San Miguel de Azapa, near Arica, northern Chile
This cemetery visit was suggested to me by the owner of the hostel I was staying at in Arica. There is a particularly good museum in San Miguel, he told me how to get there and suggested that, while I was there, I take a look at an interesting cemetery in the desert sands just behind the village.
San Miguel de Azapa is located in the narrow Azapa Valley, which produces tropical fruit (including guava), olives and flowers. The area also is home to relics of the cultures that once populated the area. Located about 13 km from Arica, the town is reached via a paved road that leads past lovely scenery and the San José River. The route also passes a number of archeological sites, such as the geoglyphs area and pucará (pre-Columbian fortress) or San Lorenzo.
Other attractions include the San Miguel de Azapa Museum, which is administered by Universidad de Tarapacá and exhibits 10,000-year-old relics of the Chinchorro culture, which predated the Inca.
The town was also home of the first black slaves to arrive in Chile. Unlike the country's chilly southern region, the climate was amenable to them. When they were freed, they were granted their own land and crops. Many of their descendents still reside in San Miguel de Azapa.
For more taphophilia please visit Julie's Taphophile Tragics.