It's true, you CAN sandboard in Iquique. Actually, they invented it here.
On a mission to shred the sticky gnar gnar on the dunes overlooking the coastal town of Iquique in northern Chile, we found an adventure sports shop near the beach and rented 3 sandboards for the day. After lunch at a Chinese restaurant (they're everywhere in Chile for some reason), we grabbed our boards and took a cab to the edge of town.
There are no chairlifts at the sandboarding area here, but there's also no need to pay for an entry ticket. We spent 3 hours or so hiking up the tall dunes (it's not easy to hike up hills of sand) and boarding back down again. Hike up, board down. Hike up, board down. It was tiring but worth the righteous thrill of cutting up the dune on the way down.
If only we were so skilled and graceful. We each had our share of wipeouts, and most of them were caught on camera (look for blooper footage sometime in the next two weeks). By 7, we were covered in sand and ready for a shower and a cold beer.
There's a reason people board on snow instead of sand, but it was worth it.