Arica cruises

As well as amazing archaeological treasures like the oldest mummies in the world, Arica attracts international attention with its fine Chilean wines and world-class waves. An important port since Spanish colonial rule in the 1500s, Arica was often targeted for its silver. Money is still a main draw today as the many all night casinos confirm.

With warm, dry, summers and long, cool winters, Arica is known as ‘the city of the eternal spring.’ The city's delicious and imaginative cuisine reflects the abundance of fresh, local ingredients from the exotic fruit-filled valleys and olive groves of Azapa and Lluta.

Less than 11 miles south of Peru, Arica is the northernmost city in Chile. Its miles of sandy beaches, backed by the Andean plateau, are best viewed from the Morro de Arica national monument, over 400 feet above sea level. A top spot on the surf circuit, Arica hosts the annual international body boarding world tour event. The famous “El Gringo” wave is on a par with locations like Hawaii, Tahiti and Fiji.

Around Arica, immerse yourself in the great outdoors with a visit to Lauca National Park. The 8,000 year old lake on the pointed mountain of Chungarà has its own volcanoes, Parinacota and Pomerape. The Thermas de Jurasi underground thermal waters, said to have medicinal properties, are a popular healthy highlight.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • A Taste of Arica

    Visit the Azapa valley and discover an olive farm and its market. Browse a Handicraft Village and enjoy a Folkloric presentation.

    A Taste of Arica

    Arica lies at the mouth of the Azapa Valley, a green oasis in the middle of the Atacama Desert that produces all kinds of tropical fruits and vegetables, among which its olives are famous for their size and flavour.

    Leaving the pier, you’ll head towards this valley where the olive is one of the major components of the agriculture. The first old olive trees were brought by the first Spanish conquistadors and gave rise to one of the best known varieties known as the ‘Azapa brand’. Upon arrival at the olive farm, you will learn about its irrigation system and the olive selection. Before you leave, you will have the chance to actually taste different types of olives.

    Proceed to the local Fruit & Vegetable Market located in town. Walk through the stands and learn about the local production from the Azapa and Lluta Valleys.

    Afterwards, visit the famous handicraft village. Browse around the workshops which offer a variety of products such as ceramics and pottery and carved stones. Enjoy a Mango Sour (a delicious drink made with chunks of mango local fruit, available year round) while local dancers perform traditional dances.

    A final stop will be made at the main square for independent sightseeing before returning to the ship.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour. Order of the sites may vary to avoid overcrowding at the different stops. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses and local currency.

    Tour code

    ARI_007

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4¼ hours

  • Man and the Desert

    Learn about the voyage of ancestral man in the driest desert in the world.

    Man and the Desert

    Embark on a short drive to the northernmost city in Chile, Arica. Your first stop is at Colon Square and San Marcos Cathedral. Erected in 1876 in a gothic style, the church replaced the old one which was swept away by a tidal wave in 1869.

    A collection of mummies preserved in sand dating back to 5,000 BC is on display at the Archaeological Museum. This makes them the oldest mummies in the world, and unique, as the method of preparation was artificial.

    Some of the most amazing and enigmatic works of the Andean peoples are the Geoglyphs. Made by placing stones or scratching the saline surface of the desert hill, these markings reproduce human and animal forms.

    In Pampa Chaca, one of the best sculptors in Chile (Juán Diaz Fleming) has created the impressive giant sculptures called the Tutelar Figures, composed of two groups: The Ancestors and The Origin of the Ancestry. They are homage to the Andean people who crossed the Andes and the desert. According to the Andean tradition, these people have a divine origin, descending from the Sun and the Moon. These huge sculptures tell of their beliefs.

    Fruit juice, local fruits, soft drinks and mineral water will be a welcome refreshment whilst visiting the desert.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The terrain is rough and uneven in parts with some steps to negotiate. Comfortable shoes, sun protection and a hat are essential. The desert is a protected area, so no litter should be dropped or left and smoking is not recommended. Transport in Arica is by non air-conditioned coaches. Videography and flash photography is not permitted in the Museum and there is a fee for video cameras.

    Tour code

    ARI_005

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Arica City

    Explore Arica, a green oasis in the middle of the Atacama Desert, with a rich commercial and cultural heritage.

    Arica City

    The ‘Morro de Arica’ is a 361-foot-high cliff, which juts into the ocean and protects the city from the southern winds. At the top you’ll find a lovely panoramic view of the city and the green Azapa Valley. There is also a small arms museum, which recalls the battle for Arica during the war in the Pacific, when Chilean troops took the city from the Peruvians.

    A collection of mummies preserved in sand dating back to 5,000 BC will be seen in the Archaeological Museum. This makes them the oldest mummies in the world, and unique, as the method of preparation was artificial. The Museum was the cover story of ‘National Geographic’ in 1997.

    Made by placing stones or scratching the saline surface of the desert hill, Geoglyph markings reproduce human and animal forms and pastoral scenes. You’ll be able to photograph these amazing Geoglyphs, part of the legacy of the Indians who inhabited this area.

    Enjoy some free time at the Handicraft Village where there are several shops selling handicrafts from all over Chile. Bargains include wool, copper, ceramics and wood articles.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. No flash photography is permitted inside the Museum and there is a charge for video cameras. We recommended zoom lenses for photography of the Geoglyphs. Transportation in Arica is by non air-conditioned coaches. The order of highlights may be reversed to avoid congestion.

    Tour code

    ARI_001

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Atacama Coastal Trek

    Enjoy the nature and ocean breeze on a trekking tour along the sandy coast in Arica.

    Atacama Coastal Trek

    Departing the pier, you’ll head South on a leisurely drive passing by El Laucho and La Lisera famous beach resorts to reach the starting point of your trek, Anzota Caves. From here you’ll trek over sandy hills and mountains and trek through caves and caverns until you reach Puntilla. It is here that sea lions may be seen, as well as many birds.

    After taking some time to take photos, rest and breathe in the sea air, you’ll trek back to the buses on the same trail.

    Continue to the El Morro de Arica monument, for a photo opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of the city, ocean and port. The Morro de Arica was an important place that the Chilean military used to its advantage during the Pacific War.

    Afterwards, you’ll return to the pier.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Guests with fear of vertigo should not participate on this tour due to the heights of cliffs seen during the tour. The walk is in a very narrow in places, without handrails, single line and the path along the coast is with the cliff one side and a drop on the sea side. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. This tour involves an extensive amount of walking for approximately 1 mile (about 1.6 kilometres), at times over uneven, sandy and rocky terrain, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. Please wear comfortable appropriate clothing with non-slip closed toe shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat, bottled water and sunglasses.

    Tour code

    ARI_008

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Arica Private Tour by Car – Half Day

    Explore at your own pace with a private vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide at your service.

    Arica Private Tour by Car – Half Day

    This exclusive private tour is designed to give you the freedom to customise your time ashore so you can discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle.

    With your private vehicle, and the personal attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you’ll have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests, and take in the sights at your own pace. See the famous sights, or go beyond to create your own special and memorable day ashore.


    This excursion will operate by private car. Private cars are ordered per vehicle (not per person) and will accommodate up to two guests. Only one person in the party needs to book the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide. Entrance fees for attractions, meals, refreshments and gratuities are not included. In many destinations, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited, so guests are encouraged to secure their private vehicle reservation as early as possible. Tour price includes sightseeing within the city limits, touring outside the city is available at an additional cost.

    Tour code

    ARI_700

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    4 hours

  • The Highland Ancestors

    Travel back in time and learn about the Pre-Incan settlements of Pukara de Copaquilla, Putre and the Aymara people who inhabited the area.

    The Highland Ancestors

    Leaving the pier, you’ll drive towards the Lluta Valley, with a stop on route to observe the interesting geoglyphs on the hills created centuries ago by the indigenous inhabitants of the area. Lluta Valley, a miracle of contrast with its patchwork of irrigated maize fields flanked by pale, sandy desert hills. There are several panels of geoglyphs, particularly around the area of Cerro Sombrero.

    Stop briefly at the Copaquilla Pukara, a pre-Inca defensive settlement and archaeological remain of an old fortress used to protect the surroundings.

    Afterwards, you’ll visit to Putre, the Capital of the Parinacota Region. At 3,500 metres above sea level, Putre is the capital of the Parinacota province. Although it dates back to pre-Hispanic times, much of its charm comes from its intriguing traditional colonial style houses featuring carved stone portals and window frames from the 17th century. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about its history on a guided walk through its rustic streets. You’ll have free time to walk around town to observe the adobe houses.

    Next, you’ll go to a local restaurant for a typical lunch and you’ll visit its main Plaza, before returning to the pier.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Children under 8, guests with high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, pregnant women, or those who may suffer from altitude sickness, may not participate. This tour reaches an altitude of 3500 metres above sea level. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour.

    Tour code

    ARI_009

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    8¾ hours

  • Arica Private Tour by Car – Full Day

    Explore at your own pace with a private vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide at your service.

    Arica Private Tour by Car – Full Day

    This exclusive private tour is designed to give you the freedom to customise your time ashore so you can discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle.

    With your private vehicle, and the personal attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you’ll have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests, and take in the sights at your own pace. See the famous sights, or go beyond to create your own special and memorable day ashore.


    This excursion will operate by private car. Private cars are ordered per vehicle (not per person) and will accommodate up to two guests. Only one person in the party needs to book the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide. Entrance fees for attractions, meals, refreshments and gratuities are not included. In many destinations, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited, so guests are encouraged to secure their private vehicle reservation as early as possible. Tour price includes sightseeing within the city limits, touring outside the city is available at an additional cost.

    Tour code

    ARI_701

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    8 hours

  • Off the Beaten Track to Codpa Village

    Discover the lush countryside, set against the backdrop of the driest desert in the world.

    Off the Beaten Track to Codpa Village

    Embark on a scenic drive south through the Atacama Desert. Have your camera to hand, as several photo stops will be made along the way. Enjoy a brief visit to the Presencias Tutelares sculptures, giant art pieces by Chilean sculptor, Juan Díaz Fleming. Next, you’ll stop at a viewpoint to admire the desert with the Cordillera de Los Andes in the background.

    Your destination is Codpa Village, which, during the pre-Hispanic period, was the residence of the cacique of Altos de Arica who governed the tribes of Socoroma, Putre, Livilcar and Tignamar, among other communities. Codpa is located on the headwaters of the River Vitor, which ensures a supply of extremely pure water. The land is very fertile, producing different kinds of fruits and the grapes from which the traditional Pintatani wine is produced. Upon arrival to the Village, you’ll be welcomed with a glass of the typical Pintatani wine. Your guide will then host you on a walking tour to discover the local architecture and church.

    The shaman (medicine man) will be on hand to ‘read the future’ with a coca leaf, as musicians perform local music and dances. Following lunch served at a local restaurant, you’ll have some free time to shop for souvenirs.


    AWAITING INFORMATION

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Codpa Village is located 6,000 feet above sea level. The tour is not recommended to passengers suffering with any heart or respiratory problems. There is approximately 1½ hours of walking throughout the day over some uneven terrain.

    Tour code

    ARI_006

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    6½ hours