The Pacific Ocean, the desert and the highlands. If you don’t know what to do in the Region of Arica & Parinacota, we can tell you that its capital has a number of attractions and important historical and cultural heritage sites, as well as a large number of nearby destinations of interest. Try your hand at adventure tourism, see the oldest mummies in the world and marvel at the region’s history. Things to do in Arica? Here is the answer.
The following article shares some ideas and destinations for your next trip to Arica & Parinacota.
Just a two and a half hour plane ride from Santiago, Arica is known as the city of eternal spring, a place where the sun is always shining and the temperature is ideal. These are some of the attractions you’ll find in the city.
To view Arica in all its splendor, hike up the Morro, a large 130m-high rock that is part of the Coastal mountain range. The museum, monuments and cannons found here are witness to the area’s historical significance and the role it played in the War of the Pacific. You can walk or drive to the top, and even paraglide from the hills of the La Lisera and El Laucho beaches adjacent to the Morro.
Flavor and culture in Terminal Asoagro
To try the more flavorful side of the region, make a trip to the Terminal Asoagro in Arica, a market that sells fruits, vegetables and traditional local products. You’ll also find members of the highlands communities, known for their colorful clothing and warm but timid smiles. This market is the best place to buy some of the most emblematic products of the region, like the Azapa olives, passion fruit and mango.
San Marcos Cathedral, a privileged location
The neoclassical San Marcos Cathedral was built by the Eiffel company and erected in 1876 at the same site as the previous cathedral which was destroyed by the 1868 earthquake. The building’s beauty, with three naves, an asymmetrical façade and stained glass windows, stands out from the monuments surrounding it: the Morro, the beach and Plaza Colon.
Con la Fuerza del Sol, the largest carnival in Chile
The city of Arica holds a 3-day festival which is one of the most important carnivals in South America. Andean dance corps participate in the festival and showcase the natives dances of the highlands, the afro-descendent communities and inland Arica & Parinacota.
The “Carnaval Con la Fuerza del Sol” is celebrated every year in January or February and attracts more than 100,000 spectators.