Iquique - Chile

Iquique is a major seaport of northern Chile located on a rocky peninsula on the edge of the rainless Atacama Desert, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is protected from the open sea by the low, barren offshore island of Serrano, which is connected to the mainland by a stone causeway. Founded in the 16th century, the city was partially destroyed in 1868 and 1875 by earthquakes, but some old wooden houses from that time still stand. In the centre of the old town is Plaza Prat around which is the 1877 Clock Tower, the Moorish style Centro Espanol and the Teatro Municipal. There are good beaches at Cavancha just south of the town centre. The Atacama is often called a "perfect" desert - some coastal stations have never recorded measurable rainfall. The only precipitation comes from the fogs, which can condense in higher regions and foster some vegetation, such as the candle-holder cactus, which grows just 5-7mm a year and flowers for a mere 24 hours. During the Atacama Desert's nitrate boom of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Iquique was Chile's major export port but today it concentrates on fishing, and the shipment of fishmeal, nitrates, iodine, salt, and guano from the surrounding area. Iquique was part of Peru until 1879, when it was captured by Chile during the War of the Pacific. It was formally ceded to Chile by treaty in 1883. The following 12 cruises call at Iquique. Discover more by clicking the cruise name or ship or click the Enquire button if you want to check availability and pricing.