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Excursions

(IQQ201) HALF DAY CITY TOUR OF IQUIQUE 
Duration: 3 ½ hours approx.
Available: All year. 
Operates: Daily 
Notes: Museums closed on Mondays and National Holidays. 
Description: The heyday of the saltpetre mining in Atacama Desert in the 19th century seems to come alive when walking the streets of Iquique. The architecture of the capital city of the Tarapaca Region still reflects the wealth of one of the country’s most important ports of the time. Our half-day tour will include visits to historic and architectural sites, including the gorgeous Casino Español (Spanish Casino) one of the most important Moorish-style buildings in the country and Plaza Prat square, with the Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower) built in 1877 that included a clock mechanism imported from England. We later visit the Teatro Municipal (Municipal Theatre) an 1889 Oregon-pine wood construction. Our walk will then take us to the Regional Museum, the Astoreca Palace and along Calle Baquedano (Baquedano Street) to admire the mainly Georgian and Victorian architectural styles and beautiful residences adapted to the coastal desert climate. Iquique’s Fishing Cove is a good place to grasp the city’s historical value, as one of the most symbolic battles of the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) raged in front of its shores.      

(IQQ202) HALF DAY EXCURSION TO THE ABANDONED SALTPETRE MINES (HUMBERSTONE & STA. LAURA) 
Duration: 6 hours approx.
Available: All year.
Operates: Daily 
Notes: Saltpetre closed on January 01st.
Description: A visit to the former saltpetre works of Santa Laura and Humberstone connects us with a fundamental cornerstone of Chile’s socioeconomic history, as it is here where sodium nitrate was extracted to be later used as a fertilizer in food farms in Europe and Asia.  Some 45 kilometres (27 miles) from Iquique we’ll visit these national monuments declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2005, reflecting a time of splendour and contrasts in this area from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century, when nitrate extraction was the region’s most important economic activity. The site of Santa Laura conserves the remains of industrial installations used for saltpetre processing, including extraction, grinding and lixiviation equipment. Nearby, two kilometres away, the Humberstone settlement, built from 1930 to 1934, shows historic features of the mining and social activities of its 3,500 inhabitants, living in very unequal conditions because of social and economic differences. Some of its outstanding buildings include the church, the “pulperia” (a typical food pantry or warehouse that was also used as a social meeting place for the worker class), swimming pool, theatre and the homes of workers, employees and managers.  

(IQQ203) HALF DAY EXCURSION TO PINTADOS
Duration: 4 Hours approx.
Available: All year
Operates: Daily.
Description: Early morning departure to get on to the Pan-American Highway and head south. We will go by the haunting Geoglyphs of Pintados, the Aymara indigenous people’s rock art dating back to more than 1,000 years, preserved thanks to the almost inexistent rainfall in the region. Some 350 figures can be admired along 50,000 sq. meters of hill slopes, which were made by scraping the dark desert varnish away exposing the lighter subsoil. These pre-Hispanic art figures are only 100 meters away from the main road, as the purpose was for them to be seen by the merchant caravans going through the area from the mountainous regions to the sea. They represent animals, birds, humans and abstract forms.   
(IQQ204) FULL DAY EXCURSION TO PINTADOS AND THE ABANDONED SALTPETRE MINES (HUMBERSTONE & STA. LAURA) WITH LUNCH
Duration: 8 hours approx.
Available: All year.
Operates: Daily 
Notes: Saltpetre closed on January 01st. Includes lunch
Description: Today we have a twofold adventure that will take us back to two historic events in northern Chile’s past: The remains of the saltpetre industry boom and the surprising art expressions left by pre-Hispanic communities.  Our first stop is to visit the former saltpetre works of Santa Laura and Humberstone, built in the 19th century when the extraction of nitrate was the most important economic activity in the region. In 2005, they were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as their abandoned buildings evoke the moments of glory and downfall of a society living during the First World War (we should recall that it was the period when Germany began to produce synthetic nitrate allowing it to continue at war and, at the same time, doomed the Chilean economy). We continue our expedition going through the forests of Tamarugo in the south to reach the Pintados Geoglyphs, the largest concentration of rock art in Chile with over 350 figures depicting animals, human beings and geometric designs. What about lunch? We’ll enjoy a typical meal at a local restaurant in Pozo Almonte.

(IQQ205) FULL DAY EXCURSION TO THE PICA OASIS AND PINTADOS WITH LUNCH
Duration: 8 hours approx. 
Available: All year  
Operates: Daily 
Notes: Saltpetre closed on January 01st. Includes lunch
Description: History, priceless archaeological footprints, outdoor activities in an amazing setting and interaction with one of the most representative peoples of Chile’s far north: all to be enjoyed during a day tour that starts out in the morning from Iquique. The first stop is at the saltpetre works of Humberstone and Santa Laura. These former offices were built in the 19th century and symbolized a period of national wealth when Chile became the world’s main exporter of nitrate. After a walk to get a feeling of the way of life in these settlements, we head south to the Pampa del Tamarugal (a wood of native tamarugo trees) and reach the Pintados Geoglyphs concentrating the largest display of rock art in Chile. The figures on the hillsides are spread over 50,000 sq. meters and include some 350 drawings. We can now look forward to a relaxing pause in perfect surroundings when we reach the Oasis of Pica, a true refuge in the middle of the desert. Its welcoming atmosphere with charming homes and good restaurants promises a good setting to enjoy our lunch. A visit to Cocha Resbaladero can also be planned, to bathe in the pools of thermal waters naturally carved into the volcanic rock. We end our tour going through the village of La Tirana, where every year in July one of the most important and popular folklore-religious festivals in the country is celebrated. 

(IQQ301) FULL DAY EXCURSION TO PINTADOS AND UNITAS WITH LUNCH 
Duration: 8 hours approx. 
Available: All year. 
Operates: Daily. 
Notes: Includes lunch
Description: Are you aware that the largest hillside drawing of an anthropomorphic figure is found in Chile? Our tour will give you a chance to admire this archaeological wonder, after departing from Iquique in the morning and crossing the Tamarugo forests (native tree species that grow in absolute desert conditions). We arrive to the site of the Pintados Geoglyphs, where the largest concentration of rock art consisting in large drawings scratched into the hillsides or formed by rocks can be observed. The designs include anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and geometric figures. Returning on our tracks to head north, we’ll go by the Geoglyphs of Cerro Unita, where the so-called Giant of Atacama -an 86 meter high (282 ft.) mysterious male figure wearing a feather headdress and feline-looking mask- can be admired. Some experts affirm that it may symbolize a shaman or yatiri (Aymara community healer) although it may also represent an Andean deity by the name of Tunupa-Tarapace. Lunch at the picturesque village of Huara. 

(IQQ302) FULL DAY EXCURSION TO THE PICA OASIS WITH LUNCH
Duration: 10 hours approx. 
Available: All year  
Operates: Daily 
Notes: (Optional) Take along bathing suit and towel.  Includes lunch.  (Optional) Fat-biking (maximum 4 people)
Description: Ideal tour for visitors interested in learning about the origins and present features of the unique northern region and who also look forward to relaxing moments and fun in the midst of awesome natural surroundings. The expedition starts out by visiting the ruins of the former saltpetre works of Santa Laura and Humberstone, the epicentre of the nitrate industry boom and downfall in Chile in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its administrative offices, production centres, homes and the classical “pulperia” (food pantry or warehouse where household articles were sold) reflect the pulse of a vital era in Chile’s history. The trip continues on to the Oasis of Pica, a true refuge in the middle of the driest desert in the world, where Pica lemons are grown and used to prepare the Pisco Sour, a typical drink that some say originated in Peru and others in Chile (subject matter of a never-ending debate). The possibility of bathing in the warm waters of the Cocha Resbaladero thermal springs is a relaxing option, enjoying the experience of soaking in these pools that are naturally carved into the volcanic rocks. Our tour ends with a walk through the village of La Tirana, where every July one of the most significant and popular folkloric-religious festivals in the country is celebrated. The dances, colours and costumes used at the festival combine Catholic rituals with typical native traditions, attracting more than 200,000 people during a week of celebrations.

OPTIONAL FAT-BIKING ON THE DUNES:
A fat-bike, also called wide tire bike, is a bicycle with over-sized tires designed to allow riding on unstable terrain, such as snow or sand.  We offer the experience of pedalling over the steep sand dunes of Pica for 40 minutes at sunset. Strongly recommended for travellers who love action! 

(IQQ303) FULL DAY EXCURSION TO HUASCO LAKE AND PICA WITH BOX LUNCH
Duration: 10 hours approx.
Available: All year. 
Operates: Daily. 
Notes: Subject to weather conditions. Not recommended for people with health problems, due to the altitude. Includes box lunch
Description: Visit to the Salar de Huasco (Huasco salt flat) a national park situated at an altitude of over 3,700 meters (12,139 ft.) and considered to be Chile’s most pristine wetland, rich in biodiversity that also provides an important source of water for the desert regions. For these special features it was declared a RAMSAR Site (an international convention for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources) and Nature Sanctuary, and its wetland ecosystem includes several animal species such as the Andean, Chilean and James flamingos, guallata, caiti, Andean seagull, ñandu or rhea and vicuña. The animals drink the saline water, with a salt concentration that is a bit higher than fresh water, but lower than sea water. Herds of llamas and alpacas also go by, under the surveillance of shepherds who live off their meat, fur and use them as beasts of burden (in the case of the llama). We will stop for lunch at Pica, famous for its crops of citrus fruits, specially the small and unusually acidic lemons used to prepare the Pisco Sour, a typical cocktail of the region’s cuisine. 

(IQQ304) TRANSFER & EXCURSION IQUIQUE/UNITA/ARICA WITH BOX LUNCH
Duration: 6 Hours approx.
Available: All year round.
Operates: Daily.
Notes: Includes box lunch. 
Description: On this tour, we will experience a close encounter with one of the most valued archaeological treasures of the region. Our excursion starts in Iquique and we head north to Arica, visiting the Cerro Unita Geoglyphs that include more than 20 rock art figures drawn on the hillsides, among them the imposing so-called “Atacama Giant”. This 86-meter high (282 ft.) pre-Incan anthropomorphic figure is considered the largest in the world and was designed using stones and by removing the top layer of soil on the hillside. Its true meaning and interpretation continues to stir debate: some say it could be a representation of the Tunupa-Tarapaca deity; other recent studies assure that it might symbolize man’s diversity in the region, and still others claim that it has a supernatural symbolic meaning linked to extraterrestrial life.       

(IQQ305) TRANSFER & EXCURSION IQUIQUE/PINTADOS/CALAMA WITH BOX LUNCH
Duration: 7 Hours approx.
Available: All year round.
Operates: Daily.
Notes: Includes box lunch. 
Description: We start out from Iquique to visit one of the most outstanding features of the Chilean northern region: its archaeological wealth and world-famous Atacama Desert. We’ll pass by the famous Pintados Geoglyphs, that include almost 400 figures drawn on the hillside, with 66 themes representing animals, birds, human figures and abstract designs. We venture on to Calama, taking in 400 kilometers (248 miles) of the Atacama Desert in its entire splendor, with a close view of the planet’s most arid landscape that covers 150,000 sq. meters of land and boasts the best skies for astronomical observation.
Note: Tourists who have already visited the Pintados Geoglyphs on a previous excursion, are offered the alternative of travelling to Calama along the coast, visiting virgin beaches bordering the Pacific Ocean. The distance and time spent on both trips are practically the same.

(IQQ306) TRANSFER & EXCURSION IQUIQUE/PINTADOS/SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA WITH BOX LUNCH
Duration: 9 Hours approx.
Available: All year round.
Operates: Daily.
Notes: Includes box lunch. 
Description: We start out from Iquique heading to the main tourist attraction of the northern desert: San Pedro de Atacama. Along the way and near the Pampa del Tamarugal, we’ll stop to admire the Pintados Geoglyphs, one of Chile’s most important archaeological sites that concentrates almost 400 hillside drawings. Although the meaning of these large anthropomorphic, zoomorphic or abstract figures is still unknown, their historical, cultural and artistic value remains intact. What is more, their significance grows in time and they should be cared for and treated respectfully. We continue our journey towards San Pedro de Atacama crossing 500 kilometers (310 miles) of the arid desert stopping on the way to enjoy our box lunch.
Note: Tourists who have already visited the Pintados Geoglyphs on a previous excursion, are offered the alternative of travelling to Calama along the coast, visiting virgin beaches bordering the Pacific Ocean. The distance and time spent on both trips are practically the same.

(IQQ106) TRANSFER & EXCURSION IN IQUIQUE/COLCHANE OR V.V
Duration: 5 hours Approx.
Available: All Year
Operates in private: Daily
Notes: Includes Box Lunch
Description: An excellent alternative to visit the Salt de Uyuni, without having to enter and leave San Pedro de Atacama, is access by Colchane, located on the Bolivian border and about 3,400 meters over the sea level It is advisable to stay at the hostel of the place and thus enter Bolivia the next day from 8:30 a.m. with the body acclimatized to the height. The same service is offered for those who come from Salt: they are received at the border and transferred to Iquique to take the plane. On the way you will visit the Atacama Giant Geoglyph.

(IQQ206) HALF DAY EXCURSION OASIS DE PICA IN FAT BIKES
Duration: 5 hours Approx.
Available: All Year
Operates in private Daily
Notes: Includes Fat bike, Helmet and cycling gloves, specialized guide, snack (Juice and local fruits).
Description: After leaving the hotel, towards the Oasis of Pica, this excursion allows to know the newness of the cycling: Fat bikes, that are the new mountain bikes with giant wheels that allow use them on the sand. On this half day excursion - from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, you can experience a long 40-minute descent, suitable for people with a hobby for bicycles and strength of legs for the beautiful sand dunes field of Altos Of Pica, with a spectacular view at sunset of the desert as a backdrop, then enjoy a snack with fruits and juices of the area. After finishing the service, return to the hotel.

 (IQQ207) HALF DAY EXCURSION PARAPENTE EXPERIENCE
Duration: 2 hours Approx.
Available: All Year
Operates in private Daily
Notes: Includes qualified instructor, Double emergency parachute, Two-seater Paragliding equipment, Helmet, Thermal Clothing and Radio.
Description: The pickup will be at 10:15 a.m., for later transfer to the takeoff point located at the top of the Cordillera de la Costa and thus live an unforgettable experience, flying over the city comfortably seated in the front seat of the Paragliding Bi plaza Enjoying an incredible panoramic view, where you can take pictures, while discovering the magic of flying in a place of beautiful surroundings. Overlooking and enjoying the scenery of Cerro Dragón (Chile's largest sand dune), the sea and the city of Iquique, one of the best places in the world to practice Paragliding all year long, with experienced instructors and teams first level. The landing takes place in Playa Brava or Cavancha. After finishing the flyby return to the Hotel 
(IQQ208) HALF DAY EXCURSION SANDBOARD EXPERIENCE
Duration: 3 hours Approx.
Available: All Year
Operates in private Daily
Notes: Includes professional sand board, mineral water and custom classes. Wear appropriate clothing, closed sports shoes, sun block, and sun glasses. It requires a physical state compatible with moderate to high intensity physical activity.
Description: From the hotel begin the transfer to the Cerro Dragon dune in the city of Iquique, a place recognized as the largest sand dune in Chile. From there, begins a brief and intense walk towards the top of the dune. In about 20 minutes the summit is reached and the class begins. Here, after an introductory safety lecture will learn techniques of sliding, braking, posture on the table, among others. To slide with the board, candle wax will be placed at the base of the board, and while enjoying the glides, the natural environment and panoramic views of the Iquique coast accompany the adventure. After finishing the experience, return to the hotel.

(IQQ209) HALF DAY EXCURSION SURF EXPERIENCE
Duration: 3 hours Approx.
Available: All Year
Operates in semiprivate Daily (4 people per instructor)
Notes: Includes suit and surfboard
Description: After leaving the hotel, come on of the main sectors for surfing the Pacific Ocean. After a physical and theoretical class in the sand and with the city of Iquique in the background, the experience of standing on a table on a wave is one of the sensations not to be missed in the area. At the end, the hotel returns.