Explore Iquique: Regional Museum and the Astoreca Palace
- Baquedano Street: The American influence on Iquique is most prominent on this famous street of buildings created in the Georgian style out of Oregon pine.
- Astoreca Palace: An opulent home turned museum, commissioned by one of Iquique's successful nitrate barons just after the turn of the 20th century.
- Regional Museum: examine some fascinating regional artifacts, including Chinchorro mummies and 19th-century saltpeter mining tools and supplies.
About this Iquique tour
At its core, Iquique's story is one of reinvention.
During the first half of the 19th century, the discovery of rich deposits of nitrates and minerals led to the city's boom. Europeans looking to hit it big in the new world flocked in and many of them actually did, including a man named Juan Higinio Astoreca.
Astoreca, Spanish-born and educated, came to Iquique at the age of 18. Twenty years later, he was a successful tycoon who would have made the Rockefellers and Carnegies of the world proud: full owner of seven saltpeter mines, with a stake in many more.
As extraordinarily wealthy businessmen do, Astoreca commissioned the construction of a luxurious estate on Basquedano Street. When you step inside the building, known today as the Astoreca Palace, you'll see just what's so palatial about it. Its features include a French stained-glass ceiling, ornate oak floors, and one of the biggest chandeliers in the country. Too bad Astoreca never got to enjoy it: He died in 1903, a full year before the building was completed.
A few decades after Astoreca's death, the nitrate boom was coming to a close, thanks to the widespread adoption of artificial processing techniques. Iquique had to get with the times. Walking along the scenic Costanera, you'll understand why fishing was the obvious choice for the new version of Iquique to focus on. At the north side of the Costanera, along with breathtaking views of the city, you'll notice the Esmerelda Buoy, marking the spot where the Chilean ship of the same name sank during the War of the Pacific.
From the fishing tools and supplies you'll see on display at the Regional Museum, to the opulence of Iquique's Clock Tower and Plaza de Armas, the two sides of Iquique are well displayed on this tour.
Arturo Prat and the importance of speaking up
Iquique's Plaza de Armas is named after Chilean Navy captain Arturo Prat, who met his unfortunate end at the Battle of Iquique during the War of the Pacific: He was killed after boarding a Peruvian ship alone, when he yelled for his men to board but the noise of the fight drowned him out. A costly lesson on how to communicate in the heat of a battle.
Iquique Cruise Pier. Your guide will be standing on your ship's pier close to where you will disembark. They will holding a sign with your name on it.
Air-conditioned transportation cannot be guaranteed in this port. Please bring some cash for any purchases you might like at the handicraft center.
This tour's activity level is moderate. Anticipate walking over some uneven surfaces and paved walkways and climbing a few stairs.
Cultural, Family Friendly, Walking Tour, Scenic
Beverage - Water
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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