Arica, Chile

Arica, Chile


Arica is a municipality and a coastal port city, serving as the northernmost city in Chile, and simultaneously holding the status of the capital for both the Arica Province and the Arica and Parinacota Region.

Arica is situated at the geographical curve of South America’s western coastline, commonly referred to as the Arica Bend or Arica Elbow.

Arica was established in 1541 as the Villa de San Marcos de Arica on the grounds of an ancient pre-Columbian settlement, this region remained part of Peru until 1879, when Chilean forces seized it. Chile assumed authority over the area through the Treaty of Ancón in 1883. However, the issue of Chile’s legal ownership wasn’t ultimately settled until the year 1929.

Brief History of Arica

Arica’s story begins in 1541 when it was founded as the “Villa de San Marcos de Arica” on the same grounds where a pre-Columbian settlement once thrived. This marked the beginning of a legacy that would span centuries and shape the city’s character.

Throughout the colonial era, Arica assumed a pivotal role as a prominent port city, facilitating trade and communication between the interior of South America and the Pacific. This history is echoed in the architecture and ambience of the city, which still resonates with the echoes of times long past.

Arica’s historical narrative takes an intriguing twist as it transitions between nations. Until 1879, the city belonged to Peru, a legacy visible in the local culture and architecture. However, that year marked a pivotal moment in Arica’s history as it was captured by Chilean forces during the War of the Pacific. The conflict’s conclusion brought Arica under Chilean control through the Treaty of Ancón in 1883.

The question of Arica’s legal status within Chile was not ultimately resolved until 1929. The significance of this momentous decision can’t be overstated, as it cemented Arica’s place as an integral part of the country, firmly connecting its destiny with that of Chile.

Arica Beaches

One of Arica’s most celebrated features is its stunning coastline, boasting pristine beaches that beckon travellers to its shores. The city enjoys a mild, arid climate throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for beach enthusiasts. Two notable beaches, “El Laucho” and “La Lisera,” are popular among locals and tourists alike.

“El Laucho,” with its golden sands and clear waters, offers a perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming. Surrounded by restaurants, it provides an excellent opportunity to savour the local cuisine while taking in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

For those with a taste for adventure, “La Lisera” is a surfers’ haven. The consistent waves and warm waters make it an attractive destination for surf enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner, the beaches of Arica cater to all skill levels.

Arica, Chile
Arica, Chile