Iquique is located at the north of the country (1.820 km far from Santiago), it is a port city and capital of the First Region. The exploitation of large salt amounts, allowed the sustained development of the city, complemented by other industries such as mining (silver) and fishing. In 1975 it was converted into a Free Trade Zone (Zofri), releasing the taxes for the production and confection for export oriented products. Today it is the largest free trade zone in South America, promoting the rapid development of the region.
The city is a historical window, because it was scene of the battles that faced Peru and Bolivia against Chile for the Pacific War which exploded in 1879. On May 21 of the same year, one of the most memorable battles occurred over the beaches of Iquique , where the Chilean corvette Esmeralda was swamped. A few months later the Chilean troops defeated the Peruvian-Bolivian army, and finally occupied the city of Iquique.
Its beautiful and extensive pedestrian coastline and miles of warm beaches that are sunshine all year-round, make Iquique a tourist attraction center. The most recognized beaches are Cavancha (most popular), Lobito, Primeras Piedras, Brava, los Verdes and Aguila. The city offers a wide variety of food, hotels and entertainment services, including a casino. It also has great nightlife with pubs and discos.
The wealth generated by the salt industry has allowed the creation of impressive buildings as residences over the Baquedano Avenue, the Clock Tower, the Municipal Theatre, the Casino, among others.
Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Costa mountains (behind the world's driest desert), Iquique presents an arid coastal climate, with moderate and stable temperatures that are usually about 18 ºC.
· Municipal Theatre
· Regional and Anthropological Naval Museum
· The Tamarugal National Reserva
· The Free Trade Area (Zofi)
· Astereca Palace
· Lauca National Park
· Volcano Isluga National Park
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