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1. Posted by crazylegs (Budding Member 52 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi, can anyone recommend places to go in the north of Chile above Santiago?


2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

San Pedro de Atacama is on everybody's list (which may be a reason for you not to go there, but pick a place in the same region). Copiapò and Calama I've heard good stories about, but this is not from personal experience.

3. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I broke my journey up in La Serena, (on my way to San Pedro) and liked it; mind you, there isn't anything specific there, just a nice, typical, Chilean town with not a lot of tourists. I also liked Antofagasta, again, nice town, nice locals, but not a huge tourist town.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Aug-2009, at 04:49 by Ofelia ]

4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5635 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I also heared good stories about La Serena and Copiapo. Both also without my own knowledge unfortunately.

Bentivogli is right about San Pedro: it's an awful town itself, though still quite ok, if you are up to having some pizza and cold beer;)
Still, the draw of this place are it's surroundings which make it more difficult to spend time in other places in that area, because....well...there aren't any other hubs to do those same daytrips. Calama is an extra hour (or even more, I don't realy remember, could be two) away, which only means extra hours at daytrips. Renting a car could be good solution if you are up to it. Roads are perfect.

Personally, I kinda liked Arica, not particularly beautiful, but the fact that it's the driest city in the world gave me a strange feeling. That's a climate enthusiast speaking though;)
Also, if you are up to it go to Putre, up in the Andes mountains at 3,500 metres or so. Magnificent small place with great surroudings and good for a trip to Parc Nacional Lauca, where the volcanos watching over the Lago Chungara is just a magnificent landscape experience!

5. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 924 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

La Serena is all right. Apologies to the fine people of Copiapo, but it really is bland bland place. Really just a rundown dump of a place. Streets too tight. Buildings dilapidated. Services lacking. Nothing to do. I planned to stay a few days just amonth ago. After three hours of walking around, aghast at just how depressed the place was, I grabbed a bus and moved on.

Copiapo is a gateway to Bahia Inglesa, which is a blue water beach mecca. Even that town is dull as dirt, though the beach and sea there are gorgeous. There is some scuba diving.

But take my word on Copiapo. Don't plan any time there....You'll just decide to move on when you land.


[ Edit: Edited on 22-Aug-2009, at 21:54 by Piecar ]