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Tour Iquique - Pozo Almonte - La Tirana

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La Tirana, The Fiesta of Northern Chile

Situated 53km south of Iquique, Pozo Almonte is the starting point for exploring the altiplano towns of La Tirana and Mamiña.

Most of the year, La Tirana is just a quiet desert town. But the week of July 12th-18th, it plays host to a celebration of Chile's patron saint, the Virgin of Mount Carmel, known locally as the Virgen del Carmen. The festival attracts thousands of visitors, tourists, devotees and religious dance troupes performing traditional dances. The latter are known as "las diabladas," "los gitanos," "los chinos," "antawaras," and "kullakas." The famous "corporales" perform an afro-Andean mix that originated in the continent's slave communities. The celebration peaks on July 16th for all the dancers but continues through the 18th for visitors. The dancers come from towns and cities as far away as Arica, Tocopilla, Calama and Iquique.
Mamiña's architecture is typical of the altiplano, with stone and adobe houses with straw roofs. The beautiful 16th century church and cemetery are definite highlights. Nearby you will find the Mamiña Hot Springs at an elevation of 2700 m, which includes thermal pools and mud baths. You can also visit the smaller hot springs of Macaya, but these can only be reached on foot from the village of the same name.

With Pozo Almonte as a base, venture out to the Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve. Despite the aridity, a forest of Tamarugos was planted here to recover the natural landscape that existed here before the saltpeter boom (19th and early 20th century), which led to the massive logging of these trees.
You will be amazed by the Painted Geoglyphs, enormous pre-Columbian drawings that cover 4 km of hillside on Cerro Pintados, and the geoglyph entitled Gigante de Atacama on the slopes of Cerro Unitas. This is the largest anthropomorphic figure in the world. It stretches 86 meters tall and is made of aligned stones and scraped earth.

The journey from Pozo Almonte to towns further inland, the festival of La Tirana and the painted geoglyphs are another way of getting to know the north of Chile, departing from Iquique and traveling southeast.

 

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
Daily flights are available from Santiago to Aeropuerto Diego Aracena in Iquique (2.5 h).
You can also take a flight from Arica to Iquique (45 min), then hire a car or take a tour to Pozo Almonte, La Tirana and the surrounding areas.
bus
By Bus
Buses from Santiago to Iquique (26 h) leave from:
• Terminal Los Héroes: Located at the intersection of Tucapel Jiménez and Alameda, close to Los Héroes Metro Station. Telephone: (2) 420 0099
• Terminal San Borja (formerly Terminal Norte): Located at the corner of San Borja and Alameda, close to Estación Central Train Station. Telephone: (2) 776 0645

Buses also depart for Iquique from Arica, in the north. The 307 km trip takes 4 hours.
Buses to Pozo Almonte and other towns leave from Iquique's bus terminals, which are located at:
• Calle Patricio Lynch s/n
• Calle Esmeralda 594
• Avenida Pedro Prado 2360

en auto
By Car
From Santiago, take Route 5 north, crossing through the Atacama Desert (1,790 km).
It is 52 km from Iquique to Pozo Almonte on Route 5. From there, La Tirana is a further 22 km to the southeast along Route A-655.
arriendo-auto
By Taxi
 Special Services: Some tours include these towns in their itineraries. For the Festival of La Tirana, special excursions are offered from all nearby cities.
 

 

Tips

01

Camping at La Tirana Sunscreen
The town has few hotels, so temporary campsites are set up during the festival of La Tirana. Warm clothing is recommended to fend off the cold of the desert nights, though the weather can be warm during the day. Always use sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the sun, which is intense throughout the year here.

 

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