The north-coastal Chilean city of Iquique, known for its long beaches and agreeable climate, offers nearby treasures of the desert and a rich history. In addition to the brilliant Salar de Huasco National Park (described in last August’s newsletter), and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Humberstone and Santa Laura, which recount the region’s long-forgotten nitrate boom, there are many other unforgettable nearby destinations.
Close to Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve, along the Pan-American highway, are the fascinating rock drawings of the Cerros Pintados. Here, visitors can view animals, humans, and geometric shapes that were drawn around 1450-500 BC, and that extend over 3 km of terrain.
Further inland, in the Altiplano, live Aymara people who keep to the old beliefs: the bright red Laguna Roja, for example, is said to belong to the devil, while the green and yellow lagoons are said to bubble when unfriendly people come near.
Those visitors who prefer their colourful lakes to be complimented by geysers should visit Puchuldiza, near Colchane. Located at 4000+ meters above sea level, these geysers send a 6-meter jet of hot water up into the clear blue sky.
The Atacama oasis town of Pica, famous for growing prized lemons for the classic Chilean Pisco Sour drink, lies at the foot of the Cordillera. Visitors can relax in the town’s hot springs and gaze up at nearby snow-topped volcanoes.
If you have questions about the wide range of unique destinations in the north of Chile, or would like to create a programme for your customers, please contact your travelArt sales representative.