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Arica Carnival, Chile

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What is the Carnival of Arica?

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The International Andean Carnival with the Strength of the Sun, also known as Arica Carnival, is an annual celebration that takes place for three days, tentatively between January and February. The Arica Carnival is a means of expression for more than 16,000 dancers, musicians from different localities of the country continent. Currently, it has the participation of artists from Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Peru. In addition, it is recognized as the most important cultural and historical celebration for the city of Arica.

The event is carried out by the Municipality of Arica with the help of the Confraternity of Andean Dances Inti ch’amampi and also the Federation of Andean Dances Kimsa Suyu. The carnival commemorates theculture, ethnic origins and history of the countries of the region, due to the dark times experienced in Arica and adjacent regions due to the nationalization of several territories after the Pacific War.

 

 

The carnival comprises more than 15 hours of uninterrupted dance and music on a 2-kilometer-long circuit, where some 16,000 dancers participate in the presence of nearly 100,000 people. The troupes are made up of Chileans, Peruvians, Bolivians, Afro-descendants and aymara, who not only wish to transmit their culture and traditions through dance and costumes, but also compete to win first place in the competition.

 

The carnival celebration in Arica is a ceremony that promotes the culture and tradition of Chile, Peru and Bolivia

The carnival celebration in Arica is a ceremony that promotes the culture and tradition of Chile, Peru and Bolivia

 

When is the Carnival of Arica?

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Ethe carnival will take place approximately from January 29 to January 31.

 

 

History of the Carnivals of Arica

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The carnival has its origins due to the events that resulted after the Pacific War. In 1883, after the war, the nationalization of territories by Chile took place. The affected people could not remain to another characteristic or nationality, but only and exclusively to Chile, so they had to get rid of their culture and betrayals. Almost a century later, history repeated itself again with the policies of integration and national and cultural assimilation.



After dialogues with indigenous communities of Bolivia, the urban space was revalued and cultural organizations were formed to reclaim the lost ethnicities and culture. This is why dance and music groups emerged. Thus, festivals and activities began to take place.

Different groups carried out activities, dances and music in different periods, as in the case of the Confraternity of Andean Dances with the celebration “Inti Ch’amampi” and the Federation of Indigenous Arts Kimsa Suyu and its event “With the strength of the Sun“. In 2005, these two organizations joined forces and resulted in the International Andean Carnival with the Strength of the Sun Inti Ch’amampi..

 

Where is the Carnival of Arica?

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The carnivals are held in the port city of Arica, in northern Chile. The parades take place in a 2-kilometer circuit along Avenida ComandanteSan Martín, San Marcos, Arturo Prat. Paseo 21 de Mayo and Pedro Montt Avenue.

 

The dance groups throw confetti to the participants during the competitions at the Arica carnival

The dance groups throw confetti to the participants during the competitions at the Arica carnival

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How the Arica Carnival is celebrated

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As we have commented above, the Arica Carnival is a means of cultural and artistic expression. Thus, thousands of people come every year to be part ofone of the largest cultural events in the country. During the carnival season, people from all over Chile and adjacent countries come to perform dancing, music and singing.

The Arica carnivals comprise 64 groups participating in the following categories:

 

Corporal

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Bolivian folk dance. It features African elements and is from the Yungas locality.

 

Morenada

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Bolivian dance originating from colonial times, symbolizing the slaves who worked in the mines.

 

Tinku

Dance from Bolivia, northern region of Potosí and southern Oruro. Dance that has symbolism to the warriors.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country, I recommend this guide:

Tobas

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Dance originating in Bolivia, from the town of Oruro. It is a type of warrior and agile dance. It represents warriors who must hunt to survive.

 

Tarqueada

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Aymara ceremonial dance that uses instruments such as the tarka. It is a dance of thanksgiving to nature.

 

Monseñada

Aymara dance performed by single men and women.

 

Tumbe

Dance of Afro-descendants living in the Azapata Valley, who were brought to the area for forced labor.

 

Saya

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Afro-Bolivian dance from the Yungas. Dance that could only be performed with the permission of the patrons of their lands.

 

Zampoñada

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Aymara dance where men play the zampoña (wind instrument) and each one plays a different melody and symbolizes harmony.

 

Waca Waca

Aymara dance from colonial times that symbolizes the death of the bullfighters.

 

Suri Sicuri

Aymara dance, depicts performing music with its Siku (wind instrument) that reflects folkloric characters.

 

Diablada

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Dance from Oruro, Bolivia. The dancers wear masks representing the devil and dance symbolizing good and evil.

 

Salay

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Cochabamba dance.

 

In addition to being a means of expression, theCarnival of Arica also comprises a competition of each of the groups to obtain the title of winners. Each group has a certain amount of time where they must transmit feelings through their choreography. In this way, group after group is presented almost uninterruptedly.

 

Tips to go to the Carnivals of Arica

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If you wish to attend the carnivals, we recommend that you plan your trip in advance, as well as your lodging, since the Arica carnivals are visited by thousands of people in the country and adjacent regions.

Also, do not forget to bring sunscreen and water, since most of the competition takes place in the midday hours when the sun is strongest. Also, we advise you to wear comfortable clothing.

 

 

Events in Arica Carnival

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The festivities begin with a pawa, which is a ceremony of thanksgiving that takes place in the Andes. Then, permission is asked to the sun Willka Tata (Father of the sun who gives energy to the Pacha Mama), to Mallku Morro and to the Pacha Mama so that everything turns out well during the celebrations. Next, the princesses are presented in Quechua, then the general rehearsal takes place and a week later the official celebrations are held.

The carnivals are celebrated in a way rich in culture and colors where each of the participating groups put into practice the different artistic elements, of dancing and music that are traditional to the region. The carnival takes place over 3 days and on each of these days there are 67 groups performing, counting on a set amount of minutes. The dancers have the opportunity to express themselves through dance and music and make known their traditions and cultural values.

 

The groups express their cultural identity through music and dance in the carnivals of Arica

The groups express their cultural identity through music and dance in the carnivals of Arica

 

Arica Carnival Parades

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The groups begin to fill the circuit at 11 am until approximately 5 pm. Each of the groups has a time limit in which they must perform the choreography of their dances. Each of the groups has a special essence and their dances, music and dress used has along historical and cultural history.

 

 

The circuit features thousands of dancers who dance to traditional music and exhibit garments of great value to their ethnicity, country and culture. This event is one of the most culturally valuable carnivals in the South American region.

 

Parade route

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The dancers have a circuit that goes from Comandante San Martín Avenue to Pedro Montt Avenue in the Arica carnivals

The dancers have a circuit that goes from Comandante San Martín Avenue to Pedro Montt Avenue in the Arica carnivals

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The dancers have a 2 kilometer circuit that goes from Comandante San Martín Avenue, San Marcos, Arturo Prat, Paseo 21 de Mayo and Pedro Montt Avenue.

 

El Fricase is typical food of Chile

El Fricase is typical food of Chile

 

What to eat at the Arica Carnival

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During the carnival you will see present differentfood truck that the city has. However, you can also find typical dishes from the Andean region such as the Calapurca, a stew containing beef, lamb, chicken and vegetables. You can also find the Fricase, a stew containing sausage, vegetables, egg and different spices.

The city of Arica also offers you some places like Restaurante Rayu, Café del Mar and Los Aleros de 21 that offer a Chilean, Peruvian and Latin American menu.

 

The calapurca is a typical broth from the Andean area occupied by Chile, Peru and Bolivia

The calapurca is a typical broth from the Andean area occupied by Chile, Peru and Bolivia

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Travel Insurance

 

From Carnavalesdelmundo.org we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurances. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside the Arica Carnival

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Inside the carnivals you can stay inside the circuit enclosure and watch all the dances of the different groups that perform. Each of the groups offers a different choreography, as well as music and dresses. The groups begin their presentations around 11 am and end at 5 pm every day, so you have a large repertoire of dances and music that will never bore you. In addition, through dance and music you will learn about the different cultures and ethnicities found in the region.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world

 

What to see and do outside of the Arica Carnivals

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The city of Arica offers you some tourist attractions such as:

 

The Morro de Arica

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It is a national monument, which is composed of a large rock that is about 110 meters high. The monument pays tribute to the Chilean military who won the Pacific War.

 

Chinchorro Beach

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It is a beach of 1.7 kilometers long. It is a beach of fine sand, warm waters and considerable waves, perfect for sports.

 

ASOAGRO Terminal

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It is a market that includes the different agricultural products of the region. Here you can find local products from different regions of the country.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your entrance ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting

 

Safety at the Arica Carnival

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Arica is a fairly safe city, you can feel comfortable and safe if you decide to walk through its streets. However, it is also famous for pickpockets.

Pay attention to your surroundings and belongings, especially if you travel by public transport. Also, we recommend the following products to keep your belongings safe:

 

 

Weather at the Carnival of Arica

 

The weather during the Arica carnival is quite pleasant. The temperature ranges between 26 and 20 degrees Celsius with little chance of precipitation.

 

The different groups have dances, costumes and typical music that represent their traditions in the carnival of Arica

The different groups have dances, costumes and typical music that represent their traditions in the carnival of Arica

 

How to get to the Arica Carnival

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How to get there by plane

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The closest airport to Arica is Chacalluta International Airport. However, it only performs and receives domestic and some international flights. Your best option is to travel to the Arica Arturo Merino Benitez Airport in Santiago de Chile and then go to the Chacalluta Airport. Once there, you can move around by different means of transportation.

We recommend buying airline tickets through Kiwi.com or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review Kiwi.com..

 

How to get there by bus

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You can get to Arica from Valparaíso. Showever, trips are from 22 to 31 hours.

 

How to get there by car

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From the Chacalluta airport you can get a car and head downtown. The trip takes 15 minutes. Also, you can leave from Santiago de Chile and the trip takes 24 hours.

 

Where to stay at the Arica Carnival

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Booking.com

 

Hotel Puerto Chinchorro

Hotel 2.5 km from downtown. Rooms have bathroom, television and air conditioning. Facilities offer free internet, trips to the airport and entrance to the beach.

 

Amaru Hotel

Hotel 450 meters from the city center. Rooms have private bathrooms with shower and some have balconies. In addition, the facilities offer wifi, bar and restaurant.

 

Hotel Apacheta

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Hotel 1.6 km from the center. The rooms have private bathrooms and panoramic sea view. Also, the hotel offers bar, free wifi and direct access to the beach.

We recommend you use Booking.com to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.



 

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