Pica town in the Big North of Chile

Pica town in the Big North of Chile

Pica which means to take flowers or fruits,  is a town of 2,642 inhabitants,placed in an altitude of 4.347 feet. Pica is a town of pre-Hispanic origin and is located in the mountain range area. Pica is a resort and municipality. Its 250 watered hectares are planted with orange trees, lemons, lime trees, grapefruits, mango and guavas, whose fruits are transformed, by homemade procedures, in honeys, jams and nectars of exquisite flavor.

Pica has an urban area with a public plaza and church. Its agricultural sectors are called the Band (La Banda), Resbaladero and Miraflores and each one have 5 cochas or swimming pools where arise springs of water for the watering, which are also used for the bath of the tourists.

Visit the Slippery Cocha (Resbaladero Cocha), a pond or natural swimming pool located among rocks, with two large holes by which the water arises. It is authorized as a municipal resort and it is opened to the public every day of the week from 08:00 A.M. to 21:00 P.M., except the days of general cleaning, when it opens from 14:00 PM to 21:00 PM.

Continue the stroll by Pica returning to the plaza through Av. Ibáñez to visit the Historical District (Barrio Histórico) that has pretty houses, some of them old and of two floors, with corridors. Their screens close only until middle height to let pass the air. In the paths, you can see bougainvilleas and the main street has runner roof.

The constructions are generally of wood with cane of Guayaquil and stucco work in anhydrite (insoluble plaster). Equal technique is appraised in the Church of San Andrés (Iglesia de San Andrés) that dominates the plaza of Pica scena with its high classic fronton framed in pilasters, three doors with circular termination and two bell towers on the porch. Constructed between 1880 and 1886, it is third in the place; the two previous ones, of 1600 and 1768, were destroyed by earthquakes. The cover is a vault in cross and in the cruise raises a cupola finished in lantern. The interior has three naves and columns maintain the central vault. This church keeps a Holy Supper scene with personages of natural size. The celebration of San Andrés, patron saint and protector of the town, is the November 30TH.

Near the church, in Balmaceda 178, it is the Municipal Museum (Museo Municipal) of Pica, that counts on a paleontology, archaeology and of the period of the saltpeter sample collection; also the local communities and their crafts are displayed; the entrance is free, and the schedule is from Mondays through Fridays, from 09:00 AM to 13:00 PM and 16:00 PM to 20:00 P.M. and Saturdays from 09:00 A.M. to 13:00 P.M.

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