Located in the northern part of Chile, this city is one of the most arid places in the world. Situated 2250 metres above sea level, this city has been dubbed the ‘bedroom city’ because most people would stop here for a night’s stay enroute San Pedro de Atacama. Calama is an economic hub as it propels though copper cash; therefore, it happens to be the pride of northern Chile. Signature copper is visible at all places, statues, walls etchings, copper-plated spire on the cathedral and more. The city has deep connections to Chuqicamata, as it inherited mining population from the copper mines of Chuquicamata. Calama is situated between the pre-Andean desert and the Pacific Ocean.
Though Calama is situated on the northern banks of Rio Loa, it is by and large accessible for pedestrians. Typically, cabs or taxis and car rentals are the most common forms of transportation. Short cab rides takes tourists to Aeropuerta El Loa and San Pedro de Atacama. Numerous taxi colectivos to Chuquicamata leave from Abaroa near Plaza 23 de Marzo. Those renting cars to visit the geysers at El Tatio might find it hard to travel in car. A truck would be suitable for the rugged roads.
Top Sight Seeing Places
The most important local attraction in Calama is its mining history. The proximally located Chuquicamata, hosts the largest open pit mine in the world. Numerous tours commence near this pit and proceeds to Calama city after an immersion in the mining museum. The museum takes one through the arrival and struggles of the early miners and their numerous sacrifices that have catapulted Chile to international fame.
For those tourists who interested in religious and spiritual living, the Iglesia Cathedral San Juan Bautista located in shady Plaza 23 de Marzo at the end of Calle Ramirez stands the prominent copper- and -pinkish colored Cathedral. Near the southern end of the city center, there are some attractions like the Museo Arqueologico y Etnoloico, which is a small museum displaying the Atacama highland culture, palaeontology and the ecology of this region. Nearby is the Parque el Loa which has a riverside pool and a replica of Chiu Chiu’s church where tourists can unwind and relax away from the confines of a densely-miner town.
As tourists integrate with the miner’s town, one interesting activity is ‘eating with the miners’. The Club Social Empleados has been the dining room of choice for several decades. Here, the miners congregate to consume the unique menu provided daily. Though the dining room does not offer much of variety, it offers a great experience to get to know the miners, firsthand
Outside the city
Located about 100 km from Calama is a hamlet San Pedro de Atacama where the streets are al brown and lush with electric wires arising from tall buildings. Rich with desert around this city, it is the equivalent of an archaeological capital of Chile because like the human population, several of its remains are untouched, and offers great clues to the intellect minds. Needless to say archaeological and anthropological tours have mushroomed in this part of the world. Noteworthy is the Valley of Moon, also known as the sanctuary of nature unique for its morphological aspect of all tourists visiting San Pedro de Atacama. This place attracts huge crowd on full moon nights. The Valley of Death is apparently a sand dune suitable for hiking trips, sandboarding and paragliding.
Chuquicamata is home to the largest copper mine in the world and this mine is an engine to the Chilean economy. A 16 km bidirectional track separates the mine from the Calama city, and this mine supplied over half million tons of copper. On one side is San Pedro de Atacama and another is Calama, as they highlight the existence of different communities which is a tourist ensemble.
Hanga Roa Travel Guide
Standing out on the Southwest side of Easter Island is Hanga Roa Easter, a tiny harbour town and the capital of Easter Island, a Chilean territory. The village of Hanga Roa is surrounded on both sides by extinct volcanoes – Terevaka and Rano Kau. About 4500 people, mostly of Polynesian descent, embrace this village and make this tangle of streets, their adobe. Very few of them live outside the village as most of the Rapa Nui territory is State-owned. For a large part of the 20th century, the island was leased to Williamson-Balfour Company.
The island’s two main roads intersect at Hanga Roa just close to the small plaza located besides the ocean. The main street Avenida Atamu Tekena (also known as Avenida Policarpo Toro) is the epicenter of Hanga Roa town. Many tourist-friendly stores, restaurants, hotels and the sole supermarket on the island and pharmacy are found on the wayside. Avenida Te Pito o Te Henua starts near the fishing pier and goes all the way to the church. Only two commuter roads are paved and the rest are gravel. Public transportation is unavailable. Tour companies offer the most convenient transportation modes available. Bicycles and motorcycles are available for circumventing the island. Food and water must be carried at all times as adequate eateries or convenience stores are not available. Car rentals and Jeeps with manual transmission are available.
Top Sight Seeing Places
The Caleta Hanga Roa is a public facility and has the marine pier where colourful fishing boats crowd the area. The fishermen hauling their prized catches and several boatloads of divers can be seen, making their way to the land. Nearby the pier is Ahu Tautira, which is known as a ceremonial platform, with restored moai.
The world’s only single room museum, Museo Antropologico Sebastian Englert, named after a German priest buried at the church site. He dedicated his life to the betterment of residents of Rapa Nui. In this museum, the rate female moai and a coral eye can be found, which has been reconstructed from an anu at Playa Anakena.
The Iglesia at Hanga Roa is a religious centre, where Christian missionaries arrived to spread the gospel. This church or Iglesia located on a knoll is something which is worthy of a visit. The painting of the Via Crucis depicts a Catholic theme, while the wooden figures depict the Rapa Nui flavour. One of the altars is set up on a huge volcanic stone and the Sunday mass starts with a Rapa Nui hymn.
Majority of the Tapati Rapa Nui festival is held at the ceremonial center in Tahai. This facility was restored by archaeologist William Mulloy. The foundations of the boat-shaped dwellings where social and religious preachers lived are visible, even today. Proximal to the Tahai are also some moais, one of them unique as it has its white eyes restored. Tahai is a great place to witness the fading orange sunset and offers spectacular sceneries around.
Outside the city
This island itself is tiny and therefore, a few days should be adequate to visit most of the island’s attractions. Piti Pont and Pantu offer animal rides. Seeing Hanga Roa while seated on a horse saddle, is a typical Rapa Nui experience. More so, this is the natural way to visit the attraction. A matrix of trails leads to several rendezvous points accessible via horse ride. These horse rides are accompanied by experienced trainers and tour guides. A handful of established tour operators can cater to your archaeological and ecological tour needs. Hanga Roa is a great place to visit.
Osorno Coronavirus Cases Covid-19 Update
Located in the southern part of Chile and about 1000 km from Santiago, Osorno rests at the convergence of Rios Rahue and Damas. The city itself was originally founded in 1553 and refounded in 1796 by Ambrosio O’Higgins and Juan MacKenna O’Reilly. The city with interesting architecture and entertainment became an immigration centre for Germans and its traces can still be seen. It is an important transport hub and caters to the surrounding agricultural belt, but it is more of an access point for commuters between Puerto Montt and Santiago and the Hulliche areas of Osorno coast. Osorno is known as for its cheese and diary production in the region.
Getting around within Osorno is simple, because most tourist places are within walking distances. Taxis (Colectivos) are also available, should you wish to make use of them. Rental cars and jeeps are available to travel around the city. The tourists headed to Argentina could use the main bus terminal located near Angulo. The best time to visit Osorno is summer (December to March) when the parks and beaches are gorgeous and enjoyable.
Top Sight Seeing Places
A modern concrete and glass cathedral stands on the large Plaza de Armas with numerous towering arches. The Osorno Cathedral is a must see. West of the Cathedral, overlooking the river is the Fuerte Maria Luisa, originally built in 1793. Several 19th century wooden mansions built by German immigrants throng the east of the main plaza. A few blocks from the plaza is the neo-colonial building with the History Museum (Museo Histórico Municipal), depicting the Mapuche culture, German colonization and the city’s shaky colonial origin. An interactive science museum (Museo Interactivo de Osorno) entertains the curious minds and is housed in a former train station, south of the plaza.
Termas de Puyehue is famous for its therapeutic powers. It is believed that anyone battling addiction or life challenges can extricate themselves from them, by bathing here. The Termas de Puye is a baronial resort set on 36 sq km area and is about 75 km from Osorno downtown. It boasts grandeur, colossal stone archways, heated lobby, thermal pools, spa and restaurants.
Lago Puyehue, Anticura and the Parque Nacional Puyehue are east wards and alongside the Argentine border that offer some time with nature. Osorno offers numerous recreational outlets, lakes and mountains, all of which located to the east and southeast party of Osorno. Auto Museo Moncopulli is a popular motor museum in Chile and includes a Studebaker collection, dating back to 1852.
When visiting Osorno, it is also worth stopping at the Mirador de Rahue, the Feria Libre de Rahue and the Iglesia Catedral San Mateo Apóstol. Take a walk to Calle Mackenna, to see the 19th century homes, which are considered as National Monuments.
Outside the city
Towards the North and West of Osorno is a village offering stunning sceneries and a place for fishing – Rio Bueno, located 30 km north off Osorno. The Spanish colonial fort from 1777 is situated at considerable height above the rivers. Nearby is also Trumao, a port offering ferry services to explore nature. Beaches at Maicolpue, located 60 km west of Osorno are great places to visit, especially during the summer. Some of the roads in these areas are rugged.
Osorno offers entertainment during winter months as well. Though short winters, Antillanca is the ultimate place for ski-lovers and snowboard enthusiasts who like to enjoy unparalleled snow-capped mountain vistas. To get the best skiing experience, your visit between May and September. The ski centre is located nearly 100 km from Osorno inside the Puyehue National Park on the Casablanca Volcano slopes, besides the Lenga forest.
Santiago Coronavirus Cases Covid-19 Update
As the capital of Chile, this modern, dynamic and smog-covered metropolis is the cultural and economic heart of Chile. Santiago has been often painted as a contrast to the other Latin American cities, mainly because Santiago, though loud, is cool and well-balanced with Latin and European cultural characteristics. Santiago bustles with nightlife, arts, music and restaurants, which are a joy to tourists. There are several attractions in Santiago and the key is to have patience as there are many attractions, the city pampers tourists with.
The Metro Subway is the cheapest and most efficient transport system, available in Santiago. Not only is it clean but it is also the quickest mode to commute around the city. The Metro has 5 lines and line 1 is the most accessed line. A prepaid transit card is the only way to pay for the metro travel and can be purchased at all Metro stations. Its popularity and convenience has made it the most preferred choice, and hence, it is usually crowded.
The Transantiago transit system is similar to the subway, but a recent introduction, aimed at reducing congestion in Santiago. It ensures that the system works seamlessly, but certainly provides, a commute option. The Santiago Bus system is adequate to transport tourists to various parts of Santiago. Recent amends to the bus system have led to the use of a prepaid card system for travellers.
Taxis and cabs are fairly priced and abundantly available for tourists. Taxis are different from Colectivos. Colectivos are cars without the yellow top; they are shared automobiles, with fixed routes and are charged a cheaper fare than taxis.
Rental vehicles are available aplenty for the people who are interesting in availing rental vehicle services. Parking is generally not a problem as various options are available. Traveling by foot is also an option that will take tourists to closer attractions, within the city area.
Top Sight Seeing Places
The historical Palacio de la Real Audiencia/Museo Histórico Nacional (museum) offers a deep dive into Chilean history. The mammoth tangerine-colored Palacio de la Real, erected originally by the Spanish to establish the court, it soon became the Chilean Government’s Congress.
The Central Market (Mercado Central) offers a glimpse of the Chilean agricultural production. All types of fruits, vegetables, seafood are displayed here. The lively staff and the onlookers offer a cordial setting for tourists. The market is featured with a lofty steel structure prefabricated in England and assembled in Santiago in 1868 and is an amazing sight.
Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s one of the three homes, claimed to be his secret hideaway to spend time with his mistress Matilde Urrutia for whom he apparently built La Chascona (red tousled hair). Poet Neruda admired the sea and the dining room is themed around a ship cabin, and the living room resembles a lighthouse. This home is filled with a treasured glass collection, regal furniture and artworks that was lost during a dictatorship raid. The Neruda Foundation (Fundación Neruda) manages the property and the artefacts.
La Merced Museum possesses valuable collection of Barroque, pre-Columbian and Polynesian art for public viewing, and depicts the development of the Order of Mercy in Latin America. Exhibition starts with explaining Easter Island and several encounters between aboriginal and European travellers.
Outside the city
Alhué, as per Indian tradition is referred to as a town of ghosts is located 150 km from Santiago. Prior to an earthquake that occurred in 1985, almost 90% of homes were built in adobe, and even today, some remnant stones are visible, at street corners. This town is dirt-filled and dusty and offers a very different impression than Santiago.
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