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Antofagasta (city)

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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 centre in the region and is perhaps the least pleasant city in the north. Current works (2008) to refurbish the seafront will probably render this city increasingly attractive, also for tourists. Travellers heading to San Pedro de Atacama and between far north and central Chile might find it a convenient stopover.

  • Sernatur, Paseo Prat 384, just off Plaza Colon. Helpful tourist information with maps on the city and the region.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

As of July 1st 2009 a new terminal has opened up within Antofagasta and buses no longer run from downtown. The new terminal is called 'Terminal Carlos Oviedo Cavada' (named after a former Catholic cardenal who was archbishop of the city and later of Santiago), and is located north of town. Many daily departures/arrivals: Calama, San Pedro de Atacama, Iquique, Arica, Copiapó, La Serena and Santiago. The major companies still have offices within a block or so of each other, centered on the crossing of La Torre and Bolivar in the center of Antofagasta. You can buy tickets here, but not longer board any long-distance bus.

By plane[edit]

Outside the city include the Cerro Moreno Airport, [1]


In the city there are six universities: University Catolica del Norte, University of Antofagasta, University Arturo Prat, University Pedro de Valdivia and the University Tecnológica de Chile.

Places close to the city[edit]

San Pedro de Atacama, is a commune that is 5 hours away from Antofagasta. Today tourists come from all over the world, especially Europe, attracted by the area's natural beauty and charm of the people.

The main attractions are in the vicinity of the town:

See[edit][add listing]

  • Sea lions, pelicans and smaller birds getting fed on fish waste in the fishermen´s harbour.
  • The sunset from the seafront walk to the south.
  • Ancla view point on the hill (city buses 107 and 108 get close to the trail leading up to Ancla).

Do[edit][add listing]

For being a city on the coast of Chile, Antofagasta has a relaxation area and a view of the sea, where you can play, eat, read, and have a good time.

Also, within the attractive tourist spots is the Monument Natural La Portada, geomorphological volcanic rocks and fossils that has an area of 31.27 ha. It has a coastal cliff that reaches a maximum height of 52 meters and around the arch La Portada, this is 43 m high, 23 m wide and 70 m long. Located approximately 18 miles north on Route 1, local authorities plan to reshape access and surroundings.

75 km south of the city lies "La Mano del Desierto", sculpture created by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal.


Annually, the February 14 marks the Day of Antofagasta, referring to the landing of Antofagasta, in charge of Colonel Emilio Sotomayor. This feast is sometimes confused with a celebration related to a supposed founding of the city of Antofagasta.

In early November, we celebrate the Festival of Foreign Communities (known as The Colonies), unique event in the country where for three days you can enjoy the best of food and dance of local participants town. In Antofagasta communities remain present in Croatia, Greece, Peru, China, Bolivia, Arab Union, Argentina, France, Italy and Chile.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Georgio pizza, 14 de febrero 2403 (in the corner with Calle Boliviar), +56 (0)55 789157. Great pizzas in an unpretentious and pleasant atmosphere. Take away available. Pizza and drinks for two is Ch$7000. No beer.

The city has a variety of restaurants specializing in typical food from different countries, such as Greece, Mexico, Japan, Italy and China.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The bars in the center are either strip clubs or purely male workers´ hang-outs (the girls you see are at work).
  • The pedestrian Paseo Arturo Prat has a couple of pavement cafes, that are good for people watching.
  • A few decent spots along Av. O´Higgins (a.k.a. Av. Brasil), and also the seafront parallel to it.
  • The otherwise standard hellish food court of the Mall Plaza has a neat outside area with a couple of bars and restaurants.
  • Che Ignacio, Antonio Toro 982 (By the South end of O´Higgins). A genuine ex-pats hang-out, neatly laid out, with a full restaurant menu. Warm and friendly with a great atmosphere. Note, Feb 2015, renamed from "Wally's Pub", not much of an expat place anymore. Small beer $2500, main course $9000.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Sociedad Inversiones Puerto Mayor, Jose Santo Ossa 2643. Great hotel with hot water, free gated parking, quiet interior rooms with windows, full cable and WiFi. It is in a very safe part of town with good access to restaurants and shopping. 20000.  edit


Many options in the area near the bus terminals. If you get further inland from here, it can get seedy at night.

  • Casa de Huesped Cataluna, Bolivar 572 (Half a block from the bus terminals), 780001. Clean rooms, shared bathroom (bring towel and toilet paper), big, comfy beds, thin walls let you here the birds sing in their cage in the hall. Single $9000, double $13000.  edit
  • Hotel Rawaye, Calle Sucre 762, +56 (0)55 225339. Run down old building with steaming hot showers and birds nesting in the ceiling. Fascinating amount of headroom in the bathrooms. Some rooms are quieter than others. Single $9000, double $15.000.
  • Residencial El Cobre, Arturo Prat. Close to McDonalds in central Antofagasta. Shared hot showers. Business like, but cheap. Mainly used by locals. Single $10000.

Stay safe[edit]

Beware of pickpockets and always park your private vehicle in guarded estacionamentos. The free guarded parking at supermarkets is not safe.



Motorcycle parts and repair available on Avenida Argentina at 4 different shops near number 1182.

Get out[edit]

  • Any bus heading for Mejillones will let you off at the road cross by La Portada, from where there is a 3 km walk to see a natural stone arch in the sea.
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