Iquique is the capital of the First Region. Iquique is also the principal fishing port in Chile. The commercial activity of this city is centred around its Zona Franca (duty free area). Iquique offers a mixture of shopping, history, attractive beaches, and it is boarded by the desert, the sea, an oasis and the Altiplano (high plateau). In Iquique we can find evidence of mining dating back to the magnificent times when saltpeter was mined, and historical sites as well as the great surroundings, such as the Pampa del Tamarugal (mesquite grove) and the Pica Oasis in the middle of the desert.