We’re booked onto the Inca Trail for the end of August so we’re in no real rush as we make our way up  Cusco. So after a few days in San Pedro we decide to stop off in Iquique, a seaside town in the north of Chile famed for its surf.

We’re staying at the Backpackers Hostel, mere metres from the beach. Although we arrive at the ungodly hour of 6am they let us check into our room early and catch up on some sleep. It’s actually one of the best places we’ve stayed at, with nice rooms (duvet, yay!), great common areas and one of the biggest and best equipped kitchens we’ve come across.

The beach from our hostel

There’s not a whole lot to do in Iquique unless you’re into surfing but it’s a pleasant enough place to chill out for a few days before heading across the border into Peru. The Georgian architecture is stunning, but in the off-season quietness it gives the place a certain surrealism– you almost feel like you are walking onto a film set, especially when the old tram rattles past you at a snail’s pace. On other streets, you feel more like you are More >