Antofagasta

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Welcome to Antofagasta!

We are more than pleased to welcome you to our lovely city, where is always summer! That includes a lot of sun, beaches, etc but
also historical buildings, museums and the Atacama desert just right in the corner. The first thing you will notice when the plane lands in Antofagasta is that there is no vegetation on the landscape that hasn't been planted there, well, this is because rain in Antofagasta is extremely rare, averaging less than 4 mm a year with recorded rain free droughts of over forty years!! Instead, it is the brightly colored houses and shops that bring color to the landscape. So here you will have the experience of living right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the Atacama desert, the driest desert of the world and for this last thing you will soon learn that a bottle of water could be your best friend.

About Antofagasta

Antofagasta is a city in Northern Chile. The Atacama desert rises in the east and the Pacfic Ocean provides a western limit. This is an industrial center in the region and is one of the most pleasant cities in the north, with a increasingly attractive (mainly for tourists). Travellers heading to San Pedro de Atacama and between far north and central Chile usually find it a convenient stopover. Antofagasta is a prominant port town and has a population of over a quarter of a million people - the fourth largest in Chile. Because of it's proximity to the mines, much of the economy in town is in support of the mining industry.

Speaking of water... there is none. The only fresh water existent is naturally filtered through run-off from the mines and has been known to contain high levels of arsenic, that's why we don't even give a try to put it out from the earth. Today, the city gets much of its water from sea water desalinization (you should take a look of it). Either way, bottled water is a good idea in the city and an absolute must beyond this point on during the trip. You cannot have too much water! (and remember... Con Gas = with bubbles, Sin Gas = without).

Weather

Desert weather, with homogeneous temperatures in the shore. The high media temperature is 24,5ºC and the lowest is 17,1ºC. The rain is almost non existent due to couldiness, with a high media of 3 milimeters.

How to get here

By plane

Here we have the Andrés Sabella airport (IATA: ANF), long ago called Cerro Moreno airport is a military airport who belong to the Chilean airforce but it also works as a domestic and internacional airport. Probably this is the way you will arrive here.


By bus

Usually all the departures/arrivals are from the Antofagasta Bus Terminal with conections to Calama, San Pedro de Atacama (5 hours, $7.400, Tur-Bus), Iquique, Arica, Copiapó, La Serena (12 hours, $10.000) and Santiago de Chile. If you are coming from Santiago de Chile you will probably prefer to come by plane, because the bus takes about 20 hours to get here and the price is similar.

Local Transportation

The higher transportation consists of thirteen lines of minibuses, which correspond to buses with a capacity of less than thirty people. The public transport is within a tender and is known as TransAntofagasta. The route of these buses finish in the Caleta Coloso (south end of the city) during the year, and during the summer come as far as "Balneario Juan Lopez", which is out of town. The lower transport consists of taxis lines, corresponding to a black sedans that make their way through the urban area through fixed routes.

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Raylways

The most important railroad town is the "Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia" (FCAB) founded in 1888, during the economic boom of the saltpeter industry. Unlike other contemporary mining railways, survived the market crash of natural nitrate and today provides a variety of transportation services, highlighting the transport of mining products and consumables such as copper cathodes and sulfuric acid, through a network of 900 kilometers (560 mi), which is connected with the Ferrocarril Andino de Bolivia, Ferronor (in Chile), and Ferrocarril Belgrano in Argentina (Salta–Antofagasta railway).

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Skyline of Antofasta

Atacama desert


Atacama salt flat

El tatio geyser

Nevados Ojos del Salvado, the highest volcano in the world at 6,893 m (22,615 ft)

Chungará Lake and Llamas in the Andean Plateau (Altiplano), 4,517 metres over the sea

Hand of the desert


Cabuncho beach

La Portada

Antofagasta at night

 





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