521 kms)
 N : La Paz to Copacabana - Bolivia 309 kms 309 kms straight distance | 8hrs 32mins 8hrs 32mins by car (530 kms) | 10hrs 14mins 10hrs 14mins by bus (530 kms) (530 kms)
 O : Uyuni & the Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats) - Bolivia 429 kms 429 kms straight distance | 10hrs 40mins 10hrs 40mins by car (885 kms) | 12hrs 48mins 12hrs 48mins by bus (885 kms) (885 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Arica, Chile:

Residencial 911, Arica, Chile - Large Photo
Residencial 911, Arica, Chile (April 2014 - 1 night, May 2014 - 2 nights) - The cheapest of the bunch of hotels across the road from the bus terminal at $6000 pesos ($11USD), the others cost $12000 pesos. My own room with tv and wifi. 2 shared bathrooms for the whole place, you need to be quick and early! I stayed here on 2 occasions for 3 nights in all. Run by a nice lady and her helpers. For the price I really recommend it!
Hostal Venecia, Arica, Chile - Large Photo
Hostal Venecia, Arica, Chile (May 2010 - 1 night) - This place was good for the night, the room was simple but fine, shared bathroom and not expensive. In the center of Arica.

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