If you are looking for a golden stretch of coastline that offers a mix of both beach-bum activities and city-life energy, then look into visiting Iquique in Chile. Located in the northern tip of the country just outside the Atacama Desert, Iquique is renowned for having some of the best surfing in the world. With a population just under 183,000 people, you will find a city that is lively in culture, colorful in architecture, and cheap enough to stay for a week for as little as $200 U.S.D.
Places to Stay on the Cheap
Backpacker´s Hostel Iquique, is one of the better options for your buck. Rooms run at around $17 dollars a night and offers a communal kitchen (to cook your own meals) hammocks, WiFi, and an outside area to throw a BBQ if you so please. They also offer packages for surf-lessons and have an extremely accommodating front desk staff.
Places to Eat on the Cheap
Supermercado Rossi, is Iquique´s largest supermarket that offers fresh vegetables, cooking essentials, and food-for-on-the go. Most hostels in town have a communal kitchen so stocking up on food for the week and cooking your own meals is a great way to budget yourself. If you are hankering for a lunch or dinner out, try Ciccolata, a hearty little café offering serving real coffee, tasty sandwiches and mouth-watering pastries and cakes.
Places to See on the Cheap
Surfing is plentiful but don’t give into high-prices from the companies that charge gringo prices. Vertical Sports, offers some of the best surf instruction but the prices are a bit high. Sometimes just walking the coast of Playa Canvancha and inquiring around for lessons could save you a buck or two.
Have you been to Iquique, Chile?