HUMBERSTONE & GEOGLYPHS
|IQUIQUE||Chile||HUMBERSTONE & GEOGLYPHS||10:15||08:00||125 €|
Please find the scheduled tour program for your cruise. Tour duration, content and pricing are subject to change without notice. Your final tour program will be sent along with your cruise documents.
Leave the pier to drive to Humberstone nitrate town; during the ascent (600 m cliff) from the coast enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of this coastal city with its beautiful beaches and the ridged Cerro Dragon (dragon hill). Continue through the magical and indescribable beauty of the Atacama Desert. Visit the interesting Ghost Town of Humberstone: the theater and church, hotel, swimming pool, old market, family houses, among other remains, which will take you back in time to the splendor of an important period in Chile's history, the Nitrate glorious time.
Continue southward for 70 miles until reaching the Pintados Salt Flat and the Pintados Geoglyphs, one of the largest displays of ancient aboriginal art. Over 54,000 sq. ft. of hill slopes are decorated by 355 figures depicting humans, animals, birds or abstract shapes, isolated or arranged into thematic groups. The place was restored in 1981.
After enjoying these magnificent remains, drive to Matilla, an old and formerly thriving oasis. It was settled in 1760 by the leading families of Pica. Its main product used to be wine, with sizable vineyards. Always struggling to check the sand encroaching upon the crops it finally collapsed in 1912. Here visit the San Antonio church, a National Monument.
Visit the Matilla Wine Press (“Lagar”), also a National Monument and open-air museum from a winery that dates from the early 1700’s. After lunch in Santa Rosa, continue to Pica, an oasis and old Indian town dating from pre-Conquest times and located at the foothills of the Andes. Pica has a population of 1,500 and it consists of 250 hectares of ravines covered by thick vegetation, citrus groves, and large mango and guava trees. The town is fringed by farming areas each one having a “cocha” or pool where the water flowing up from the springs is stored for irrigation and bathing. People come here to enjoy the climate and the water. Visit San Andres church, a National Monument towering over the square, built from 1880 to 1886. Walk around the nice little town along its narrow streets. Continue west for 50 miles to La Tirana, a religious village in the desert, the ghost town awakens between the 12th and the 18th of July for the festivity in honor to Virgen del Carmen The sanctuary is located in the middle of the village, at a ceremonial square where is located the church. Leave the bus to stroll around this ceremonial spot.
Finally, take the road that runs now through empty desert and intersects the highway to lead us back to Iquique, 50 miles away.
This tour involves a lot of riding on the buses throughout the arid desert, although always driving on paved roads which are in regular conditions. Wear comfortable walking shoes and protect yourself from the sun.