Blogs from Arica & Parinacota, Chile, South America


South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota » Arica May 8th 2015

From Lauca National Park in Chile’s northern extreme, we descended over four and a half thousand metres to the city of Arica at sea level. Pop went the ears and bang went the lungs! We went from the cold and icy, windswept and barren Andean Altiplano to the hot, expansive and treeless sand of the super-dry Atacama Desert in a couple of hours. We sported our super-hero capes as our oxygen levels increased and our extra red blood cells (that we had spent the last four weeks making at the high altitudes) cried: ‘hurray!’. Renting bikes in Arica and peddling up the hills was no large task for the two super-hero gringos! A little further down the Chilean coast, we stopped in the city of Iquique, also in the desert. There was a peaceful protest in ... read more
The Palm-lined Streets
Dead Seal

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota » Arica February 9th 2015

Today I took my flight from Santiago to La Paz. I’d left my packing to the last minute which made the morning more stressful than it needed to be, but I’d packed my food for the airport the night before, got the metro at rush hour with all my backpacks, got a bus from the centre to the airport, checked my luggage in and got through security with plenty of breaks for coffee and plenty of time to relax. Security was relaxed. The only items that were prohibited on the plane were explosives, sharp objects and fizzy drinks. I suppose the liquid laws haven’t reached Chile yet, and perhaps terrorism from Islamic groups is non-existent here. The first flight which took about 2 hours dropped us off in the middle of the desert in Iquique, still ... read more

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota » Arica January 28th 2015

Terminamos nuestros tres días de paseo en la playa de Arica, Chile... Fue un cambio increíble después del frío y la altura del altiplano. El cuerpo y la mente se alegran en el calor y el nivel del mar. El viaje en bus que nos trajo hasta Arica fue increíble: 8 horas de viaje por el desértico altiplano que comunica a Bolivia con Chile, paisajes deshabitadados de humanos, solo algunas pocas sencillas casitas y manadas de coloridas llamas, hasta llegar al punto limite de Bolivia y Chile, el hermoso lago chungara, rodeado por grandes picos nevados que se imponen sobre el árido y plano paisaje, y además, la cantidad de aves y animales que trae el agua, entre ellos cientos de flamingos rosados!.... Todos habitan en este inhóspito lugar. Fascinante todo, hasta que llegamos a la ... read more
Muelle de pescadores
La playa
Momia de 8000 años de edad

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota » Arica January 23rd 2015

23.01.15 nach Green Bakers Lodge Der Tag war wunderschön, warm, prima Wetter. Zuerst die unglaublichen Serpentinen, die von oben gesehen so toll ausschauen. Den Rest des Tages entlang des Sees “General Carrera” und nur am Schluss noch über einige Berge zu dem Fluss an dem unsere Lodge lag. Leider war die Straße sehr befahren und jedes Auto, das uns entgegen kam, hüllte die Straße in eine Staubwolke - die war manchmal so dicht, dass man erst mal gar nichts sah!!! Ich blieb manchmal einfach stehen und ein gemeiner Bus war so weit in der Mitte, dass ich in den Graben fahren musste. Werner, das Gruppenekel, war nicht so feige, er fuhr trotz Gegenverkehr munter weiter und es schmiss ihn. Was dann folgte, war ein Höhepunkt der Schauspielkunst. Die ganzen nächsten Tage humpelte er elendiglich daher, musste ... read more

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota » Arica January 4th 2015

On Friday we left La Paz in pouring rain to make the short one hour flight to Arica in Northern Chile. In just sixty minutes we came forward about sixty years, from the traditional culture of the Andes, unchanged in centuries, into the twenty first century. It was a pity about the rain because flying over the Andes would have been most scenic. However, once we were over the northern Chilean desert, the clouds cleared to reveal a land of sand. After ten minutes more, our Airbus soured over high dramatic sandstone sea cliffs, dropping vertically to the Pacific Ocean. The pilot headed out to sea a short way then made a sharp turn to approach the shore and the airstrip, sitting parallel to the sea, beneath massive high sand dunes. Any readers who saw the ... read more
El Morro de Arica
Pelicans in the fish market
Vultures on the rocks

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota October 9th 2014

The border crossing between Peru and Chile was probably one of our more timely and complex. It involved getting a bus from Arequipa to Tacna, then finding a minibus (which we failed to do and ended up sharing a taxi with some other travellers), to take you across the border, the friendly taxi driver then sorts out all your paperwork. At the border crossing we obviously looked a bit suspicious as we were both hauled into a couple of side rooms to have our bags searched and be patted down. Nothing to find here but they seemed curious as to why I was returning to Peru nearly 5 years to the day after leaving. A short explanation in broken Spanish and, luckily, we were off again. Our taxi driver dropped us safely in Arica, where we ... read more
Our waitrose goods
Sea lion jumping back into the water
Arica harbour

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota » Arica March 8th 2014

3 March 2014 – Monday – Arequipa, Peru to Arica, Chile Notes: Mostly desert. Oasis with grape vines. Joan busted for carrying a banana. Through Yura, the cement capital of Peru, desolate and ugly mining area. We rode another bus for 7 houses along the Pan American Highway from Arequipa to the border town of Tacna in Peru, where we caught a collectivo that took us to the border crossing between Peru and Chile. The driver assisted us and the other three passengers with the process of checking out of Peru and checking in to Chile. (Joan got busted with a Peruvian banana but was allowed through with only a warning!) Then he drove us into the town of Arica and dropped us off at the bus station. Our hostel was across the street from the ... read more
Arica 006
Arica 010
Arica 011

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota November 2nd 2013

Heute begann der Tag mit vier Krankmeldungen, alle Durchfall: James/Canada fuhr im Van of Shame, SOB (Sir Old Bastard) fuhr selber, nachdem er zwei von meinen Wundertabletten genommen hatte und dann zum Fruehstueck zwei Glaeser Orangensaft getrunken und zwei Scheiben frisch gebackenes Brot gegessen hatte. Darran nahm seine eigenen Pillen, aber eigentlich sind es die gleichen, wie meine (Xifaxan), David nahm zuerst ........ und dann Darran's - es besteht also Aussicht auf baldige Genesung der Kraenkelnden. Chaotische Ausfahrt aus Arequipa, sehr frueh am Morgen schon, dann 480 km durch die Wueste, was mir immer sehr gut gefaellt. Lustig waren zwei peruanische Militaereinrichtungen, die zur Strasse (PanAm) hin mit einer langen und hohen Mauer abgeschirmt waren - aber eben nur an der einen Seite. Problemlos konnte man von hinten oder den Seiten in das Gelaende eindringen. Will ... read more

- Drive from San Pedro de Atacama to Iquique - 490 km A long drive with straights as long as the horizon and never ending dirt roads due to road constructions, that was the ride in a nutshell to Iquique. The town itself proofed to be nothing exciting and we were happy to move on further north. On our way to Arica we stopped at Humberstone and Santa Laura, where the wealth of the nitrate boom is still whispering through the deserted ghost towns. We wondered for half a day thru a bygone time and enjoyed the desert heat. Another short stop at “El Gigante” – a geoglyph which dates back to around AD 900 took both our fascination. - Drive from Iquique to Arica - 310 km The roads in the north of Chile are ... read more
Parque Nacional Lauca
Pisco Sour

South America » Chile » Arica & Parinacota » Arica April 17th 2013

17th April ’13 San Pedro de Atacama to Iquique, Chile It was in some ways quite sad to be leaving the cute hostel and the little town, which we are now quite fond of but oxygen beckons so we caught the Tur bus to Calama and so left town. We drove through the desert passing lots of salt mines and spent the journey chatting with a lovely, broad cockney lass who now lives in Australia, who was sitting in front of us. We had an hour and a half to kill in Calama before our next bus so we wandered out of the bus station and found a little place to eat, this time watching the Spanish version of Judge Judy while waiting for our grub. The bus to Iquique arrived and left bang on time ... read more
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