Attractions around Pozo Almonte
Founded in 1850, the town lies only a few kilometers from Pozo Almonte and at 90 km. from Iquique. Originally, it was surrounded by forests of tamarugo trees, but these had to be felled because of the requirements of the nitrates mines in the sector. Nevertheless, the only remaining natural forests of tamarugos and carob trees may be seen in the surrounding area. The splendor of La Huaica reached its peak in the period of the nitrates industry; now the town lies in ruins.
Geoglyphs (rock-paintings) of Pintados
Declared a National Monument, the site of the paintings lies within the area of the municipality of Pozo Almonte. These pre-Colombian works of art are spread over an area of 4 km., and the site is considered to be of special scientific interest. It consists of 964 painted figures divided into different panels or groups by subject matter, representing animals, men, birds and other abstract figures.
Museum Virgin of La Tirana
The museum stands opposite the Sanctuary of La Tirana, and in it exhibits the gifts presented by the faithful and the costumes used in religious dances. It was created by don Andrés “Cacique” Farías, who collected a large number of pieces from the golden age of the nitrates industry.
Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve
The Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve comprises 24 thousand hectares of artificial plantations of tamarugo trees (prosopis tamarugo). It lies 70 km. inland from Iquique, in the municipalities of Huara and Pozo Almonte, and the central office is 25 km from Pozo Almonte.
Huasco Salt Flat
The salt flat is situated in the vicinity of Pozo Almonte, close to the border with Bolivia, at around 4.000 mts. above sea level. The surface is dotted with little lakes frequented by large numbers of birds, and around the edge there are water-holes surrounded by vegetation, where camelids may be seen grazing.
Is a pre-Hispanic walled village, lying 168 km. north-east of Pozo Almonte, with a large, oval place, measuring 47 meters in diameter. Its main feature is a stone monolith which stands at the center, and for this reason it is thought that the space was used for social and ceremonial activities. It dates back to 960 B.C. and is associated with the flowering of other centers of population in the north of Chile, such as the dwelling complexes in Quebrada de Tarapacá, and Tulor in San Pedro de Atacama.
Macaya Hot Springs
The springs are located some 200 meters from the center of the village of Macaya, 52 km west of Pozo Almonte. They are reached along a level path surrounded by pampas grass and overlooked by high mountain peaks. The spring itself is carved out of the rock, and the surface of the pool is 3 meters below the path. A stone staircase leads down to the pool, where there is room for up to 10 people.