Check out Chile's most famous wave
Arica is known for its stellar surf breaks, so it's only right to take them for a test run. Hire a board, and then take your pick. El Gringo, aka the Chilean Pipeline, is Chile's most famous wave and a must for experienced surfers. Meanwhile, Arenillas Negras is a black sand beach with waves suited for all levels.
Summit Morro de Arica for great views and a war museum
It takes just 10 minutes to summit Morro de Arica, a solid rock overlooking the seaside town that looks like it belongs in The Lion King. Beyond the panoramic views waiting for you at the top, there's a war museum commemorating the country's military victory over Peru in the War of the Pacific at this very site.
The San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum is a must-visit. It's home to over 20,000 archaeological artefacts and displays documenting 10,000 years of local history, culture, agriculture and religion. The museum's two most popular exhibits include preserved petroglyphs outside and the famed Chinchorro mummies, renowned as the world's oldest mummies.
Local Arica delicacies include fresh seafood, goods from the surrounding valleys like olives, Pintatani wine and tropical fruit, and traditional Chilean dishes. Visit Central Market for local produce, including Azapa olive bread. Head to Terminal Pesquero for portside views and sensational seafood or Mercado Mariscos for fresh ceviche. When you need to fit a quick bite into your packed itinerary, stop by Argo Boulevard, a fantastic food court with affordable lunch plates.
One of the best things to do in Arica, Chile, is shop. For a souvenir you'll cherish forever, buy lapis lazuli jewellery, a vibrant blue stone only found here and in Afghanistan. Head to Bolognesi, an alley off Arica's main thoroughfare to find this and other handicrafts. Alternatively, Poblado Artesanal is a mock village filled with craft shops selling everything from ceramics to alpaca knitwear and Greda (handmade Chilean clay pottery).
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