We all have those cities that you instantly fall in love with. As soon as we arrived into Iquique and walked straight to the beach in just a tank top and shorts with our backpacks still on we knew that this place was going to be our home for awhile. We stayed there for a total of 7 nights because we were long overdue for a beach oasis paradise. When we arrived we didn't have a hostel pre booked and luckily all it took was looking across the street from the beach and there was a hostel called Uma Jaqi Surf Hostal. It was 6,500 pesos a night each ($10.28) which is so cheap for Chile! Not only were the staff completely incredible and chill there but we also made friends the first night with two awesome guys named Luciano and Oli who were both from London that we ended up doing everything with for four days! It is crazy how much more fun a city can be when you already have new friends to share your experiences with.
Our days in this town were very simple. It started with waking up and making an easy small breakfast of bread and whatever toppings from the local supermarket and street markets we had and then making our way to the Central Mercado where we would find an array of restaurants inside and out that sold similar lunches with soup (Always go with the seafood soup!) and rice or a mini salad with usually fish or chicken. Most places averages around 2,800-3,500 pesos for lunch ($4-$5 USD). But after eating the same lunches everyday and seeing our cash disappearing faster we realized it was better to just eat street food (empanadas or ceviche that are around $1 USD!). Then we would save up our appetite for dinner by eating small snacks in the afternoon and just cook dinner every single night at the hostel. After lunch time was when we would head to the beach to just take in the sun since we knew going further south in Chile it was going to get colder. So with the grand trunk matt brought with us (think of the best compact beach blanket ever) we would bring our books and journals and stay on the beach until the sunset. It seems so simple of a lifestyle and it was exactly that. I love going to small towns especially on beaches like this where the pace of life is slowed down. I always feel more drawn and connected to cities that make me reflect and feel gratitude for being there.
The city of Iquique has many different restaurants, shopping areas and and selection of whatever you need sold on the streets. The buildings are colorful and you can find some amazing murals spread out throughout the city. If there is one food choice I would say you need to try here it is sushi. There are many sushi restaurants everywhere and vendors on the street selling it and all were delicious. Random fact about 80% of the sushi we had all contained cream cheese which I was shocked about but still found delicious.
Get ready to keep your swim trunks on and your worries away. In this town you will find yourself entertained by the sun and the stars. No need to run here, unless of course you want to run or ride your bike along the beach which I would highly suggest. There are night markets every so often as well so hopefully you will find a great souvenir to remember this town by.
5) Rainbow Mountain, Cusco, Sacred Valley
6) Machu Pichu
1) Copacabana and Isla Del Sol
2) La Paz
1) San Pedro De Atacama
4) La Serena
5) Puerto Iquazu
6) Buenos Aires