Antofagasta

Overview

Introduction

An unlikely tourist destination, 840 mi/1,350 km north of Santiago, the port city of Antofagasta, Chile, draws business visitors, especially from the mining sector. Primarily an export point for Atacama Desert minerals, it has more flights than Calama, the region's other main city. Sights include La Portada (a natural arch in the Pacific Ocean just north of town), a regional history museum, a state-of-the-art geological museum built on the ruins of a silver foundry, beautiful fin-de-siecle architecture and Plaza Colon. Inside the plaza are monuments donated by the many different foreign communities of Antofagasta: a Slavic bandstand, a Spanish monument to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, and a British clock tower (a scale replica of London's Big Ben).

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