La Portada, copper mines and saltpeter are part of the city near attractions.


The port town of Antofagasta, (1,377 km from Santiago) and the city of Calama (1,574 km) are at the heart of the Chilean mining industry. Though this part of the northern region is home to the country’s most important copper mines, visitors will find other treasures here as well.

Situated just 215 km northeast of Antofagasta, Calama calls itself “the land of sun and copper.” Its vibrant economy and entertainment scene revolve around mining, and it is home to the miners who work at the Chuquicamata copper deposit just 15 km away. Tours of this giant open-pit mine, which can be seen from any part of the city but is definitely worth a visit, are offered year-round. The site measures more than four kilometers in diameter and reaches depths of nearly 1,000 meters.

In terms of services, Calama is the point of departure for expeditions to inland towns like San Pedro de Atacama, Chiu-Chiu and Caspana.

Both cities also offer access to the Paranal Astronomy Center, one of the most important in the world.

Deserts, beaches, enormous mining deposits, altiplano towns and stargazing are all within reach.

Check more tourist information on the Chile Travel site.

Video: Official site of the America’s Cup 2015 in Chile.

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How to arrive

  • By plane: From Santiago, direct flights to Cerro Moreno Airport in Antofagasta and El Loa in Calama (2 hours).
  • By bus: From Santiago buses stop first in Antofagasta and then continue to Calama. The latter trip takes about 23 hours. In Santiago, buses leave from Terminal Los Heroes (Phone: 56 2 420 00 99) and Terminal San Borja (former North Terminal. Phone: 56 2 776 0645.).
  • By car: From Santiago on Route 5 North and then west on Route 26 or 28 (1,377 km).