Chañaral: A history-laden port

Located near the Pan de Azúcar National Park, what appears to be a dormant city is replete with centuries-old manor houses that narrate its history.

Thursday, July 23, 2009  
Chañaral Chañaral (Photo:Chilephoto)

Chañaral is an old ocean port with a myriad of hundred year-old houses and vantage points overlooking white sand beaches that anticipate the power of the Pan de Azúcar National Park.

This town was populated in the 17th century  as result of the mining boom, and grew after the discovery of the El Salado Mine that required the construction of a small port.

165 kilometers northeast of Copiapó, Chañaral, a small and distinctive city, is a must-stop for visitors who want to get to know the region’s best beaches and parks.

Treat yourself to the seafood at the fishermen’s wharf in the south. And for a refreshing bath, the Caleuche, Hippie and Las Gaviotas beaches are a good choice. A trip to the Pan de Azúcar National Park will always be a memorable experience.

Chañaral Attractions

Natural History Museum

This Museum houses a very complete collection of the ancient Huentelauquén culture that inhabited these lands at least 10 thousand years ago.
Buin 818, Phone (52) 480042.

Iglesia Parroquial  (Parrish Church)

Built in 1864, its structure was built with wooden partition walls, Guayaquil cane and mud, sand and lime stucco.  It was declared a National Monument in 1985 together with the adjacent Molina House, an icon of past bonanza days, and it is located to the side of the Main Square or Plaza de Armas.

Millennium Lighthouse

Inaugurated in 2000, this building, located on the top of a hill that overlooks the city, provides a full view of the entire Chañaral seaboard.

Porto Fino

A favorite spot for local surfers, with some of the best right breaking waves in the country, Porto Fino is located 25 kilometers to the south, with a few houses and camping areas scattered along the desert landscape, and small pools dotted along the rocks.  It hosts international surfing events every summer.