Anthropological Arica

  • Port

    Arica, Chile

  • Activity Level


  • Excursion Type

    Local Sightseeing, All

  • Wheelchair Accessible


  • Cost


    Price between $101-$150
  • Minimum Age

    Information not currently available.

  • Duration

    Approximately 4 Hours

  • Meals Included


This tour provides an anthropological view of humankind in this desert region, from the adornments of Catholicism in the city's main square, to the pre-Columbian Archaeological Museum. Arica is the northernmost city in Chile, and boasts a long history of commercial and cultural exchange with the high plateau peoples of Peru and Bolivia. For almost 10,000 years, humans have inhabited this land framed by Atacama -- the driest desert in the world.

Visit Colón Square and the Gothic-style San Marcos Church (1876). The prefabricated iron and wooden door of the church was made at the Gustave Eiffel et Cie workshops in France. This church replaced one that was swept away by a tsunami in 1869.

Next, you will head towards the Azapa Valley and visit the San Miguel Archaeological Museum. View the collection of pre-Columbian artifacts and the mummy room, with exhibits dating back to 5000 BC. These are the oldest mummies in the world and this is the perfect place to learn of ancestral mankind and life in the world's driest desert.

Take the Pan-American Highway 13 miles south of the city in order to appreciate the real desert -- silence and solitude will be your only companions. You will see one of the most amazing and enigmatic works of the Andean people -- the geoglyphs. These are drawings made on the hillside slopes, either by piling up stones or by scratching the surface of the hillside.

In Pampa Chaca, sculptor Díaz Fleming has created the Presencias Tutelares sculptures. These giant works pay homage to the Andean people who crossed the mountains and desert to create a lasting culture here in Chile. The sculptures tell about their religious beliefs. Folkloric music and refreshments will enhance this cultural experience.

Return to town and to the pier.


Wear comfortable walking shoes.