Silversea Expedition Cruises À ANTOFAGASTA

ANTOFAGASTA
ANTOFAGASTA

If archaeological zones, landscaped plazas and well, giant hands, are your travel cup of tea then look no further than Antofagasta. Set between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains, the city is Chile’s second most populated place, and by far the largest in the northern region. Once the country’s primary export port, notably for minerals including nitrate and later, silver, today Antofagasta is still the country’s centre for mineral mining. View more

Antofagasta was once part of Bolivia, and only became Chilean in 1904 after it was captured in the War of the Pacific. Under the subsequent treaty, Chile agreed to construct a rail link to Bolivia in return for the city. Today the city still enjoys relative stress free travel to La Paz, through some of the most scenic and spectacular landscapes in the world. The railway link, which extended south as well as north, naturally brought colossal growth, expansion which is still continuing today. In recent years, Antofagasta has seen high rise hotels and buildings sprout up amid the jumble of old-fashioned plazas, former Railway Stations, and wooden-fronted Victorian and Georgian buildings that can be found along the Barrio Histórico. The city borders the arid Atacama Desert, aka the world’s driest place. As if the lunar like landscape was not enough, the aforementioned “Hand of the Desert”, an 11-metre tall sculpture of a hand reaching up to the stars is located about 60 km from Antofagasta, and is surely a must for anyone who is interested in alien experiences.

An Introduction to Silversea Expeditions

“Voyage of a lifetime” does not even begin to describe a Silversea Expedition experience. Imagine the comfort and intimacy of our ships, coupled with the most intriguing, far-flung destinations on earth. With over 590 destinations on all 7 continents, this is expedition cruising at its finest. Our uniquely curated itineraries with excursions adapted to individual ability and interest cater to all, while our knowledgeable and enthusiastic experts lead the way. Butler service, highest crew to guest ration in the industry and all-inclusivity make a Silversea Expedition cruise like nothing you have ever experienced.

croisières visiting ANTOFAGASTA

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Excursions depuis ANTOFAGASTA

Antofagasta HIghlights

Discover the splendid sights, architecture and history of Northern Chile during this scenic sightseeing excursion in Antofagasta.


Antofagasta HIstory

Antofagasta, meaning in Quechua "town of the great salt lands", rose from the desert like a mirage, thanks to the industry producing nitrates, which for several decades were one of Chile's main exports. Antofagasta became the largest city of the "Norte Grande" region, as a result of the mining boom that took place in the 19th century. The historic district is home to several historic Victorian buildings, and the clock tower of the Plaza Colón is an exact replica of the Big Ben. The highlight of the shoreline is La Portada, an enormous rock located north of town which the sea has steadily eroded into a dramatic natural arch.


Antofagasta Historical Centre, Plaza Colon, Old Port

Depart the pier for the brief transfer to the Historical Centre of Antofagasta. Upon arrival, leave your coach for a guided walking tour around Plaza Colon, the main square of the city. Then walk to the Old Port area and admire numerous historical buildings, such as the Former Coast Guard Light House, constructed in 1910, the Former Clearance House, constructed in 1910, the Former Customs Office built in Oregon pine, housing today the Regional Museum and the Former Port Authority Office.


Regional Museum

Visit the Regional Museum to see objects related to the geological and natural history of northern Chile, whilst a section is devoted to the War of the Pacific and the Nitrate Era.


Old Train Station, Fishing Wharf

Proceed to the former Train Station, where an old train is exhibited in a beautiful patio and finally walk to the fishing wharf, to get a glimpse of sea-lions, pelicans and fishing boats.


Huanchaca Ruins

Next, re-board your coach for the drive south, past the university campus and on to the striking remains of Huanchaca, a 19th-century Bolivian silver refinery. After an exterior photo stop, your drive continues along the coast for approximately 10 miles (about 16 kilometres) to La Portada.


La Portada Lookout

Upon arrival, proceed to a lookout for spectacular panoramic views of La Portada and the city to the south. Following your visit, commence the approximately 30-minute return drive to the pier.

Desert Ghost Towns

Explore Chile's history on this half day tour of old mining communities. Mining has played a leading role shaping Chile's economy, and the early settlements are living proof of a glorious past. Learn about the tenacity of 19th century miners and their hard work in the solitude of the desert.


Baquedano Village

Begin with a 1 hour drive to visit the village of Baquedano, which stands as a testament of a time gone by and the golden years of "white gold," as nitrate was known. One of the key buildings dating back to that period is the train station, with all machinery and even steam engines remaining as they were in the 19th century.


Chacabuco Ghost Town

Then drive approximately 30 minutes across the Pampa to Chacabuco, often referred to as a "Ghost Town," one of the many abandoned nitrate towns in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Like many others, the town fell into ruin at the end of the 1930's when German synthetic nitrate took off, thus crippling northern Chile's nitrate industry. Chacabuco is also significant for its difficult history of serving as the site of a concentration camp for political prisoners shortly after the General Pinochet-led military coup in 1973. At this time the camp held up to 1,800 people, including professional citizens like doctors, lawyers, professors and artists. This sad period of Chacabuco's history lasted just one year, but certainly left its scars in the abandoned town.


Chacabuco has had a population of 1 since 1991, when a former political prisoner of Chacabuco, Roberto Saldívar, returned to live in the abandoned town and guard it against vandalism and pillaging. In 2006, Pedro Barreda replaced Roberto when he left and lives alone in Chacabuco today as a steward of the town.


Chacabuco Theatre

One of the highlights of Chacabuco is the splendid theatre, which during the nitrate boom was able to attract European opera companies, competing with the continent's traditional cultural meccas like Buenos Aires.


After your visit make the one-hour return trip to Antofagasta.

An Introduction to Silversea Expeditions

“Voyage of a lifetime” does not even begin to describe a Silversea Expedition experience. Imagine the comfort and intimacy of our ships, coupled with the most intriguing, far-flung destinations on earth. With over 590 destinations on all 7 continents, this is expedition cruising at its finest. Our uniquely curated itineraries with excursions adapted to individual ability and interest cater to all, while our knowledgeable and enthusiastic experts lead the way. Butler service, highest crew to guest ration in the industry and all-inclusivity make a Silversea Expedition cruise like nothing you have ever experienced.