There are many ghost towns left from the nitrate boom in the early 20th century, and Chacabuco is one of them, although, this deserted town has a darker history than most. Augusto Pinochet used the abandoned town, originally founded in 1924 for saltpeter plain exploitations, during his dictatorship as a concentration camp for almost 2,000 people between 1973 and 1974. The small town was surrounded by landmines to ensure no one attempted escape. Nowadays you can visit this unsettling place and see a display in the theater about life in Chacabuco when it was a nitrate plant, and get more information about its days as a concentration camp.
Your complete guide to planning a trip to the U.S. National Parks, including an interactive map and several road trip itineraries.More