Copiapó is a town in Northern Chile. It's a pleasant stop if passing by bus, overlooked by beautiful hills and surrounded by vineyards. Although located in the southern end of the atacama desert, the area was once more lush oasis than now, reflected in the towns first name in 1744: San Francisco de la Selva, Saint Francis of the Jungle. In 1854 the first railway line in South America was built here.
Buses pull in from the north (Antofagasta, Iquique, Arica) and south (La Serena, Santiago) at the terminals south of the city centre. Tur-bus has their terminal on Calle Chañarcillo and Pullman has their's on Colipi.
- Museo Mineralógico, Cross between Calle Colipi and Rodriguez, +56 (52) 206606. Every day, until 17:45PM. Close to the centre and a supposedly impressing collection of minerals. Entry is Ch$600.
- The Plaza A. Pratt is a very pleasant park right in the centre of town, great for reading or just spending a few hours relaxing in the shade. It has a lot of interesting trees and comfortable benches.
- A large Lider supermarket on Chacabuco 120 is located very close to the centre and the bus terminals. Great for self caterers or if stocking up before a bus ride.
- Maspizza, Atacama 671, +56 0(52) 232856. Good pizzas at reasonable prices. Wide variety of toppings, popular. Pizza for two from Ch$3000.
- Residencial Lendy, Calle Chacabuco 173, +56 (0)52 235990. Basic but very friendly in a family's home. Close to bus terminals. 11:30PM curfew, use of kitchen, stores luggage. A twin without bath is Ch$8000 (have exact change at hand).
- Caldera, a port city to the west of Copiapó can be reached via bus. The trip takes 1 hour and 10 minutes with buses leaving every 15 minutes from the terminal on Chacabuco street (a few blocks from the centre of town), there is a large grocery store "Lider" across the road from the terminal also. A return ticket to Caldera from Copiapó is 3.500 pesos.