Chuquicamata: the biggest copper mine on Earth
Chuquicamata (pron. “choo-kee-kah-matta”) is the biggest copper mine on the face of Earth; it is located about 10 kilometres north of town, and can be visited on tours run by CODELCO (Chile’s copper company) Public Relations Department, which are a kind of promotion of the company’s business, but undoubtedly interesting.
Its pit is 4500 metres long, over 3500 in width, and 800 metres deep, and there’s usually the chance to see one of the daily massive dynamite blasts. The area was mined since prehispanic times by the chuco indians, who used the metal to build weapons and utensils.
These tours last for about 3 hours and cost $ 300 (around US$ 0,50, yes, almost free), and although some organised package tour groups arrange for them beforehand, an independent traveller can get into the groups by showing up by 930 AM at the Oficina de Ayuda a la Infancia, on JM Carrera street in Chuquicamata, although after the recent dismantling of Chuquicamata town, this might have changed, so you better ask at Calama’s Sernatur office.
Shared taxis for Chuquicamata are $ 500 (US$ 0,80).
- Budget Travel
Go away ! Rien a voir !
This city seems not to be poor, but there is nothing to see here and prices are very high, though the services have no specific quality !
Don't even stay one night and go directly to San Pedro de Atacama...
Cette ville n'a pas l'air d'etre pauvre, mais il n'y a vraiment rien a y voir et les prix sont tres eleves, malgre une qualite de service bien basse. Ne restez meme pas une nuit et allez directement a San Pedro de Atacama...