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Tour Iquique - Mamiña

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Mamiña and Its Healing Springs

Legend has it that the waters of this place cured an Incan princess of blindness. This could explain its name, Mamiña, which means "the girl of my dreams." Located about 125 km from Iquique at an elevation of 2700 m, this town and its famous hot springs invite you do nothing but relax and indulge yourself.

In addition to scenic vistas of the countryside, you can explore local architecture that includes the stone buildings with straw roofs that are common throughout the altiplano. There is a beautiful 17th century church on the square with colonial artefacts including an old organ.

The hot springs offer baths of different temperatures and settings including outdoor pools or a sheltered bathing area. The area also has several hotels and spas with their own thermal baths.

If you like hot pools, the best option is Baños de Ipla, where the waters are about 45°C. If you're looking to soothe muscular aches and pains, go to El Tambo, where the waters reach 57°C. If you want curative drinking water, go to La Magnesia; the Radium Spring is apparently the one that healed the princess and is prescribed for ocular problems. The town also has numerous mud baths, but the best ones are the Baños Chinos, which are rich in sodium and iodine.

For dining, don't miss local dishes such as spiced rabbit with "chuño" (dehydrated Andean) potatoes seasoned with rocoto (optional), a South American chilli pepper.

There are several pucarás in the gullies such as those at Cerro Inca, Cerro Gentilar and Jamajuga.

At dusk, you can wander around the area with your camera ready to snap that perfect picture of a sunset.

 

Featured Destinations of Iquique

aPica
bPisagua

 

Tours you can do

Iquique - Pozo Almonte - La Tirana


Huara - Isluga Volcano National Park - Colchane
Iquique - Mamiña


Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter offices

 

Getting There

en avion
By Plane
Flights leave daily from Santiago to Diego Aracena Airport in Iquique (2hrs 30 min). You can fly from Arica to Iquique as well (45 min). At the airport you can rent a car or take guided tours to La Tirana, Mamiña and Pozo Almonte.
bus
By Bus
Bus service is available from Santiago to Iquique (26 h). Buses leave from:
• Los Héroes Terminal: Located at the corner of Tucapel Jiménez and Alameda close to the Los Héroes Metro Station. Several companies provide service to northern Chile. Telephone: (56-2) 420 0099
• San Borja Terminal (formerly Terminal Norte): Located at the intersection of San Borja and Alameda, close to Estación Central. Companies offer service to northern destinations as well as throughout the Metropolitan Region. Telephone: (56-2) 776 0645
Buses leaving Arica take about 4hrs to travel the 307 km to Mamiña. You can catch the bus to Pozo Almonte and other towns at several terminals within Iquique:
• Patricio Lynch s/n
• Esmeralda 594
• Avenida Pedro Prado 2360

To get to Mamiña, catch one of the local minivans, which leave the Iquique market twice a day.


en auto
By Car
Take Route 5 north from Santiago, which runs through the Atacama Desert (1790 km). From Iquique, drive 52 km east to Route 5 north, then take Route A-65. The last stretch is along A-629, a dirt road.
 

 

Tips

01

Hot Springs Water
Sunscreen
The hottest springs and pools like El Tambo are not recommended for people with cardiovascular problems. Don't spend more than 10 min in any of the hot springs. In general, do not drink the water from the springs. Some have potable mineral water, but be wary of those that contain magnesium salts. Solar radiation in the desert is very high, especially during summer. Don't forget sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.

02

Appropriate Clothes Appropriate Vehicles
Mamiña is quite warm during the day and cool at night during the summer months. The average temperatures range from 13°C-25°C. February is rainy season so be sure to check the road conditions prior to arriving. Part of the route to Mamiña is well-maintained gravel, but if you plan on touring the area, which is full of winding roads that climb up and down hillsides, it is best to have a suitable vehicle.

 

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