2007 Roadtrip Continuing in the Chilean Desert on the Pacific Coast

AricaThe 4-hour drive from Iquique to Arica was actually interesting and pretty in some areas. The Panamericana Highway was in good shape and there was practically no traffic. The trip is about 365 km and climbs down and up the 4 ravines that cut across the Pampa del Tamarugal. There is variety in the cultivated oases in the ravines.
The Panamericana goes right into Arica and, when it descends, there are no dramatic cliffs like in Iquique. The mountains on the west of the city are farther away from the coast and they are not so precipitous. Arica doesn’t have the large number of high rises that Iquique has either. We found one that had apartments to rent through an ad or something improbable like that. We had a one bedroom apartment on a very high floor of Apart Hotel Skorpios/Paros, (Av. Raul Rey 2911, fono: 56-58-21-5420) for US$80 a day. We had broadband Internet, cable TV and a fantastic balcony overlooking the sea. The turkey vultures did not come to visit our balcony, fortunately, although we saw them flying around our building.

The view towards Perú from our 17th floor apartment in Arica

The town of Arica has buildings by the Gustave Eiffel et Cie. workshops in Paris and there is a very good archeological museum in the Azapa Valley outside of town.

Plazoleta Estación Arica
We had one good meal at the Hotel Arica while we were there (an over-priced and under-valued hotel which is part of the PanAmericana Hotel chain). We learned that on Sunday nights no self-respecting restaurant in Arica is open. So, after 4 days in Arica, one good bike ride, and one day when neither of us felt well, we drove to the Peruvian border.

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