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About Arica

Never mind Chile, it's positively chilled out in Arica, where the sun shines all year round. With its miles of golden sand dunes at the foot of El Morro hill, there's a laid back surfer dude vibe in the City of Eternal Spring.

Grab a board (or fun-sized boogie board) and head north for calmer waters, while more experienced surfers can ride the waves south of El Morro.

Speaking of the famous rock which dominates the beach, allow 10 minutes to reach the summit to discover more about this War of the Pacific battle site at the open-air museum. Just remember to bring a drink if you don't want to be hawked for a cola at the top.
In town visit the San Marcos de Arica church, designed by famed tower-builder Gustave Eiffel. Just out of town visit the San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum, to see its fascinating collection of perfectly preserved Chinchorro mummies.

 

Shore excursions in Arica

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

A Taste of Arica

Activity mediumRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 4¼ hours

Visit the Azapa valley and discover an olive farm and its market. Browse a Handicraft Village and enjoy a Folkloric presentation.

Arica lies at the mouth of the Azapa Valley, a green oasis in the middle of the Atacama Desert that produces all kinds of tropical fruits and vegetables, among which its olives are famous for their size and flavour.

Leaving the pier, you’ll head towards this valley where the olive is one of the major components of the agriculture. The first old olive trees were brought by the first Spanish conquistadors and gave rise to one of the best known varieties known as the ‘Azapa brand’. Upon arrival at the olive farm, you will learn about its irrigation system and the olive selection. Before you leave, you will have the chance to actually taste different types of olives.

Proceed to the local Fruit & Vegetable Market located in town. Walk through the stands and learn about the local production from the Azapa and Lluta Valleys.

Afterwards, visit the famous handicraft village. Browse around the workshops which offer a variety of products such as ceramics and pottery and carved stones. Enjoy a Mango Sour (a delicious drink made with chunks of mango local fruit, available year round) while local dancers perform traditional dances.

A final stop will be made at the main square for independent sightseeing before returning to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour. Order of the sites may vary to avoid overcrowding at the different stops. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses and local currency.

Arica City

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Explore Arica, a green oasis in the middle of the Atacama Desert, with a rich commercial and cultural heritage.

The ‘Morro de Arica’ is a 361-foot-high cliff, which juts into the ocean and protects the city from the southern winds. At the top you’ll find a lovely panoramic view of the city and the green Azapa Valley. There is also a small arms museum, which recalls the battle for Arica during the war in the Pacific, when Chilean troops took the city from the Peruvians.

A collection of mummies preserved in sand dating back to 5,000 BC will be seen in the Archaeological Museum. This makes them the oldest mummies in the world, and unique, as the method of preparation was artificial. The Museum was the cover story of ‘National Geographic’ in 1997.

Made by placing stones or scratching the saline surface of the desert hill, Geoglyph markings reproduce human and animal forms and pastoral scenes. You’ll be able to photograph these amazing Geoglyphs, part of the legacy of the Indians who inhabited this area.

Enjoy some free time at the Handicraft Village where there are several shops selling handicrafts from all over Chile. Bargains include wool, copper, ceramics and wood articles.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. No flash photography is permitted inside the Museum and there is a charge for video cameras. We recommended zoom lenses for photography of the Geoglyphs. Transportation in Arica is by non air-conditioned coaches. The order of highlights may be reversed to avoid congestion.

Atacama Coastal Trek

Activity high

Duration: 3½ hours

Enjoy the nature and ocean breeze on a trekking tour along the sandy coast in Arica.

Departing the pier, you’ll head South on a leisurely drive passing by El Laucho and La Lisera famous beach resorts to reach the starting point of your trek, Anzota Caves. From here you’ll trek over sandy hills and mountains and trek through caves and caverns until you reach Puntilla. It is here that sea lions may be seen, as well as many birds.

After taking some time to take photos, rest and breathe in the sea air, you’ll trek back to the buses on the same trail.

Continue to the El Morro de Arica monument, for a photo opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of the city, ocean and port. The Morro de Arica was an important place that the Chilean military used to its advantage during the Pacific War.

Afterwards, you’ll return to the pier.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Guests with fear of vertigo should not participate on this tour due to the heights of cliffs seen during the tour. The walk is in a very narrow in places, without handrails, single line and the path along the coast is with the cliff one side and a drop on the sea side. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. This tour involves an extensive amount of walking for approximately 1 mile (about 1.6 kilometres), at times over uneven, sandy and rocky terrain, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. Please wear comfortable appropriate clothing with non-slip closed toe shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat, bottled water and sunglasses.

Birding the Chaca Valleys with Nigel Marven

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 8 hours

Embark on an exciting bird watching journey along with presenter Nigel Marven and, explore the bird-rich valleys of Lluta, Azapa and Chaca.

Departing the pier, you’ll drive north to the mouth of the Lluta River, where many species of waterfowl, coastal seabirds, shorebirds and passerines that reside in the several habitats that make up this area.

Afterwards, you’ll leave the coast and head east towards the lowland cultivated valleys, to search for the intriguing Peruvian Thick-Knee, Andean Swift and Greyish Miner bird.

You’ll search the valleys of Lluta, Azapa and Chaca, the haunt of specialties such as Croaking Ground Dove, Chilean Woodstar, and Peruvian Shear tail, Oasis Hummingbird, Tamarugo and Cinereous conebills, Bran-coloured and Vermillion flycatchers, Peruvian Meadowlark and the odd-looking Slender-billed Finch.

During your bird watching you’ll ‘perch’ for a while and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. This tour involves an extensive amount of walking at times over uneven, sandy and rocky terrain, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. Please wear comfortable appropriate clothing with non-slip closed toe shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat, bottled water and sunglasses.

Man and the Desert

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4 hours

Learn about the voyage of ancestral man in the driest desert in the world.

Embark on a short drive to the northernmost city in Chile, Arica. Your first stop is at Colon Square and San Marcos Cathedral. Erected in 1876 in a gothic style, the church replaced the old one which was swept away by a tidal wave in 1869.

A collection mummies preserved in sand dating back to 5,000 BC is on display at the Archaeological Museum. This makes them the oldest mummies in the world, and unique, as the method of preparation was artificial.

Some of the most amazing and enigmatic works of the Andean peoples are the Geoglyphs. Made by placing stones or scratching the saline surface of the desert hill, these markings reproduce human and animal forms.

In Pampa Chaca, one of the best sculptors in Chile (Díaz Juan Fleming) has created the impressive giant sculptures called the Tutelar Figures, composed of two groups: The Ancestors and The Origin of the Ancestry. They are homage to the Andean people who crossed the Andes and the desert. According to the Andean tradition, these people have a divine origin, descending from the Sun and the Moon. These huge sculptures tell of their beliefs.

Fruit Juice, local fruits, soft drinks and mineral water will be a welcome refreshment whilst visiting the desert.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The terrain is rough and uneven in parts with some steps to negotiate. Comfortable shoes, sun protection and a hat are essential. The desert is a protected area, so no litter should be dropped or left and smoking is not recommended. Transport in Arica is by non air-conditioned coaches. Videography and flash photography is not permitted in the Museum and there is a fee for video cameras.

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