Arica is Chile's Northernmost city, just 12 miles (20 km.) from Peru and it is often visited by backpackers going either to Peru or Chile. Warm sea currents and excellent surfing breaks, the world oldest mummies, an iron church and a dramatically situated battleground make Arica a popular travel destination.
El Morro de Arica
An impressive coffee-colored shoulder of rock 360 feet (110 meters) high. A crucial battle was fought here in 1880. The Chilean army assaulted and took El Morro from Peruvian forces in less than an hour.
Iglesia San Marcos
Church made entirely from stamped and cast iron by Gustave Eiffel. The church was prefabricated in Paris, shipped around the world and assembled on site.
Ex-Aduana de Arica
Former custom-house also designed by Gustave Eiffel. It was assembled on site in 1874 with walls made of blocks and bricks stacked between metallic supports. Restored as the Casa de La Cultura is hosts many exhibitions and an impressive 32-step wrought-iron spiral staircase.
German locomotive dating from 1924 that once pulled trains on the Arica-La Paz line. On the North side of the plazoleta stands Estación Arica-La Paz the train station dating from 1913.
There are plenty of beaches for swimmers, surfers and sunbathers. The closest is Playa El Laucho followed by Playa La Lisera.
Arica hosts high-profile championships. The biggest breaks are in July. Besides Playa Las Manchas surfers explore the towering waves El Gringo and El Buey at Isla de Alacrán.
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