My 2015 visit to Chile was part of a challenge to visit all of the Americas before turning 40. Since this was during the days before my serious traveling–and before my travel writing–the details will be sparse. I’d arrive on a Monday afternoon and depart just 48 hours later. And I’d miss the capital, instead spending two nights in the seaside city of Iquique.
First off, why Iquique instead of the historical and famous Santiago? Actually my trip to Chile was very last minute; there was originally no real stop at all: just a flight from Asunción to La Paz with just airport connections in Santiago and Iquique. But at the last minute I realized I’d better take advantage of being on this side of the continent and get off the plane–4o was coming at me fast and furiously–I was already in the area, so why not? I trimmed a day off of my Bolivia stop to carve out a little time in Chile.
Iquique, Do You Love Me?
The city was cool. On the coast. Clean. Mid-size. Not huge, noisy and a polluted…but not sleepy either. Laid back. I didn’t have a chance to get into the water. Baquedano Street was pretty and mellow and provided a few decent food choices. There really isn’t a lot to do in Iquique…evident from even Trip Advisor‘s “15 Best Things to Do” list, in which one of the attractions is a buoy floating out in the water…yeah, literally, a buoy…in the water…that’s one of the top 15 things to do here. So yeah, not much. And that’s certainly not a dig on this city; I’m easily entertained. I just wanted to state the facts in case you were searching a slew of activities and adventures.
Ghost Town DJ
Despite the lack of excitement in town, there was something nearby so completely bad-ass, it made the entire trip: the enormous ghost town of Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works. Pretty much my whole stop in Iquique was memorable because of this awesome and super-creepy ghost town! I couldn’t pass up the chance to check it out.
I’ll Be Bach
I liked Iquique; it was definitely a cool stop and a place that a lot of tourists don’t get to. I would’ve loved to find more to eat and checked out some of the parks and beaches, but in true Ramblin’ Randy fashion, there just wasn’t much time. I was so glad I got to experience the ghost town though, that was epic. I’m looking forward to coming back to Chile and seeing Santiago next time.