September 22, 2015
Arica is not a tourist destination and Hotel Beltran is more of a business hotel than a tourist haven. Rooms are contemporary, clean and comfortable. Service is friendly and efficient but somewhat lacking in English skills. During our stay there was construction work in the afternoon that was quite loud. You may want to ensure that the project has been finished before booking.
Breakfast is made to order with good coffee, a nice fruit salad, homemade bread and scrambled eggs. The restaurant is also reasonably good. We tried two of their pasta dishes – quinoa coated shrimp on cheesy fettucine, reminiscent of mac and cheese, and Roquefort Ravioli, nice blue cheese flavor in a creamy sauce with grilled shrimp.
Dinner El Arriero
This older conservative establishment with a bright yellow interior and dark wood furniture had a large dining room with very few patrons on a Monday evening. We were tired and looking for some place that opened before 8PM. The food is OK, service formal, efficient and appropriately friendly.
The evening began with fresh warm bread served with olives, butter, chili and lime. For a starter we ordered the mussels pil pil, nice flavor but otherwise unremarkable.
For mains we tried two of their sea bass preparations – Marinara – fish topped with an assortment of seafood – and Al Jugo – fish topped with aromatic vegies including carrots, tomato and onion.
The preparations were good but the fish was not the freshest. Judging from the menu the place would probably be better for meat, especially BBQ, rather than fish dishes.
Lunch at Rayu
Taking a day off from travel and sight-seeing, we walked down to the beach off of Las Dunas where Rayu is located.
The stroll through the center of town to the fish market was pleasant enough, but once we hit the shipyard the neighborhood and beach became more industrial looking and not very inviting on a gray day.
Lunch at Rayu, however, was a real treat. The upscale restaurant just up from the beach has a lovely covered terrace with tables graced in white table cloths. At 1PM we were the first to arrive.
Service, all in Spanish, is formal and generally efficient but slow with the drinks and the check.
We started with the Peruvian ceviche. This super fresh and simply amazing dish was easily enough for two.
For mains we tasted the corvina (fish) – beautifully cooked and served with loco (abalone) and a cheesy risotto –
and the sargo, a local fish, that was huge, served with potatoes and also beautifully cooked.
All in all an elegant and fun lunch. It’s easy to see why Rayu is rated the best restaurant in Arica.