Chañaral, Chile

Chañaral, Chile

Chañaral is inhabitated by 13.583 people and capital of the province, is located 165 kms (102.5 miles) north west from Copiapo, in the coast area. Chañaral is a city which development is based in El Salvador mine and some other activities derived from the port and mining industry. Founded in the XIX century due to the exploitations of the mineral deposit named The Las Ánimas.

Once in the city visit Chañaral’s Church and Molina House (Casa Molina) located in Chañaral’s square and declared national monument in 1985.

In the plaza is the beautiful church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen), declared national monument. It was made of wood, lined in reed brought from Guayaquil and stuccoed in mud, it was blessed and inaugurated in 1864 thanks to the money given by a very rich Portuguese inhabitant. There are masses Thursdays at 20 and Saturdays at 20:30. It can be visited every day from 8:30 to 21:30.

Next you will find Molina House (Casa Molina), also declared national monument. It was built in 1904 when the mining industry was at it best moment by Chañaral’s notary. Since 1938 it belongs to the Molinas. It has two yards with corridors built with half foliated arches.

The Historical and Natural Museum Rodulfo Phillipi has a significant collection from the Huentelauquen culture, among other elements geometrical litos which has more than 10800 years. It also exhibits minerals, fosils, malacologie and desert insects. It is open from Monday to Friday from 9 to 13 and from 15 to 17.

The Presbiterian Temple – declared National Monument – can be seen.In georgian style, it was built in 1861 by the English colony and now it is used by the Evangelical community.

Chañaral coast.

Chañaral coast.

Nearby attractions:

Barquitos is a small port founded in 1916 by Andes Coopers Mining Company. The building plan contemplated a thermoelectrical, a dock and a railway. The dock was finished in 1917 and the thermoelectrical plant began working in 1927. This port finished working on September 9, 1981.

Oasis de Agua Dulce is a recreational area with a lot of vegetation due to the water that flows in this place. The place has tables, grills and a swimming pool.

The La Ola dam is located 36 miles from Potrerillos by an unpaved road. The dam is 3500 masl in the Ola river (Rio Ola) that feeds El Salvador mine.

Cerros Veteados shows a really geological rareness, It presents yellow coloured stones crossed vertically by wide stripes of black basalt.

In the highway from Caldera to Chañaral, yo will find Flamingo Beach, a beach resort that counts with basic services, restaurant, camping and small markets; also an aquaculture in the cove. At the north side there are ponds between the rocks.

In km 61 you will find a deep inlet; that is Villa Alegre, which has a beach of “conchuela” protected by the wind and some other summer facilities.

Portofino is located at km 62; composed by a great place together with beaches and coves between the rocks. Later – at Los Médanos – there is a grotto for the Virgin.

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