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Trip Planner South America  /  Chile  /  Antofagasta Region

Antofagasta Region

4.1
Bodies of Water · Geologic Formations · Hot Springs
The II Antofagasta Region is one of Chile's fifteen first-order administrative divisions. It comprises three provinces, Antofagasta, El Loa and Tocopilla. It is bordered to the north by Tarapacá and by Atacama to the south and is the second-largest region of Chile. To the east it borders Bolivia and Argentina. The capital of the region is the port city of Antofagasta, another important city being Calama. The main economic activity is copper mining in the giant porphyry copper systems located inland.Climate is extremely arid albeit somewhat milder near the coast. Nearly all of the region is devoid of vegetation except close to the Loa River or at oases such as San Pedro de Atacama. Much of the inland is covered by salt flats, tephra and lava flows. The coast exhibits prominent cliffs.The region was sparsely populated by indigenous Changos and Atacameños until massive Chilean immigration in conjunction with a saltpeter boom in the later 19th century. The region used to be Bolivian until the War of the Pacific broke out in 1879.
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