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Antofagasta Province
Type of Location
About Location

Antofagasta is a port city in northern Chile, about 700 miles (1,130 km) north of Santiago.It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region.According to the 2002 census, the city has a population of 296,905.However, a recent population projection by the National Institute of Statistics of Chile in 2009, says the city has an estimated population of 360,473 inhabitants.The city of Antofagasta is closely linked to mining activity, being a major mining area of the country.The last decade has been a steady growth in the areas of construction, retail, hotel accommodations, population growth, and remarkable skyline development.

In late 1990, and during the last decade, Antofagasta has had one of the highest increases in urban and economic development in Chile.The construction industry had a remarkable growth seen in the many tall buildings built, the extension of the urban area to the north of the city, and different urban projects as the renovation of the entire Costanera Avenue, and walkways of the city center.In economic development, settled many retail chains and supermarkets as well as various high-quality hotel chains, which promoted business tourism to attract capital and trading partners in mining and port activity. Similarly, the city was awarded the installation of the Casino Enjoy Antofagasta.

In the municipal elections of 2008, the first woman mayor of the city was elected, Dra.Marcela Hernando, who retired from her political party to run as an Independent.This allowed her to have diverse support from all sectors of the population of Antofagasta.Experts have estimated that in the next 10 years the city will reach 500 thousand inhabitants.The urban area of Antofagasta occurs abruptly breaking the monotony of the desert and is located in the coastal plains, south of the “Peninsula of Mejillones” and north of “Cerro Coloso”.The Tropic of Capricorn passes in the north of the city, outside the urban area, which is located the Cerro Moreno International Airport. For this reason on December 21, 2000, was opened the Tropic of Capricorn Monument.

Antofagasta's economic development is mainly based on copper mining and nonmetallic minerals such as nitrate and iodine.It is also important port activity, although in recent years has lost the lead port in the region, due to the installation of the megaport of Mejillones.Trade is concentrated mainly in the center of Antofagasta, around the Plaza Colón, where they are installed in the last 2 decades several national retail chains. Moreover, in different parts of the city have set up large supermarket chains like “Lider” and “Jumbo”.Recently in 2006, were also installed, the national chain " Mall Plaza" in the coastal area and the “Casino Enjoy Antofagasta” in the south of the city.

How to Reach

By Air

Cerro Moreno International Airport is the only air terminal in Antofagasta and is located in Cerro Moreno, north of the city.This site, despite being classified as International Airport, operates only as a terminal for national flights.In this terminal operates three domestic airlines, LAN Chile, Principal Airlines and Sky Airlines to many Chilean airports and also to Lima, Peru being the only international destination served by TACA Peru.

By Train

The most important railroad town is the "Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia" (FCAB) founded in 1888, during the economic boom of the saltpeter industry.Due to the fastest urban and demographic growth of Antofagasta over the last decade, is currently under study and discuss the implementation of a commuter train, using the current line of Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia.The project aims to decongest vehicular traffic causing problems at peak times, linking the north and south of the city with a direct train line.

By Bus

The higher transportation consists of thirteen lines of minibuses, which correspond to buses with a capacity of less than thirty people.The public transport is within a tender and is known as TransAntofagasta.The public transport plan took effect officially on November 28, 2005, replacing the old bus service.The route of these buses finish in the Caleta Coloso (south end of the city) during the year, and during the summer come as far as "Balneario Juan Lopez", which is out of town.

By Ferries

The city also has a port complex of seven docks, inaugurated by President Carlos Ibanez del Campo on February 14, 1943 under the name of Puerto de Antofagasta, which consists of two terminals. Terminal 1, consists of the docks 1, 2 and 3, is multi-operator and is managed by the “Empresa Portuaria Antofagasta” (EPA) since July 1, 1998.Terminal No. 2, composed of docks 4, 5, 6 and 7, monooperario type, which is managed and operated by the company "Antofagasta Terminal Internacional" (ATI) since March 1, 2003.Overall, this tourist (member of the Association of Cruise Ports Southern Cone) and commercial port, can operate the production of 5,000,000 tons of cargo.

By Road

The main land route connectivity in the province is the Route 5-CH, route which connects the city with the rest of the country and is part of the Panamerican Highway.This route connects to the city by the Route CH-26 in the north of the city, and the Route CH-28 at the south entrance.In addition, the city is connected to the north of the country by Route 1-CH, the way that also allows access to Cerro Moreno International Airport and the natural monument La Portada.

Key places to visit
Antofagasta Regional Stadium, Salt White Gold, Juan Lopez, Hornitos Beach


Places to Visit

Antofagasta Regional Stadium

Is a multi-use stadium in Antofagasta, Chile.It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Club de Deportes Antofagasta.The stadium holds 26,339 people and was built in 1964.

Salt White Gold

Wandering throughout the region surrounding the city of Antofagasta leads us to the origin of the saltpeter peoples.Several abandoned salt works are located in the northeast of Antofagasta.Some of them are Pueblo Pampa Union and Chacabuco.Maria Elena is the sole natural saline field under exploitation.It was created in 1926 based on the same traditional architecture as the rest of the salt plain settlements and the nearby Plaza de Armas.

Juan Lopez

Leaving from Antofagasta towards the North and after visiting La Portada, our next must visit destination is Juan Lopez, a small vestige of what Northern Chile used to be like.The entire Antofagasta Bay was dwelled with small communities and fishing coves where the inhabitants began to develop with their families.The territory occupied by the Juan Lopez bathing resort today, which used to be called a different name in those days, could not escape history either.

Hornitos Beach

Hornitos is one of the most beautiful beaches in northern Chile.Summer houses, cliffs and a fantastic sea turn this beach into a heavenly site.The oceanic road that takes us from Antofagasta to Iquique is unique, not only because it runs next to the sea but also because it unfolds peacefully and calmly amidst bends and straight stretches, which allow us to appreciate how life goes on in these latitudes.Fishermen coves, sea and desert are seen like spots in a wall as we leave the Mejillones Peninsula.And it is from this point onwards that the sea mingles with the desert in a constant struggle for becoming the center of attention. Sometimes the sea wins, sometimes, the sand is the winner.

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