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Iquique : Running from the cold

On July, while the rest of the country is covered in clouds and the lowest temperatures in years, Northern Chile is smiling under the sun. Proud of its tourism infrastructure in a neverending spring, the city remains open and in movement all year.


Iquique is the chosen place for hundreds of tourists in the country who want to escape fro the cold during winter break, an option you can choose as well after finding out all the wonders this city in the north end of Chile has to offer.


Located where Chile begins, Iquique is a city in the Tarapaca region. It combines beautiful warm water beaches and the beginning of the Atacama desert, dried land and the life of the Ocean, with long streets by the coast where you can take walks anytime.


For those who enjoy action sports, Iquique offers several options over and under water. Scuba diving, surfing, swimming, sailing, and kayaking are only a selected few of the activities you can practice here.


Taking advantage of the agreeable temperatures of the area on this part of the Pacific Ocean, it is possible to go into it and scuba dive in the deep waters of a stunning turquoise shade, where a wonderful show of animals and vegetables await you. At the same time, you can go on excursions to see the remains of the Esmeralda, the most important ship of the Chilean Navy in the Pacific War.


Above the water, there are more activities to choose from. There are excursions on boat or sailing boat, you can practice surf and try to ride the amazing waves that the wind creates in the Pacific, or simply enjoy the landscapes created by almost two hundred kilometers of coast.


Another sport that keeps adding fanatics year after year is paragliding. In Iquique, the wind blows hard, allowing this discipline to take you off the ground and fly over desert, salt mines and unique landscapes, enjoying wonderful sceneries.


Besides all adventure sports, Iquique is known by its commerce. Its location, near the frontier with Peru and Bolivia, has permitted the creation of a free trade zone, a paradise for those who love to shop. Here, all kinds of articles are traded, from watches to cars, with an important tax cut that gets the attention of tourists, who travel to this area to see what they can get.


Downtown Iquique is just as fascinating. There is a casino, where you can spend time playing cards and money with lady luck; museums, where you can learn more about the city and its importance to the country’s history, especially its primordial part in the war of 1879; shopping malls, long streets, theaters, luxury hotels, and all the comforts you can expect to spend a nice and relaxed vacation with your family.


Fun times are not over when the sun goes down, and the city features a massive offer of restaurants, pubs and discos to go dancing until the wee hours of the morning.


Other places of interest are found nearby the city. Iquique used to be surrounded by small towns, kept alive by the salpetre mines that were installed near the city, and that today are real ghost towns, abandoned by all its inhabitants after the mines closed. There are excursions to the mines and the towns nearby, where you can see ruins of houses and machines, places that up until last century were still alive and filled with laughter.


Iquique, which used to be part of Peruvian territory, also features vestiges of the Inca Culture. You can see their marks on hills, the desert and in ruins all over the place, where there are still small communities or aborigine people that survive by raising and selling guanacos and llamas.


As you can see, Iquique is awake all year, thanks to a privileged weather and its 160 kilometers of coast, where you can practice all sorts of activities under and above the water. Hundreds of people take the time and go there to spend time under the sun, enjoy the place’s history, its beautiful beaches and its tourism offer. What are you waiting for?


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