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Chuquicamata

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Chuquicamata, The Hub of Chile's Mining Industry

Chuquicamata still provokes nostalgia among those who used to live in the town of the same name that was once perched alongside it. A few years ago, its inhabitants had to move to Calama due to the expansion of this gigantic operation.

Located 16 km from Calama at 2,850 meters above sea level, the mine is still in use. Tours are offered Monday through Friday by the Public Relations Department of Codelco Norte, the corporation that operates the mine. The one-hour tour is free (though donations for a local social welfare organization are welcome). Although there is no age limit, the tour is not recommended for children under eight.

A bus will take you to the mine's town, called the "campamento," stopping at a lookout point from which you can see the enormous open pit mine in full operation. The tour also includes visits to some mine facilities, where you can learn about copper extraction processes and be amazed at the enormous machines and trucks driving around the mine.

The sheer scale of this amazing place makes this an enjoyable outing whether you are a mining buff or not.

 

Featured Destinations

a  Historic District

b  Chuquicamata
c  Gateway of Antofagasta

d  Salitre Route

 

Getting There

bus
By Bus
The bus tour departs at 2:00 p.m. from the former Chuquicamata School, which stands on the left side of the entrance to the town. It is best to arrive at least 15 minutes early.
From Calama, take a taxi from Plaza 21 de Mayo or arrange for a radio taxi from your hotel.
en auto
By Car
Take the only road running north out of Calama to the mine (16 km).
arriendo-auto
By Car
Take the only road running north out of Calama to the mine (16 km).
 


Tips

 
Tour Reservation
 Proper Attire
It is best to reserve a spot on the tour, particularly during the summer. You can make a reservation by phoning 55-322 122 or sending an email to visitas@codelco.cl. Long pants, long-sleeved shirts or jackets and closed-toe shoes are recommended for safety reasons. Shorts, short-sleeved or sleeveless shirts, t-shirts and sandals are not allowed.

 


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