There are lots of things to do around Arica: Swimming, Surfing, Parapenting, Golf, Fishing, Horse riding,Sand boarding, Board Sailing, Kite surfing, Scuba Diving..!
The real attraction is the city of Arica – a quiet and relaxed holiday resort with one of the best climates in the world. It never rains – well, hardly never; (there were three half-hour showers this February.) Day temperatures never exceed 29 degrees centigrade and winter night temperatures seldom go below 10 degrees. Day-to-night-time variations in temperature do not exceed 6 degrees. Arica is the city of eternal spring. Nice beaches, relaxed life style and low cost of living!
Arica is “The Gateway to the North of Chile” and the entrance to the national park “Parque Lauca” and Lago Chungara altitude 4,570. The departure point for buses to La Paz and Oruru in Bolivia, and “collectivo” cars and buses to Tacna in Peru. A sealed asphalt road makes easy access from Arica to La Paz the capital of Bolivia (535km). This has made Arica a major port for freight to and from Bolivia.
Arica is the northern most city in Chile, 2078km north of Santiago and 20km south of the border with Peru. The city, founded in 1565, is a coastal holiday and sea port, with a population of approximately 213,000. It is situated at the junction on the Pan American coastal highway for routes connecting Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
Prior to the War of the Pacific 1879, the north of Chile, including the towns of Arica and Iquique, belonged to Peru. Bolivia had access to the sea through a corridor to a coastal strip at Antofagasta some 770km south of Arica. The war of the Pacific was won by Chile who took control of the very valuable saltpeter fertilizer deposits in the northern coastal strip of desert. Bolivia lost its access to the sea and Peru had its southern border moved north up the coast, to a line some 20km north of Arica.