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Caldera, Chile

Caldera is a seaport in Copiapo Province in the region of Atacama. It has an excellent harbor, protected by breakwaters, being the port city for the productive mining district centring on Copiapo to which it is connected by the first railroad constructed in Chile. In 1903, 2,130 people lived in Caldera.

Location and Climate

Caldera lies about 75 km west of Copiapo at the Pacific. The climate is very dry and hot, because of its location on the Atacama deserts coast.


1687 Englishman Edward Davis reached the Playa Bahia Inglesa 6 km south of Caldera. 1840 William Wheelwright of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company visited the region of Caldera. On his proposal the first railway was created in the year of 1851 from Copiapo to Caldera. Its inauguration was on Christmas Day in 1851. Caldera became an important port for the exportation of minerals. The city itself was officially founded on 23 September 1850.

The city have been struck by earthquakes and tsunamis several times being the mayor ones that of 1868, 1877 and 1922.

Tourist Attractions

The church of San Vicente de Paul (dated 1862) and the cave of Padre Negro are worth visiting. Padre Velasquez painted biblical motifs in the cave in 1978. There is a nice beach at Bahia Inglesa.

11 km northwards is the Santuario de la Naturaleza Granito Orbicular where orbicular granite can be seen. 133 km in the north is Pan de Azucar National Park with mist forests and Humboldt penguins.

Caldera also has a paleontological museum, the Museo Paleontologico de Caldera.


Mainstays of the economy are copper ore mining and cultivation of citrus plants which are exported via the port. Fishing and tourism play also an important role. The nice beaches attract many visitors.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Caldera, Chile

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