So far all of the ports we have visited have been in the Atacama Desert and Iquique Chile was no different, another place to return to one day and explore further.
Our tour in Iquique was called “A Trip to the Past: Humberstone & the Jewels of Iquique. Humberstone is a “Ghost Town” that was deserted by its inhabitants when the running of the saltpetre mine was made unprofitable due to the Great Depression.
The drive out to the town went through the outskirts of Iquique, we were lucky to avoid a traffic jam that occurred just after us, apparently a police officer was run-over. Once we left the town we drove out through desert that surrounds Iquique. Our guide, Jacqueline, was very informative and provided us with a running commentary about Iquique and its surrounds, although I am not sure it is necessary to describe every building we pass 🙂
Humberstone Ghost Town
When we made it to the Ghost Town of Humberstone (about 1.5 hour drive) we were able to visit the Church, Hotel, Market, Company Store and Theatre. The long drive from the port to get there and was worth it, although would have liked more time to explore the town.
There are a couple of old locomotives that were rusting away and some run down old buildings that have not been restored that interested me more than the semi restored ones. Plus there was a few other areas of the town that we did not go anywhere near. We had another 1.5 hour trip back to the city for the next part of the tour
The sand dune within the city limits of Iquique is the largest urban dune in the world, unfortunately we did not stop anywhere to get good photos of it.
When we arrived back in Iquique the bus took us for a drive along the coast, and Jacqueline started to describe all of the buildings again. Once we had driven to the end of the city beaches we turned back and headed to the Plaza Arturo Prat, Iquique City Square.
Iquique City Square
Our destination in the city square was the Casino Espanol o Club Espanol for a Pisco Sour and an empanada. The architecture and fit-out of the casino are amazing, definitely worth a visit if you are ever in Iquique.
Photos of the interior of the Casino Espanol o Club Espanol
After the Pisco Sour I wandered around the square, there are a lot of other interesting buildings in the the City Square, including the Municipal Theatre of Iquique and the Clock Tower, then it was time head back to the ship.
Enjoyed this tour, would recommend it to anyone interested in history or who would like to experience a ghost town.
Next Stop Coquimbo Chile
Re-post from my 2014 Cruise due to corruption that occurred during the migration of my blog.