Stage 9 - 01/13/2015 - Iquique/San Pedro de Atacama

  • Iquique

  • San Pedro de Atacama


An unmistakable landscape, created from the contrasts of desert and sea, is what awaits participants of the 2015 Dakar Rally in Iquique. When passing through the regional capital of Tarapacá, the teams and members of the press who accompany them will get the chance to dine on the “authentic flavours of the North”, savouring traditional dishes from the Aymara culture and gastronomy.
Participants will be able to try typical Altiplano recipes, made from regional products grown along the coast and in the valleys and in the mountains — in particular, quinoa, mangoes, Camiña garlic and Pica lemons. Traditional dishes are accompanied by national wines and a display of the characteristic weavings produced in the region.
Iquique is a city that knows what it means to live the “good life”. Close to the beach, in front of the tall, white buildings, it is not uncommon to see a convertible sports car whizz by along the coast road. Its history goes back to pre-colonial times, when its inhabitants worked in to agriculture and fishing. The free trade zone, in operation since 1975, transformed the city into a commercial trade centre for Mercosur and Asian Pacific countries. Between the beaches — Cavancha and Brava — you’ll find lots of great restaurants that prepare an authentic mango sour, a regional treasure. YiyoIllanes is the city’s local talent. In 2014, he competed in a Jaton Racing Motor 100 buggy, alongside the main driver, EnzoCordano. This year, he hopes to improve on his previous performance.

Detailed Fact Sheet

  • Population: 275,000
  • Economy: During the second half of the 19thcentury and the first half of the 20th, Iquique was a majorsaltpeter centre. Today, it’s considered to be an important region for fishing, commerce, tourism and mining.
  • Culture: Baquedano Street is a living reminder of Iquique’s saltpeter industry boom. A journey back through time begins from the city centre and includes visits to former saltpeterworks, including Humberstone and Santa Laura — both of which are registered World Heritage Sites.
  • Culinary Specialties: Kalapurca (literally, “hot stone”) is a typical dish from the Aymara culture that contains llama meat, pealed corn, potatoes and coriander. Other typical dishes to try include fish, shellfish, oyster carpaccio, mussel ceviche, jaiba crab risotto and Chumbeque — a typical sweet dish that is traditional to the region.
  • Indigenous Name: The meaning of the word “Iquique”, literally translates to “equally varied”. Local researchers have discovered that the Aymaran origins of the word translate to “dream”, “a place to sleep” and “bed” — descriptions that no doubt reflect what the inhabitants suffered, due to extreme changes in altitude when moving from village to port, and forced them to sleep.
  • Sports: Iquique’s coastline is an excellent place for surfing and bodyboarding. Its hills are ideal for sandboarding activities and for experiencing the extreme adventure of paragliding.

Points of interest

  • Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

  • Pica-Matilla

  • La Tirana

  • Huara

  • Isluga National Park

  • Cavancha Beach

  • Corbeta Esmeralda

  • Colchane

  • Historic Neighborhood

  • Paragliding

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

The sites of the Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works are located 45 kilometres south of Iquique. Built in the middle of the driest desert in the world, they were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2005.
At is peak, the saltpeter zone was home to around 200 simultaneously operating works. Their strongest period was the beginning of the 20th century, during what was known as the “Golden Age of Salt”. Today, they are a living reminder, the most complete physical and representative testament to the salt industry that Chile has to offer.


Detailed Fact Sheet

At its peak Santa Laura was home to a population of 425, while Humberstonehad over 3,500 inhabitants. The saltpeterworks were established in 1872 and, over the course of many years, they were managed by a variety of owners. The first hiatus in production occurred under the leadership of the Gibbs Company in 1932.
Later on, it was taken over by the Tarapacá & Antofagasta Saltpeter Company (COSATAN), which completely renovated the area in 1934.
Renovations included the construction of a theatre, food market, school, church, hospital, swimming pool, sports fields, traditional grocery store, green spaces and accommodation for employers, admin. staff and manual workers. The constructions were inaugurated on November 21, 1934 — the date when “La Palma” changed its name to what it goes by today, “Santiago Humberstone”. Both the Humberstone and Santa Laura works stopped operating in 1960. The properties were sold by auction to Isidro AndíaLuza, who acquired them for 820,000 escudos (Chile’s currency at the time).



[an error occurred while processing this directive]


[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]