Copiapó is a town in Northern Chile. It’s a pleasant stop if passing by bus, overlooked by beautiful hills and surrounded by vineyards. Although located in the southern end of the atacama desert, the area was once more lush oasis than now, reflected in the towns first name in 1744: San Francisco de la Selva, Saint Francis of the Jungle. In 1854 the first railway line in South America was built here.

Map of Copiapó.

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Buses pull in from the north (Antofagasta, Iquique, Arica) and south (La Serena, Santiago) at the terminals south of the city centre. Tur-bus has their terminal on Calle Chañarcillo and Pullman has theirs on Colipi.

  • Museo Mineralógico, Cross between Calle Colipi and Rodriguez, +56 52 206606. Every day, until 17:45. Close to the centre and a supposedly impressing collection of minerals. Entry is CLP$600.
  • The Plaza A. Pratt is a very pleasant park right in the centre of town, great for reading or just spending a few hours relaxing in the shade. It has a lot of interesting trees and comfortable benches.
  • A large Lider supermarket on Chacabuco 120 is located very close to the centre and the bus terminals. Great for self caterers or if stocking up before a bus ride.
  • Maspizza, Atacama 671, +56 52 232856. Good pizzas at reasonable prices. Wide variety of toppings, popular. Pizza for two from CLP$3000.
  • Residencial Lendy, Calle Chacabuco 173, +56 52 235990. Basic but very friendly in a family’s home. Close to bus terminals. 23:30 curfew, use of kitchen, stores luggage. A twin without bath is CLP$8000 (have exact change at hand).
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