Arica, Chile

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Chile’s northernmost city, Arica, is characteristically arid for the region, which is home to the world’s driest desert, the Atacama. The climate and terrain may not seem hospitable for long-term living, but for a visitor just passing through, they’re critical: These were the conditions that created the attractions that bring travelers here. Those attractions include a fascinating archaeological museum that claims to have the world’s oldest mummies, and a village that dates to the pre-Hispanic era and retains some of its mystical allure. There’s also a cathedral featuring a door that came straight from Eiffel’s Parisian workshop (yes, that Eiffel) and a local wine called Pintatani made from grapes that grow in an unusually fertile part of Arica. Fresh seafood straight from the Pacific Coast is the highlight of most menus in Arica, and it plays a starring role in displays at the local markets as well, where picture taking and people-watching are two ideal ways to while away a morning or afternoon.
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