History of Arica

The City of Arica has such a complex history that visitors find it extremely interesting. The oasis created by the Valley of Azapa, something quite unusual in this desertic zone, has managed to attract the presence of man as a result of fresh water and vegetation.

The Spanish conquest, the colony and the Viceroyalty of Upper Peru transformed this small village into a main port to transport the gold and silver (especially the latter) extracted in the City of Potosí, in Bolivia. This fact, which accelerated its growth remarkably, was interrupted by the settlement of the new Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, through which precious metals began to be transported to the City of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and shipped to Europe from there. Thus, in 1872, Arica was practically abandoned by the Spaniards who had established one of the seats of government for the new viceroyalty at Arequipa (present Peru).

When the Republic of Perú was formed, the city became alive again and started to experience a sustained growth that passed onto Chilean hands as a consequence of the well-known War of the Pacific. This happened in June 7, 1880, and the city has belonged to the State of Chile ever since.

Arica has turned into one of the most important centers in the region and its famous hill, which had the pleasure to witness everything that happened there, will also behold whatever happens from now on.