Chinchorro Culture Tour: Mummies of San Miguel de Azapa, Caleta Vitor, and the Museum at 10 Colon
Beverages - Water
Tour Participation Requirements
The Chinchorro civilization is one of the most fascinating in human history. With origins that date back about 10,000 years, it's also one of the oldest: Exploring the Chinchorro means going back in time to the days of one of the first coastal tribes in South America.
Chinchorro people are best known for their mummification ritual. To this day, historians and archaeologists still don't know why the Chinchorro decided to mummify their dead. On this tour, however, you'll get a look at how they did it. At Caleta Vitor, a rocky cove where they built a fishing village, you'll see half-buried mummies coming out of the ground alongside abandoned Chilean naval cannons, a stark contrast between past and present.
Want to get even closer to the ancient Chinchorro people? At the new Museum at 10 Colandoacute;n, you're on top of them: literally. The museum's plexiglass floor provides a striking view of a mass grave of Chinchorro mummies with over 30 preserved bodies and artifacts. When you're done hanging out with your (very) old new friends, take in the gorgeous view of the entire city of Arica from the museum's wooden terrace on its upper level. As your eye scans the cityscape, take a moment to reflect on the Chinchorro people, who made much of what you have experienced possible.
The Accidental Museum
Arica never planned to open a museum at 10 Colon Street. The structure on the site was originally a private home: In the mid-2000s, it was purchased by a developer who intended to create a state-of-the-art hotel and restaurant there. Unfortunately, his plan hit a small snag: Shortly after groundbreaking began, workers at the site began running into mummies. Everywhere. After input from city officials and the nearby University of Tarapaca, it was decided that in light of this historic discovery, plans should be changed. The land was purchased by the University and in 2009 the museum finally opened, making it the first as-is excavation museum in all of Chile.
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.