Thursday, 14 February 2019

Iquique, Chile

Every time I have a look on the Sandboarding Nation Instagram (which I'd highly recommend you follow if you don't already), there's almost always at least one post in Iquique, Chile; aside from being in a country that has a shape of a shoehorn and that has a shed load of earthquakes every year, I wanted to write this post for 2 reasons; the first being that I haven't done a location based post since the one on Huacachina, and because I recently got in touch with a Chilean man who sells sandboards.

In case you didn't know, Chile was the number 1 sandboarding country of 2018 and such notable locations in Chile also include San Pedro de Atacama, Concón, Valparaíso, and Viña del Mar. But the one location that steals the spotlight is without hesitation, Iquique.

Courtesy of: Teosaurio License: CC BY-SA 2.0 Title: Paragliding over Iquique

Iquique has just under 200,000 inhabitants and it is one of only 2 free ports in the country, the other one being Punta Arenas; the town is also host to Deportes Iquique, a football (soccer, for the uncivilised) team that plays in the premier division of the Chilean league. As Iquique is a coastal place, I would suspect that there is a lot of surfing and windsurfing in the town as well as paragliding (above photo); however according to a Tripadvisor search on Iquique, the sports I managed to find that were popular activities here were rockclimbing, cycling, and paragliding and quite a reasonable number of businesses and tour agencies promoting Sandboarding. THE 10 BEST Outdoor Activities in Iquique - TripAdvisor . 2019. THE 10 BEST Outdoor Activities in Iquique - TripAdvisor . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attractions-g297397-Activities-c61-Iquique_Tarapaca_Region.html. [Accessed 14 February 2019].


Considering the number of sandboarding based businesses here and the sheer fact that many people come here every year to sandboard, it's no wonder that the Sandboard World Tour often holds events here. Also, here's a good list of information which will be useful.

  • A good thing to remember as well is that if you're a tourist coming to Chile, passport holders from 92 jurisdictions can enter Chile without a visa, however Australians will need to pay a "reciprocity fee" if they 1) travel as tourists, and 2) enter through Santiago's International Airport. Información para el pasajero | NUEVO PUDAHUEL. 2019. Información para el pasajero | NUEVO PUDAHUEL. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nuevopudahuel.cl/informacion-para-el-pasajero?category=0. [Accessed 14 February 2019].
  • As of 14th February 2019, $1 USD will get you approximately 665.50 Chilean Pesos.
  • Similar to the Huacachina post, you may find Coca leaves here as they are common in this part of the world; just don't bring any home with you.
  • The plugs used here are Types C and L, the standard voltage is 220V and the frequency used is 50Hz.
    POWER PLUGS AND SOCKETS OF THE WORLD. 2019. Chile: power plug adapter needed? | POWER PLUGS AND SOCKETS OF THE WORLD. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/gb/chile/. [Accessed 14 February 2019].
  • The driving side for Chile is on the right hand side, the minimum age to drive is 18 and you will need an International driving license for driving here. 
Before I finish, I want to include a video from SoulSandboard Iquique Chile of some Sandboarding in Iquique; this hopefully should make you buy tickets for the next flights here even faster.

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