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Southern Beaches - Beach Arica - Chile

Past Isla del Alacrán is chain of beaches draping the coast south of Arica. These have a much different character than the northern chain of beaches. Here, ancient lava flows to the sea, which creates rocky shores cupping small stretches of black sand, also called balnearios. Many birds can be observed between these beaches, which are also great for soaking up sun, playing volleyball and observing tidal pools.

El Laucho (1.5 km/1 mi south) has a pleasant terraced boardwalk, several restaurants and discos.

Playa La Lisera (2 km/1.2 mi from Arica) is named for the abundance of lisa fish. The circular bay is almost completely enclosed, forming a tranquil pool. This beach is frequented by families. A multi-level malecón with gardens runs aside La Lisera.

Playa Brava is a rocky cove perfect for birding and tidal-pooling.

Three kilometers (1.8 mi) south of the city is Playa Arenillas Negras, a long stretch of ebony sand washed by harsh currents. This beach ends with the lookout point Mirador Abilio Gutiérrez Porta.

Another six kilometers or so further, beyond the point, is Playa Corazones. A 20-minute walk from this southernmost beach leads to Cueva de Azota with ancient rock paintings.

Arica, Chile


Getting There
A paved walking and biking path

Travel Tips: Most of these beaches are signed not suitable for swimming. El Laucho and La Lisera have lifeguards (in season). Beware of jellyfish.


Playa Arenillas Negras is a popular campground in summer. The city provides portable bath facilities. Some daring folks go sand-boarding on the dunes along the road.

Price Description: Free

Relative price: Free

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring: Take along water, snacks and protection against the sun.

Visit the several museums of Arica; journey through Valle de Azapa and Valle de Lluta; practice surfing, bodyboarding, paragliding or other adventure sport; hang out at the beaches; take a launch tour of the bay; go birdwatching.

Currencies accepted
Chilean Peso

Here are other activities in and around Arica that may be of interest: Northern Beaches and the Desembocadura de Lluta and Isla del Alacrán.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

06 Jul 2009

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