What you need to know about Iquique
Iquique is a port city and commune in northern Chile, capital of both the Iquique Province and Tarapacá Region. It lies on the Pacific coast, west of the Pampa del Tamarugal which is part of Atacama Desert. It had a population of 180,601 according to the 2012 census. It is also the main commune of the Greater Iquique. The city developed during the heyday of the saltpetre mining in Atacama Desert in the 19th century. Originally a Peruvian city with a large Chilean population, it was ceded to Chile as result of War of the Pacific (1879–1883). Today it is one of only two free ports of Chile.
Population: Estimate 181 644
Area: 2 242 km²
Iquique has one of the largest duty-free commercial port centers of South America, the Zona Franca of Iquique (free zone of Iquique) which has been traditionally called Zofri. There are around 2.4 square kilometres (0.93 sq mi) of warehouses, banking branches, and restaurants. Copper mining, mainly in Quebrada Blanca, Cerro Colorado, and Doña Inés de Collahuasí, is also an important industry in Iquique.
As a commune, Iquique is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by an alcaldewho is directly elected every four years. The 2012–2016 alcalde is Jorge Soria. Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Iquique is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Mrs. Marta Isasi (Ind.) and Mr. Hugo Gutiérrez (PC) as part of the 2nd electoral district, which includes the entire Tarapacá Region.The commune is represented in the Senate by Fulvio Rossi Ciocca (PS) and Jaime Orpis Bouchon (UDI) as part of the 1st senatorial constituency (Arica and Parinacota Region and Tarapacá Region).
Iquique is served by Diego Aracena International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Diego Aracena) (IATA: IQQ, ICAO: SCDA). The airport is on the Pacific coast 48 kilometres (30 mi) south of the city.
Iquique has a rare mild desert climate (Köppen BWn) with low extremes of temperatures all year round and almost no rainfall.