Tourist information > Calama  







Located at 2,250 meters of height, the city of Calama is 1,568 km north of Santiago, the capital of Chile, in the middle of the vast Atacama desert.


It is known as the mining capital of Chile, as in the vicinity are the most important copper mines of Chile, among which Chuquicamata stands out, the world's largest open pit mine. With a population close to 150.000 inhabitants, Calama is the dormitory town and services providers for the mineral deposits of Chuquicamata, Mina Sur, Mina Ministro Hales, Minera Gaby, Mina Radomiro Tomic, Spencer and El Abra among others. In the city of Calama there are industries and metalworking shops that serve the sulfur and borax mining of the border, as well as the nitrates mining from the Atacama Salar.


  The desert nature of northern Chile is very rich in historic villages, each of them with its special stamp. Many of these sites can be visited from Calama. However, the city of Calama itself offers many interesting attractions that are worth visiting:
  • St. John the Baptist Cathedral. Built in the early 20th century, it was renovated at the beginning of the 21st century with copper plates in its roof and dome.
  • Abaroa Former farm. Located behind the Municipal Cemetery, still has buildings from the late nineteenth century belonging to Don Eduardo Abaroa Hidalgo, a local hero who fought for Bolivia, and to his son Andrónico Abaroa, pioneer of the Chilean domination of the city.
  • El Loa Park. Located in the southern part of the city, has vast green areas, a lagoon formed by the Loa river, -the longest river in Chile, with a length of 440-km -, a swimming pool, playground, a viewpoint tower inspired by a Pucará construction, and craft shops. Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10: 00 to 20: 30 hours. Free admission.
  • Archeological and Ethnological Museum. Located inside the El Loa Park, displays the different artistic manifestations of the Andean people of the area, since the appearance of the first hunters and gatherers until the arrival of the Spaniards. It has an interesting display of volcanic stone, pottery, copper, cactus and tissues handicrafts. Avenida O'Higgins sn. Tel: 55-340112. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10: 00 to 13: 00 and from 15: 00 to 19: 30 hours.
  • Topater. Located on the eastern periphery of the city, it is an area of highly historical importance, as the first traces of pre-Inca people and the oldest cemetery in the area are found in Topater. It was also the main point of operations during the Chilean conquest at the battle of Calama.
  Due to its plains and proximity to the highlands, Calama has a desert climate with a high degree of dryness and sporadic rainfall. During the day the temperature is pleasant, being close to 23°C / 73°F. At night cold temperatures take over and thermometers reach freezing marks. Being a desert, the wind plays an important factor. Moderate winds occur during the day while at night strong northern winds are present.    



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