Where to go in Iquique?
The waterfront promenade is 4 km long, stretching from Playa Bellavista to the neighborhood of Playa Huantajaya, to the south of Playa Brava. It is made up of a wide-open strip, lined with gardens, children’s games, fountains and beaches, including Playa Cavancha.
Puntilla del Marinero
This little point is in the northern sector of the costanera. Here, sited on a rocky promontory where the waves break thunderously, stands a massive bronze statue in honor of the Navy. From here you can see the buoy which marks the site of the sinking of the Esmeralda. There is also an extensive view of the city.
Boya de la Esmeralda
The Esmeralda Buoy is in the northern part of the costanera, close to the Plaza de Armas of Iquique. The buoy marks the site of the remains of the Esmeralda, which was sunk during the Naval Combat of Iquique, on May 21, 1879. There are boats along the shore which will take you out there.
Every year on May 21, important public figures gather to pay homage to the heroes of the Navy.
This is an avenue with palm trees growing down the middle. The houses along the avenue are in the North American Georgian style, and were all built between 1880 and 1920. There are important buildings on the street, such as the Museo Regional and the Palacio Astoreca.
These buildings all have much in common: they are built of oregon pine, they are in an American architectural style, and the construction technique is of a simple framed building. This street was declared a Zona Típica in 1977.
The Regional Museum is in Baquedano 951 (Baquedano between Zegers and Wilson), and dates from 1892. It was built by the nitrates industrialist Astoreca in oregon pine, and at that time was a family residence.
Up until 1987, it served as the Courts of Justice. It now contains important collections of items of indigenous peoples, objects from the Andean Plateau and a room devoted to photographs. There are also some interesting mummies from the Chinchorro culture.
Plaza Arturo Prat
This is the Plaza de Armas of the city and is the main point of reference for visitors. On one side of the square is the Municipal Theater, and in the center is the clock tower. The trees and palm trees in the square have been there for many years.
Torre del Reloj de Iquique
The clock tower decorates the center of the Plaza de Armas Arturo Prat, surrounded by ancient trees and palm trees. It was constructed in 1877 and is symbolic for the local inhabitants. The structure is of oregon pine and the clock for which it is named is at the top.
The Spanish center is on the plaza, and contains important works of art and architecture. It was built during period of the Spanish colony in 1904 colonia cuando termino?. It is constructed in the Moorish style, with an ornamented facade and projecting balconies.
Barrio Histórico de Iquique
In the Historic Quarter you can see the roofed passenger pier, which has been declared a National Monument. From the pier you can take a trip round the bay, offering views of the city of Iquique in all its glory. Next door is the Customs Building (Edificio de la Aduana).
Museo Naval de Iquique
The Naval Museum is only a few blocks from the Plaza de Iquique, next to the Edificio de la Aduana, and was built in 1871. It contains valuable relics of the Combate Naval de Iquique, fought in 1879.
Palacio Astoreca en Iquique
The Astoreca Palace, a mansion built in 1904, is on Calle Baquedano, corner of O’Higgins. Today it contains an exhibition of furniture used in that period. The architecture is inspired by the Georgian style. The principal material used in the construction was oregon pine, imported from Canada. It is now the most important cultural center in the city, under the care of the Universidad Arturo Prat.
Teatro Municipal de Iquique
The Theater was inaugurated as an opera house on January 1, 1890, at the time of the boom in the nitrates industry. It stands on the Plaza de Armas of Iquique, and its majestic interior makes it one of the principal attractions of the city. It was built in neo-classical style.
The main types of presentations given in the theater were opera, zarzuelas (Spanish operetta), plays and cultural activities. The structure is of wood and it was declared a National Monument in 1977.
Sociedad Protectora de Empleados de Tarapacá
The Employees’ Protection Society stands on the Plaza of Armas, beside the Teatro Municipal. Its importance stems from the fact that it was one of the first buildings in the country housing a workers’ organization. The building was constructed between 1911 and 1913.
Edificio de la Aduana
The Customs House is located in the Historic Quarter of Iquique, on the roundabout at the entrance to the port. It was built in 1871, to serve as the customs house and government offices of the Peruvian Government, and was known as the Prefectura Provincial de Tarapacá. The two-story building was constructed in classic colonial style, with clear neo-classical influences. The way into the Museo Naval is through the Customs House.
Since 1920, its use has been restricted to storage in the warehouses. The ground plan is rectangular. It has two stories with an interior patio surrounded by corridors on two levels. It is crowned by an octagonal lookout point of stuccoed wooden frame construction. On the northern and eastern sides there are large warehouses built with beams of oregon pine. In 1971 it was declared a National Monument.
Estation Central de Iquique
The Central Station stands near the Plaza de Armas, together with the Ex Administration del Ferrocarril. It was built in 1883, in the classical Georgian style used in British colonies.
Ex-Administration del Ferrocarril
The old railway administration building is next to the Estación Central, on the Plaza de Armas. It was built in 1883, when the existing train service passed into the hands of J. North. It includes the administration building, platforms, and other structures. You can visit the main block.
Catedral de Iquique
The cathedral is a few blocks from the Estación Central, along Calle Labbé between Bolívar and Esmeralda. The three naves of the interior display its Corinthian style. It was constructed to replace the original church, which was destroyed by a fire in 1883. The church became a cathedral with the creation of the bishopric of Iquique in 1929. It was declared a National Historical Monument, together with its parochial buildings, in 1989.
Casino de Juegos de Iquique
The Casino stands beside the sea, close to the commercial port, in Av. Balmaceda Nº 2755. It is open every day of the year. On weekends dinner- dances with live orchestra are held in some rooms. There is a large gaming room with roulette tables, punto and banca, black jack and one hundred gambling machines.
Capilla del Ex Hospital San Luis
This is a small wooden building, dating from the nitrates era, which is preserved inside the Hospital Ernesto Torres Galdames, in Calle Tarapacá, corner of Héroes de la Concepción.
This is the biggest Freezone in South America. It covers 240 hectares, full of warehouses for the storage of the many varied goods which are sold here.
There is also a mall for the retail purchase of perfumes, electrical appliances, electronic goods, computer equipment, cigarettes, toys etc.
It was opened on June 25, 1975, in order to create a center which would support the economic development of the area, particularly in generating employment and achieving economic integration.