Our first impressions of Arica, Chile
Crossing from La Paz, Bolivia to Arica, Chile was a nightmare in terms of Immigration. It took us over 5.5 hours to get processed and by the time we finally arrived in Arica we were beyond exhausted. For this very reason, we were thrilled that we budget a full day of rest in the city. This allowed us to sleep-in and wander the city casually without any real aim or goal in mind aside from booking onward travels to San Pedro de Atacama. Come join us as we discover vintage markets (flea markets), farmer’s markets and eat the best Peruvian food we’ve ever had outside of Peru.
Travel Video: Our first impressions of Arica, Chile
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Well good morning. As you can probably tell from the sunglasses and t-shirt we have left Bolivia and we are back to much warmer weather. Yesterday, we crossed over to Chile and we are visiting Arica. Which is actually a border city which sits between Chile and Peru right at the very top. So yeah, we’re right by the beach, warmer weather and yeah today we’re going to go out and explore.
So we should probably tell the story of how we got to Arica. Ha, yeah. It was a pretty good one involved in that. First off, we’ll say that that bus ride was one of the most scenic we’ve ever been on. Absolutely incredible coming from La Paz to Arica in terms of going from a high altitude destination all the way down to sea level. Yes, it was supposed to take about 7 or 8 hours. Yeah. And it took over 15. Almost six hours at immigration. It was probably honestly the biggest gong show of an immigration I’ve ever seen. They had one immigration officer processing all of the people on the bus, so they were literally hundreds of people in line. And yet they had other immigration officers like sometimes two or three just checking out one car. Like it just totally didn’t make sense. And there had just been a strike in Bolivia a few days ago so they had just opened the border and there were hundreds of people who wanted to get across because they had been waiting for days. Yeah, but anyways part of the adventure so we arrived last night exhausted but now we’ve had a good night’s sleep and we’re excited to explore Arica. Yes, the city looks great.
So one of the coolest things about arriving in a city and having no plans is that you just encounter all of these random things. And there appears to be a market setting up right now. Yeah, it is still a bit early. About eight in the morning or so. So it is just getting started but I think it is going to get busy later on today.
So this looks to be like a vintage market where they’re selling used clothing. Although I did see some booths that were selling plants and teddy bears so I guess you can find a little bit of everything here.
And it looks like we’ve come across yet another market. This one is more like a farmer’s market so they are selling fresh produce. Let’s go through.
We are at the bus terminal buying tickets for our next destination. Want to tell us where we’re going? Yes. San Pedro de Atacama. And what is funny is we went to a bus company called Atacama and they do not go to Atacama. We had to find another one. Which bus did we go with? Ah, I think Tour. Tour something. Tour something? I forget but we have tickets. We’ve got our tickets. We’re going. That is the main thing. Night bus. Yes.
Cocina Peruana. So as you can probably tell from the sign we are having Peruvian food in Chile. But don’t worry. We are planning to eat Chilean food while we’re here. It is just you know Peru is so close and we love Ceviche and we’ve found this restaurant so we had to go in. And Aji de Gallina. Yes, let’s go in.
So tell me about that fantastic meal. That seriously was fantastic. I don’t give a lot of restaurants an A plus but I do for this one. Authentic Peruvian food done at a high level.
And that is a wrap for Arica. We didn’t make it to the beach. No, or any museums. Or any major landmarks as a matter of fact. But I mean that what our stop here was all about. Just resting, buying tickets to San Pedro. Yeah, and we got to see flea markets and some other things. We had good food and that is all we really wanted to experience. Now we’re on to a new destination. Yeah, so great impressions from the city. We would definitely recommend it as pit stop. And yeah, Arica was fun.