Located on the narrow littoral platform of the coastal mountain range, 120 km from Tocopilla and 186 km north of Antofagasta, with a small settlement of 24,574 inhabitants.
It was founded as a cove in 1843, was built in 1905, and started to work in 1911. It was built by the German pioneer Henry Solman with the aim of supplying power to the businesses in the Solman group.
It has a saltpeter railway station, a mechanized saltpeter port, two thermoelectric plants that supply Chuquicamata and the rest of the north’s network. The hydroelectric plant closed in 1965 and today the reservoir regulates the waters of the Quillagua valley.
It is a loading point for products being exported, such as fish meal, it is by-products, and metals.