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Weekend Trips From Copiapo, Chile

Whether you are vacationing in Chile or you happen to be there because of a job and are living in Copiapo, there are many interesting sights to see and things to do around this city. Copiapo was founded as a mining city and there are many tourist attractions in the city itself that are worth a visit. There are museums like the Museo Regional, the Museo Mineralogico as well as many buildings and works of architecture that give you a glimpse of the city’s mining past.

But if you would like to spend weekends away from the city there are many attractions within driving distance that would make for excellent weekend getaways while admiring both the natural beauty as well as the history of the region.

Nevado Tres Cruces

A great weekend excursion is a visit to the Nevado Tres Cruces National Park. This park is situated in the Andean foothills and is a conservatory for the birds and animals that inhabit this area. The perfect conditions of this park have enabled the survival of the birds and animals in the area. This park is also where you will find the Santa Rosa Lagoon, the Maricunga Salt Plain and the Francisco Black Lagoon. The Santa Rosa Lagoon, though small in size, has an interesting ecosystem, and you can get to see flamingos, ducks, Andean gulls and other birds here. The Maricunga Salt Plain has many interesting birds and animals, while the Francisco Black lagoon has meadows and wetlands surrounding it and you can get to see a variety of birds.

About 55 miles away is the Viña Del Cerro. This was an Inca settlement dating from the 15th century and is a national monument. This Inca settlement was also a foundry and today it has been restored.

About 85 miles to the southwest of the city you can find Cascada Rio Lamas. This is a beautiful spot on the Rio Lamas with abundant wildlife, and it is also one of the water sources that flow into the Maricunga salt flats.

About 45 miles to the south of the city is the Chañarcillo mine, which was discovered in 1832. This discovery kicked off a silver rush in Chile and served as an important part of Chile’s economy. This area is worth visiting for its historical significance although it is a bit of ghost town today.

If you are into mountain climbing, then a must is the Ojos del Salado Volcano. It is about 175 miles to the northeast of the city and is one of the highest points in the Andean Mountains. This is one of the reasons that climbers like to climb this mountain.

To the west are beaches like the Bahia Inglesa and the beach resorts of Norte Chico where you can enjoy the sea, sand, and some delicious seafood.

Have you already been to this area of Chile? What are some of your favorite places to visit near Copiapo?

Picture by Juan Eduardo Edwards Diaz

Posted March 20th, 2013 in Destinations.

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