Where is Arica? ¿Dónde está Arica?

Arica is Chile’s northernmost city, located just 18km south of the border with Peru. It’s on the edge of the Atacama Desert- the driest desert in the world- but snow melt from the Andes manages to keep the valleys fertile.There’s even a National Geographic documentary about Arica’s aridity which you can watch for free here.

Chile appropriated this territory from Peru during the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) and has kept a firm grip on it (along with all the valuable nitrates it holds) with the border being officially demarcated by the United States in 1929 with the Treaty of Lima. This 1929 line in the sand will be the first border story I’ll be studying!Image