El Norte Grande: Places to Explore

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  • Antofagasta

    Antofagasta is the most important—and the richest—city in El Norte Grande. It was part of Bolivia until 1879, when it was annexed by Chile in the War of the Pacific. The port town became an...

  • Arica

    Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Relax for an hour or two on the Plaza 21 de Mayo....

  • Calama

    The discovery of vast deposits of copper in the area turned Calama into the quintessential mining town, and therein lies its interest. People from the length of Chile flock to this dusty spot on...

  • Chacabuco

  • Geysers del Tatio

  • Gigante de Atacama

  • Iquique

    Iquique is the capital of Chile's northernmost region, but it wasn't always so important. For hundreds of years it was a tiny fishing community. After the arrival of the Spanish the village grew...

  • Juan López

    Those turned off by the hustle and bustle of Antofagasta will likely be charmed by Juan López, a hodgepodge of pastel-color fishing shacks and a picturesque caleta (cove). In high season, January and...

  • Mamiña

    An oasis cut from the brown desert, the tiny village of Mamiña has hundreds of hot springs. Renowned throughout Chile for their curative powers, these springs draw people from around the region....

  • Parque Nacional Lauca

  • Pica

    From a distance, Pica appears to be a mirage. This oasis cut from the gray and brown sand of the Atacama Desert is known for its fruit—the limes used to make pisco sours are grown here. A hint...

  • Pisagua

    Pisagua, one of the region's most prominent ports during the nitrate era, at one time sustained a population of more than 8,000 people. Many of the mansions built at that time are still standing,...

  • Reserva Nacional Las Vicuñas

  • Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos

  • Reserva Nacional Pampa del Tamarugal

  • Salar de Surire

  • San Pedro de Atacama

    With its narrow streets lined with whitewashed and mud-color adobe houses, San Pedro centers around a small Plaza de Armas teeming with artisans, tour operators, and others who make their living...

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