El Morro de Arica


This imposing coffee-colored shoulder of rock looms 110m over the city. It makes a great place to get your bearings, with vulture-eye views of the city, port and Pacific Ocean. This lofty headland was the site of a crucial battle in 1880, a year into the War of the Pacific, when the Chilean army assaulted and took El Morro from Peruvian forces in less than an hour.

The hilltop is accessible by car or taxi (CH$4000 round-trip with a 30-minute wait), or by a steep footpath from the south end of Calle Colón. The story of El Morro is told step by step in the flag-waving Museo Histórico y de Armas, which has information in Spanish and English.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Arica attractions

1. Museo Histórico y de Armas

0.08 MILES

Atop Morro de Arica, this museum recounts a key battle that took place on this hillside in 1880 during the War of the Pacific. There'a a collection of…

2. Museo de Sitio Colón 10


See the 32 excavated Chinchorro mummies in situ at this tiny museum below El Morro. They were discovered when an architect bought this former private home…

3. Catedral de San Marcos

0.29 MILES

This Gothic-style church has a threefold claim to fame. First, it was designed by celebrated Parisian engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, before his…

4. Ex-Aduana de Arica

0.35 MILES

Eiffel designed this former customs house. Prefabricated in Paris, it was assembled on-site in 1874, with walls made of blocks and bricks stacked between…

5. Ferrocarril Arica-Poconchile


One part of the old rail line that linked Arica with La Paz, Bolivia, has been restored, allowing you to ride a tourist train that runs once a week…

6. Cuevas de Anzota

4.85 MILES

About 10km south of the center, the serene beaches give way to an area of jagged cliffs, rocky shorelines and caves that were used by the Chinchorro…

7. Lluta Geoglyphs


A short distance inland from the intersection of the Panamericana and Chile 11, you'll see the pre-Columbian Lluta geoglyphs, also known as the Gigantes…