View from El Morro, Arica

View from El Morro, Arica

Photo by Heretiq (wikimedia commons)

Motorhoming in Arica

Photo by Heretiq (wikimedia commons)Plaza de Colón (Columbus Square) Photo by Heretiq (wikimedia commons)

Arica is a port city in the very north of Chile, just 18km or 11 miles south of the border with Peru.  This is an area of both the dry Atacama Desert and some areas of tropical oasis, where greenery is lush and fruit and vegetables grow.  Arica is a popular tourist destination for all kinds of travellers including those with a motorhome rental or campervan hire vehicle because it has a very good beach, and it has very good links to Peru and Bolivia.

The city is known as one of  the driest inhabited places on earth, because of its lack of rainfall, so if you don’t like bad weather on you holidays, come here!

Services for Motorhome Rental vehicles

As you can imagine, because this is a beach resort there are plenty of campsites to choose from, especially around Villa Frontera and the beach.  For a list visit  One of the camping sites even has its own website, the Arica resort,  As well as its own website the resort has a large outdoor swimming pool, children’s play area, and recreation facilities.  Both these sites are in Spanish, but a translation tool will add to your amusement!

Top things to see and do

Visit Chungara Lake, one of the highest lakes in South America and located in the beautiful Lauca National Park.  The lake is at the foot of two 8,000 year old volcanoes, Parinacota and Pomerape.  

After all your hiking adventures take a dip in the Termas de Jurasi.  The geothermal waters reach temperatures of 40°C and are reputed to have medicinal properties, but even if they don’t the waters will definitely soothe those aching feet.  Access to the site is a dirt track on the Ruta 11-Ch south of Putre.

Gustave Eiffel, the creator of the Eiffel Tower in Paris designed a very beautiful building in Arica, the Cathedral of San Marcos.  This is probably one of the nicest buildings in the city to visit.

If you’re into views but don’t want to walk too far try the walk to the top of El Morro.  From here you can see out across the harbour, and to the mountains in the east, it may look like a giant sand dune, but it is in fact made of rock.  The route to the top starts at the southern end of Calle Colon and is paved, so no need for boots.  

Lastly as we’re at the beach try some water sports, Arica is especially good for windsurfing and body boarding.  The beaches to the north are better for beginners, but if you’re looking for the big waves go south towards El Morro.

Arica has a very diverse landscape and has something for everyone whether its beach or mountains, it’s the perfect destination on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in Chile.

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