Vacations 2014 - Part I: Arica!

Posted by Andrea Day at 7:12 PM

I know is a little late to talk about my summer vacations (in Chile, summer vacations are in January and February), but I took some beautiful photos and I want to share it with you. ;)

During the vacations of this year we visited two completely opposite places of Chile: Arica and Huilo Huilo Park. These places have very different landscapes, because Arica is located in the northern part of my country, with a most likely desert climate and Huilo Huilo Park lies in the south, where the climate is much more humid. Well, as the title says, in this post I will tell about our visit to Arica and  in the next post about Huilo Huilo.

Arica is one of the cities that lies northernmost of Chile, in fact is the place that serves as a point of departure to Peru and Bolivia.
 
The yellow circle is the area of ​​the city of Arica and Azapa Valley. In the black circles there are other places that we visited: On the right you can see the area of ​​Putre and Lake Chungará and above the city of Tacna, in Peru.

This city has a very pleasant climate, for this reason it is  known as the "City of Eternal Spring", which makes it perfect for enjoying its beaches almost the entire year.

I must admit that I hardly ever swim at chilean beaches, because I consider that they are very cold (or I am very susceptible to cold XD), but in my opinion the water from the beaches of Arica is much warmer than the rest of Chile’s beaches. So I managed to swim on it.I think that the last time that I did it was about 15 years ago :)






With friends at the beach

  Swimming :P

Sunset

 
One of the most visited places in Arica is the "Morro de Arica". El Morro is a hill that is almost in the middle of the city, close to the coast. This hill is very important in Chile’s history, because one of the major battles of the Pacific War took place in here. In fact, at the top of the hill there is a large historical and weaponry museum.
 
View of the hilltop of El Morro, from the beach

 View from the hilltop of El Morro

  Some of the exhibits of the Historical and Weaponry Museum at El Morro

The hilltop of El Morro

We also visited the "Valle de Azapa", which is a valley located near to Arica well known for its fruits and vegetables, especially olives. Here is a very interesting museum where you can see archaeological remains and mummies.

Chinchorro’s mummies in the Archaeological and Anthropological Museum of San Miguel de Azapa. These mummies are from the period between 5000 and 2000 b.c.

And finally, we visited one of the "must" places in northern Chile, the Chungará Lake. This lake is one of the highest located in the world, at about 4500 m.a.s.l. The majority of the tours starts at Arica and they are quite long, lasting almost an entire day, but they really worth it. This is mainly because you have make stops often, so you can get used to the altitude and in this way don't suffer from altitude sickness or "Puna" as it’s call here. A good thing of this stops is that you can visit the towns that are in the way and by a lot of local handcrafted items

One of the first stops on the tour is to observe the Lluta geoglyphs, which can be seen in the following photos. Some of these figures represent people and other animals.
   






Here are some photos of the other stops that we made on the way to the lake:
 
Poconchile's Cemetery

 
View from Pucará's scenic view

 Another view from Pucará's scenic view

And in one of the stops we could see closely these llamas. I love these animals!



 

After many stops and about 8 hours of travel, we arrived to Chungará Lake. Besides the beautiful lake and volcanoes, in this place you can see a lot of native wildlife, including llamas, ducks and flamingos.












Finally, in the return to Arica, we made a last stop in a town called "Putre". It's really beautiful and still remains with its buildings made of stone, such as they were in antiquity. The town's church is one of the national monuments of Chile and has had to be rebuilt several times due to the earthquakes it suffered.

Me in front of Putre's church

Belltower of Putre's Church

Well, that sums up much of what we did in Arica. One of the days of this trip, we went to Peru and visited the city of Tacna. There we bought a lot of stuff and we ate the delicious Peruvian cuisine, 100% recommended! Too bad I do not have many pictures of that part of the trip.

 In front of Tacna's Cathedral (photo taken by Pilar :P )

That's all! Hugs for everyone!

Some extra photos: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/52163012@N08/sets/72157646673208132/

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