Arica, Chile

Arica, Chile was our gateway into Peru. Flights to Peru were extremely expensive so we decided to take the long way and cross the boarder.
We flew from Santiago to Chile for $130 flight. Booked a hotel and crossed relatively early the next morning.
The boarder is opened 24 hours, however Arica, Chile is much nicer than Tacna, Peru (the closest town across the boarder) and if you must spend the night in one of the towns my vote is with Arica. Chile is 2 hours ahead so it gives you extra time when crossing.
We grabbed a cab to the train/bus station where there are several collectivos (shared taxis) to take you across the boarder to Peru. The entire process from Chile to Peru is about 2 hours. The collectivo is excellent on guiding you thru- he actually does all the work for you. Once, in Tacna we grabbed the next bus to Arequipa which is roughly 5 hours away (there are several bus companies leaving at different times). You do NOT need to buy bus tix in Arica you can buy them in Tacna- it’s actually cheaper. However, we made the mistake on not getting a direct bus and it took about 7 hours to arrive in Arequipa with all the stops, but the plus side is we met some amazing locals on the bus and had great conversations.

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