Today we are going to see the most iconic manmade wonders in and around Arica, many of them pre-Inca, including the world’s oldest mummies and giant geoglyphs in the barren Atacama Desert, which is the driest in the world.
The first stop on tour was just outside the city limits, where we visited the San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum. Exhibits reveal the intricacies of several ancient cultures and include mummies that predate the ones in Egypt by more than 3,000 years. Other displays showed how the semi-nomadic Chinchorro people lived along the coast and in the desert. Still, the geoglyphs are the most impressive sights in the remote desert. The giant, unique and geometric works of art were created by Indians scratching the salty surface of the brightly colored rocks and even using primitive paints.
Next, we drove south on the Pan-American road to the middle of the desert and Pampa Chaca, where Diaz Fleming, one of the greatest sculptors in Chile, has created the impressive Tutelar Figures as an homage to the Andean people. Rising out of the desert sands, they depict sacred symbols of the indigenous Aymara people. We also were treated to a show with native dancing.
Our last stop on today’s tour is Colon Square, one of Arica’s most popular spots. Its architectural highlight is the pink-and-white Church of San Marcos. The famed French architect and structural engineer Gustave Eiffel designed the church, which aside from the wooden doors, is constructed entirely of metal. Now more than 125 years after its construction, it has been deemed a Chilean national monument.
Today we drove around Coquimbo heading towards La Serena, and we passed by the main square called Plaza de Armas.
We stopped by the old lighthouse in La Serena which looks like a castle with a tall tower. We also stopped and saw a Catholic Church of St. Augustine which was great because they were in the middle of mass, so we got a chance to record it in Spanish. Today’s tour was short because there isn’t much to see or do in Coquimbo.
Today we drove to the central part of the city so we can start the walking tour of this city full of colorful graffiti art everywhere. The city consists of two completely different sections: the lower part adjacent to the port area is known as El Plan, and the hillside section is known as Los Cerros or El Plan Alto. We rode on one of Valparaíso‘s most picturesque funiculars to continue our walking tour to the bar/restaurant for a short stop for refreshments at the quaint yet beautiful square located on Alegre Hill.
Today in Puerto Chacabuco, Chile we wanted to take it easy since yesterday we had a big party on the ship so we decided to take a walk by the pier and there were tents set up with handmade items by the locals.