Dakar

Stage 5 - 01/08/2015 - Copiapó/Antofagasta

  • Copiapó

  • Antofagasta

Copiapó

Copiapó is a quiet city whose roots lie in the silver mining industry. Various historic buildings were constructed in the middle of the industry’s most successful era. The city is also surrounded by a number of important natural attractions, including Bahía Inglesa and Pan de Azúcar National Park, with its desert-sea contrast. The valley begins to penetrate south-east of Copiapó. Today, the area is dedicated to grape exportation and employs one of the most modern watering technologies in the world. Two renowned local pilots are brothers — Felipe Prohens and Jaime Prohens. They have both competed in the MotoGP category for a number of years.

Detailed City Fact Sheet

  • Population: 158,261
  • Economy: Mining, trade, agriculture and fishing.
  • Culture: There are various national monuments to visit in the area, including the Edificio Consistorial —the former building belonging to the Municipality of Copiapó, which now houses the Casa de la Cultura (Culture House). You can also visit Paseo Julio Aciares, the Atacama Regional Museum, Casa Matta, the Railway Employee House, the SERNAGEOMIN building, the Railway Station, the locomotive, "La Copiapó” and the small palace, Palacete Viña de Cristo.
  • Gastronomic specialities: Seafood, particularly oysters, and products from the valleys, including the manufacturing of pajarete (local liquor) and dishes prepared with arrope de chañar (sweet syrup made from the chañar berry).
  • Etymology: Its name either comes from the Quechua word qupa-yapu, which means literally “turquoise sowing fields”, or from the Quechua word qupu-anqas, which means “light blue”.
  • Sports: Every year, the Atacama Region hosts a diverse range of off-road 4x4 competitions. The most traditional —the Atacama Raid and the Baja Atacama— have put the city on the regional, national and South American sporting maps. Both offer seemingly never-ending trajectories across the Atacama landscape.
 

Points of interest

  • Laguna Santa Rosa- Laguna Verde

  • Volcan Ojos del Salado

  • Museo de los 33

  • Inglesa-Caldera Bay

  • Pan de Azúcar

Laguna Santa Rosa-Laguna Verde

Both are located in the surrounding areas of Copiapó. Laguna Santa Rosa is 166 km to the north-east of the region’s capital. It can be accessed by following the international route up to the La Puerta Sector and then taking the eastern fork along Ruta C-341 to reach 3,700 metres above sea level (masl). However, in order to get to the lagoon, you must travel along a path at 4,000 masl. Laguna Verde is located 265 km north-east of Copiapó. It can be accessed by first following the international route to 4,300 masl and then taking the Paso de San Francisco route.

 

Detailed fact sheet

Laguna Santa Rosa-Laguna Verde: Both are natural wonders. Laguna Santa Rosa is most renowned for opening out onto the Maricunga Salt Lake on its south-eastern side. A large expanse of wetland and typical highland flora has formed along its shoreline. It is possible to come face-to-face with guanacos and birds, including flamingos and Andean geese.

A small wooden refuge, belonging to CONAF (National Forestry Corporation), located in the south-eastern sector of the Atacama Region, operates with next-to-nothing resources and acts as a temporary or emergency refuge for the Andean community and tourists.

Laguna Verde, though seemingly devoid of life, is a marvellous emerald green colour and surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes, such as Ojos del Salado, Mulas Muertas and Incahuasi. Even though it is not an area of great animal diversity, it is a source of incredible scenic beauty. The lagoon is also home to a number of natural thermal springs, which go by the same name, and it is unbelievably peaceful as it is deliberately devoid of all kinds of tourist facilities.

 

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