Where to go in Antofagasta?
The square was given the traditional title of “Plaza de Armas” in 1860, for the fiftieth anniversary of Chilean Independence. At that time it was decorated with beautiful monuments, amongst them the Monument to the King and Queen of Spain, a pavilion built by the Yugoslav community and a clock donated by the British Colony.
Paseo del Mar
This is a modern work of engineering, built between 1979 and 1982. It was built to beautify the pedestrian walkway. It comprises green areas, a beach resort, and food and lodging services.
The Plaza de los Eventos, inaugurated in 1999, is located in the northern sector. It is an architectural unit beside the sea.
Barrio Histórico de Antofagasta
The historical quarter contains a series of buildings, several of them National Monuments. The most well-known are the Muelle Salitrero (the nitrates dock), the former Maritime Authority building, the former Customs House, and the Regional Museum of Antofagasta.
Torre del Reloj de Antofagasta
The clock tower is located in the middle of Plaza Colón. It was erected using big blocks of enameled ceramics which were brought out from England. The face of the clock is a replica of the clock-face of Big Ben in London, England.
Museo Regional of Antofagasta
The Regional Museum was created in 1984 and consists of two buildings. One of them is the former Maritime Authority building, where the library and the administrative offices are located; the other is the former Customs House, where the permanent display of collections is housed.
Here you will find all the cultural and natural history of the region. You will also find important collections of items from the Pacific War and the Nitrates industry, demonstrating the importance of the golden age of this mineral.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00 hrs and 15:30 to 18:30 hrs. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays it is open between 11:00 and 14:00 hrs.
Edificios del FCAB
The buildings of the Antofagasta-Bolivia railway line were constructed by the old Railways and Nitrates Company between 1885 and 1887, in neo-classical style. Nowadays the railway is run by a large private company with modern equipment. This is the location of the former station, which has been declared a National Monument.
Muelle Salitrero de Antofagasta
The Nitrates dock is located in the Barrio Histórico. It was built in 1872 and served a number of purposes, for example the unloading of the railways. Later on it would be the disembarkation point for Emiliano Sotomayor, with 500 Chilean soldiers. At present it is closed because of the unsafe condition of the buildings.
Ex Gobernación Marítima de Antofagasta
The former Maritime Authority building was constructed in about 1910, as were the former Maritime Defenses of the city. Nowadays it houses the administration and library of the Museo Regional de Antofagasta.
Ex Aduana de Antofagasta
The old Customs House stands opposite the former Maritime Authority building, at Calle Balmaceda 2786. Its architecture is an example of the style in fashion during the conquest of the desert. It was originally built in Mejillones as the Administration Office of Chilean Mining Interests. In 1888 it was moved to Antofagasta, and is the oldest building in the city. The Museo Regional de Antofagasta is housed here.
It was declared a National Monument in 1976.
Ex Estación de Antofagasta
The old railway station is famous for its moving platform and a second floor that was added in 1892. It is located among the buildings of the FCAB.
Plaza José Francisco Vergara
This square was declared a National Monument in 1980. It is one of the relics that are kept as a compelling reminder of the mining past of the area, and is located in the campus of the Universidad de Antofagasta. It was built in wood at the beginning of the century, and in 1976 it had to be moved from the Vergara Nitrates Plant, which had closed down in 1938.
Balneario Municipal de Antofagasta
This is a beautiful beach located to the south of Antofagasta. It is distinguished by the services which it provides, and for being especially good for bathing. There are restaurants, sports grounds and a pedestrian walkway.
Balneario Las Almejas
This is a picturesque beach located in the urban area of Antofagasta. It is tranquil and suitable for sunbathing and swimming. It is also suitable for watersports.
Playa Automóvil Club
This beach is located in the central sector of Antofagasta; it is very safe and pleasant, with a select atmosphere. There is good infrastructure. It is suitable for bathing and for various sports.
Ruinas de Huanchaca
The ruins are located between Angamos and Argentina Streets, beside the Universidad Católica del Norte. This used to be the foundry of the Huanchaca Mining Company set up in 1873 with Chilean, Bolivian and English capital. Their objective was the exploitation of the Pulcayo and Oruro mines. After operating for nineteen years, it was closed down and dismantled in 1912.
The ruins were declared a National Monument in 1974, as one of the biggest silver foundries in South America, established in 1878.