What to do and see in Antofagasta Region, Chile: The Best Places and Tips

December 19, 2017 Mikaela Didonna

The Antofagasta Region (Spanish: Región de Antofagasta, pronounced [antofaˈɣasta]) 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.
Restaurants in Antofagasta Region

1. Piedras Rojas

San Pedro de Atacama 1410000, Chile +56 9 6673 5372
Excellent
86%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Piedras Rojas

Reviewed By Lutchmee M - SOUTH AFRICA

This place is so beautiful Gorgeous place. We went it snowed the night before. It was bitterly cold and windy. Truly a hidden gem Must visit

2. Salar de Tara

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Excellent
82%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

Salar de Tara

Reviewed By Erin M - Greenbelt, Maryland

We did this tour (and all of our tours) with Cosmo Andino. And now that we've done it, I've got a few tips for a good experience.
First, you absolutely need a great tour company with great vehicles and great drivers. (I highly recommend Cosmo Andino.) When they say that you are driving "off-road", it is not the American definition of off-roading. They don't mean a dirt or gravel road. They literally mean that there is no road. You just drive off into the open desert that has no tire tracks. You cannot do this on your own.
Second, this is a HIGH altitude tour. We got up to 4800m (15,000ft)! I strongly recommend that you do a different high altitude tour before this to get acclimated. We were hurting on our first high altitude tour, but then we did much better on this one. I can't imagine what we would have felt like if this was our first high altitude tour.
Third, the sun is serious here. (Did I mention the altitude?) I am a woman in my thirties with lots of thick hair, and my scalp got burned through my hair! (Like, my whole scalp, not just an area that was exposed by a part.) Everyone should wear a hat. Luckily, it's a bit chilly up there, so you'll probably be wearing pants and long-sleeves and won't need much sunscreen except on your face and hands.
Fourth, bring binoculars if you have them. We saw lots of wildlife (vicunas, flamingos, llamas, birds) and it's great to see them up close.
Fifth, drink water! It's really really helps to start hydrated. Once you get the headache, there's no getting rid of it until you come back down to lower altitudes.
This was my second favorite tour. I know it can be pricey, but it's so worth it!

3. Lagunas Miscanti y Miniques

Caracoles 174b, San Pedro de Atacama 1410000, Chile +56 9 5641 9319
Excellent
81%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 4 reviews

Lagunas Miscanti y Miniques

Reviewed By Mia2727 - Calgary

We did a tour today. It’s over 300 kms round trip. The highest elevation is 4300 so you have to pace yourself. The lakes are pristine and the colours of the Mountains wonderful. We were fortunate to see a small herd of vicuña with babies. Well worth the trip. Our group was 14 a mix of languages. We ate lunch at 2:30 in a small town Tocanao. It was ordinary.

4. Desierto de Atacama

desierto de Atacama, Antofagasta, Chile
Excellent
84%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 409 reviews

Desierto de Atacama

Reviewed By warren D - tokyo

If you make a trip to Chile, consider including the Deserto de Atacama. It is the driest desert i the world. Some claim there has never been a drop of rain here in human history. When I went out from my lodging in the night and walked along the sand dunes, I felt as if I were on another planet. I sat down and wrote poetry, so moved by this beautiful place.

5. Salar de Aguas Calientes

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Excellent
86%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 289 reviews

Salar de Aguas Calientes

Reviewed By authored - Springfield, Virginia

These Salt flats are quite a drive from San Pedro de Atacama, but are worth it. You will find plenty of flamingoes in the lagoons. The walk through the flats is on a flat path with water bubbling all around you. There is a small entrance fee and there are restrooms.

6. Lagunas Baltinache

Ruta 23 | Los Pantanos, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 120 reviews

Lagunas Baltinache

Reviewed By TravellingOrange - London, United Kingdom

This was a good evening and not a long drive from San Pedro (less than an hour).
There are 7 lakes, 2 of which you can swim in. The last lake is a 10 minute walk from the first and requires good footwear as the salt is very sharp.
Gets extremely busy before 6pm.
Entrance is free after 6.30 however it can be cold once the sun goes down if there's a breeze! I ended up having a pool to myself!

7. Lascar Volcano

San Pedro de Atacama 1240000, Chile
Excellent
80%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 301 reviews

Lascar Volcano

Reviewed By Ja V - Santiago, Chile

Climb a volcano is always a good idea, and atacama have alot, Lascar is one , and the last activity was the last year, so you can feel the energy !!

8. Biblioteca Regional de Antofagasta

Jorge Washington 2623, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile +56 55 225 9675
Excellent
80%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 160 reviews

Biblioteca Regional de Antofagasta

Reviewed By joshmtus - Seattle, Washington

We stumbled into this attraction after Plaza Colon and were very impressed. They did a very modern upgrade to the interior of the old post office and it turned out very nice. A cool place to stop and spend a few minutes turning pages.

9. Laguna Tebinquinche

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Excellent
74%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Laguna Tebinquinche

Reviewed By Hriad - London, United Kingdom

Hi
This laguna is included in a tour called laguna cejar, there will be 3 stops cejar tebinquiche and dos ojos. I like it because u end the day at tebinquiche with the sunset. For drone pilot beware that u cant fly everywhere in Chile they are strict because of some places with flamingos but for this tour u will be able to use it. Price is reasonnable but entree fees are equal to price tour! Welcome to Chile ! If u habe questions regarding drones, Chile, Bolivia and Peru follow me on instagram @yh_travellers and i will answer ur questions enjoy

10. Valle de la Luna - Valle de la Muerte

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 6 reviews

Valle de la Luna - Valle de la Muerte

Reviewed By Carolyn B - Boston, Massachusetts

We had a guide who was very knowledgeable about geology and that helped make this a very interesting excursion. The sand dunes and the rock formations are unusual and we loved walking through the narrow canyon formed by water many years ago. Very cool place to visit - very moderate exertion.

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