Iquique City Highlights
Duration: 3 hours
Tour Code: iqu-001
Drive into the heart of historical Iquique for a revealing walking tour of its architectural treasures, many of them constructed in the late 19th century by ultra-wealthy nitrate barons.
Depart from the pier and begin a delightful drive through Iquique, a city that first flourished in the 1830s, when the natural fertilizer nitrate was heavily mined here. Although an earthquake devastated Iquique later in the century, the city soon rebuilt and many of those grand buildings remain today.
Upon arriving in Plaza Arturo Prat, you will notice the ornate clock tower from 1878 and the lovely Municipal Theatre that opened a few years later. Built almost entirely of Douglas fir imported from the United States, the theater exudes opulence, as you will see while touring the interior where the great French actress Sarah Bernhardt once performed.
Next, you will walk to the Regional Museum which lies a short distance away. A visit here allows you to delve into the cultural history of northern Chile. The exhibits include objects from the indigenous people of the Andean plateau, mummies from the Chinchorro culture and historical photographs of the early nitrate industry.
A stroll past the Georgian-style buildings lining Baquedano Avenue brings you to Astoreca Palace. Built in the early 1900s as the residence of a nitrate baron, the mostly wooden palace is now a museum filled with period furnishings.
Your walking tour continues past Cavancha beach and finally ends at the Moorish-style Centro Español where you will enjoy a traditional Chilean drink before rejoining your coach and transferring back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 3/4 hours of moderate walking/standing that includes some uneven surfaces and steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.