Azapa Archeological Museum, San Marcos Cathedral, and Ancient Geoglyphs
- Main Square Plaza Colon and San Marcos Cathedral: see these European-style architectural marvels designed by the same man who built the Eiffel tower.
- Ancient geoglyphs: learn how cultures of ancient times expressed themselves through symbols carved into the hills of Azapa Valley.
- Morro de Arica: an important hill in Arica that was a focal point of one of the most significant military conflicts in Chile because of its astounding views.
- Azapa Archeological Museum: spend some time with the world's oldest mummified human beings, preserved about 9,000 years ago.
About this Arica tour
Welcome to Arica, the crossroads of South America's west coast. On this tour, you'll get a diverse look at the some of the architecture and natural landforms that make "the city of Eternal Spring" such an attractive one.
At Colon Square, check out the strikingly gothic San Marcos Cathedral, built by the same French architect who masterminded the design of the Eiffel Tower, Gustav Eiffel. Eiffel had each piece of this cathedral pre-fabricated in France and then shipped to Arica, where it was completed in 1876: the entire process took more than a decade.
19th-century French design isn't the only type you'll explore: ponder the striking yet mysterious geoglyphs of the Atacama Desert. Prehistoric South American tribes carved these expressive images of human and animal forms into the hillsides of the Azapa Valley over a thousand years before the rise of the Incans.
You'll also examine some work by an architect who everyone appreciates: Mother Nature. The Morro de Arica is a sharp hill that provides panoramic views of great distances, which is why it was used as a defensive stronghold for the Peruvian troops that occupied Arica during the War of the Pacific between Chile and Peru. The Morro now stands as a triumphant national monument to Chileandrsquo;s military victory in the Battle of Arica.
Looking to meet some of the architects who may have been responsible for all this prehistoric construction? At the San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum, you'll see some of the earliest mummified bodies in human history, the Chinchorro mummies. The oldest of these ancient humans was mummified roughly two thousand years before the Egyptians made the mummy world-famous. Between its rich architecture and millennia of interesting archaeology, the city of Arica has plenty of mysteries that you'll love exploring.
The Atacama Desert: Out of this World?
The geoglyphs of the Azapa Valley are historically significant, but Hollywood appreciates the area more for its landscape. This part of Chile is considered an ideal place to film movie scenes that take place on Mars. With some conspiracy theorists convinced that ancient wonders like the geoglyphs were created with help from aliens, the Atacama Desert could be a visiting ground for both real and make-believe aliens.
Arica Cruise Ship 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 in Arica cannot be guaranteed. San Marcos Cathedral is undergoing restoration and an inside visit may not be possible. Pictures can be taken from main square. A fee of approx. US$ 2 has to be paid for taking pictures (without flash) in the museum. Filming is not allowed. Please bring some cash for any purchases you might like to make The visit to the Arms Museum is optional.
This tour's activity level is mild. Anticipate walking over some uneven surfaces and paved walkways and climbing a few stairs.
Cultural, Family Friendly, Walking Tour, Scenic, Bus Tour
Beverages - Water
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
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