Explore Iquique: Regional Museum and the Astoreca Palace

3 Hours
Private Activity
Moderate
Cruise Friendly

From (USD) $418 Per Person (Based on 2)

Explore Iquique: Regional Museum and the Astoreca Palace

3 Hours
Private Activity
Moderate
Cruise Friendly

From (USD) $418 Per Person (Based on 2)

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      Explore Iquique: Regional Museum and the Astoreca Palace

      Iquique, Chile
      From (USD) $418 Per Person (Based on 2)
      Highlights
      • 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.

      Getting prepared
      Tour Participation Requirements
      Great photo opportunities Great photo opportunities
      Bring money Bring money
      Wear sunscreen Wear sunscreen
      Bring water Bring water
      Wear comfortable shoes Wear comfortable shoes
      Wear Hat Wear Hat
      Wear Sunglasses Wear Sunglasses
      Cancellation policy

      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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