Sightseeing in Iquique - a resting place in the north

Francisca Pizarro | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Iquique is a coastal city in the north of Chile; its name is a composed Aymara word that translates to "resting place or place of dreams." As the name suggests, Iquique is a beautiful city with many highlights as it is a mix of coast and plateau. You can visit the city all year round as it has amazing weather- never too hot or too cold. In this story, I will take you through the highlights of Iquique!

Cavancha Beach

Cavancha is the hotspot of Iquique! It is not only a beach but also a place of endless activities. It is the tourist and a gastronomical center of the city. Traditional and exclusive, it is surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and the city casino. Also, the beach is well known for its white sand and for being perfect for water sports such as surf, windsurf, and even scuba diving! For eating, locals recommend going to the "La Peninsula," a place near the end of Cavancha where you can find the best restaurants in town. 

©Wikimedia/Christian Córdova

Emerald Corvette Museum

This museum is a real-scale representation of the Chilean corvette La Esmeralda, which is famous as the protagonist of the Naval Battle of Iquique (commemorated on May 21st). It fought against the "Huascar," a bigger, much powerful battleship from Perú. The commander of La Esmeralda was Arturo Prat Chacón, a figure of Chilean history well-known for his bravery. He was said to be the most significant naval hero of the country, and he died in La Esmeralda as it sank in the battle. Inside the museum, thirteen stations show the history of La Esmeralda and the War of the Pacific.


The Emerald Buoy monument

Another place you do not want to miss is the Emerald Buoy Monument. It is a place in the ocean that marks the exact spot where the Emerald corvette sank. According to local fishers, the rest of the ship is a few meters away from there! The monument is 12 feet tall, weighs four tons, and is painted with the colors of the Chilean flag. You can visit the Buoy by taking a boat with a local.


Clock Tower of Iquique

The clock is a symbol of the city; it was brought by boat in 1879, and it is 25 meters long. Located in the Arturo Prat square, it is a place you must see if you are in town! Inside it, there is a bust of Arturo Prat Chacón, our national hero. Also, on the pedestals, there are medallions made by Nicanor Parra.


Ghost Towns near Iquique

Even though the below-mentioned cities are not in Iquique itself, they are definitely places worth visiting upon your visit Iquique. The biggest exploitation points of saltpeter in Chile were Humberstone and Santa Laura, both located approximately 47 KM away from Iquique. Here you can see the way people lived, as most of the buildings are very well preserved. The place was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site!

©Istock/Alex Lupu

Iquique is a beautiful city in the north of Chile, filled with history and activities. It has perfect weather all year long; if you are in the country, you should definitely consider Iquique as a part of your itinerary! I am sure you will enjoy it!

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