The 10 Best Things To Do In Antofagasta

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the stunning peaks of the Andes, Antofagasta is a gem waiting to be discovered. It’s a place where the desert meets the sea, offering a unique blend of natural wonders and urban charm. If you’re planning a trip to this vibrant city, you’re in for a treat. There’s a plethora of activities to dive into, from exploring ancient geoglyphs to lounging on pristine beaches. Let’s jump right in and explore the top 10 things to do in this coastal haven.

1. Marvel at La Portada

One of Antofagasta’s most iconic landmarks is La Portada, a natural arch sculpted by the relentless forces of wind and water. Standing tall off the coast, it’s a sight to behold. You can’t help but feel a sense of awe as you gaze upon this geological masterpiece. The surrounding cliffs offer the perfect vantage point for snapping that postcard-perfect photo.

2. Stroll Along the Paseo del Mar

For a relaxing afternoon, the Paseo del Mar is the place to be. This scenic waterfront promenade is ideal for a leisurely walk or a bike ride. Along the way, you’ll find art installations, playgrounds, and plenty of spots to grab a bite while enjoying the ocean breeze. Don’t miss the sunset here—it’s absolutely breathtaking.

3. Dive into History at Huanchaca Ruins

The Huanchaca Ruins are a testament to Antofagasta’s rich history. Once a bustling silver foundry, these ruins now stand as a cultural heritage site. The on-site museum offers a deep dive into the area’s mining past. It’s a fascinating journey through time that history buffs will surely appreciate.

4. Get Close to Nature at La Chimba National Reserve

Just a stone’s throw from the city, La Chimba National Reserve is a haven for nature lovers. It’s home to diverse wildlife and a variety of cacti that somehow thrive in the arid climate. Hiking trails wind through the reserve, offering stunning views of the desert landscape and the city beyond.

5. Explore the Antofagasta Regional Museum

Curious about the local culture and history? The Antofagasta Regional Museum is your go-to spot. With exhibits ranging from archaeology to contemporary art, there’s something to pique everyone’s interest. It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours, especially on a hot day when you’re craving some air-conditioned comfort.

6. Visit the Hand of the Desert

Just outside Antofagasta, you’ll find the surreal Mano del Desierto sculpture. This giant hand reaching out from the sand is a powerful symbol of human vulnerability and strength. It’s a popular spot for contemplation and, of course, quirky photos. The drive there is an adventure in itself, with the desert landscape stretching out as far as the eye can see.

7. Enjoy the Beaches

Antofagasta boasts some lovely beaches, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or just chilling out. Playa Paraiso is a local favorite, with its clear waters and soft sands. If you’re into surfing or bodyboarding, head over to Playa El Huáscar for some wave action. Just remember, the Pacific can be chilly, so brace yourself for a refreshing dip!

8. Discover the Night Sky at Paranal Observatory

For stargazers, a visit to the Paranal Observatory is a must. Home to the Very Large Telescope, it’s one of the best places in the world to observe the heavens. The tours are enlightening, offering a glimpse into the cutting-edge technology used to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Just make sure to book in advance, as spots fill up quickly.

9. Indulge in Local Cuisine

Antofagasta’s culinary scene is a delightful mix of flavors. Seafood lovers will be in heaven with the freshest catches served up daily. Be sure to try the ceviche, empanadas, and the local specialty, conger eel. Pair your meal with a Pisco sour for the full Chilean experience.

10. Take a Day Trip to San Pedro de Atacama

If you have the time, a day trip to San Pedro de Atacama is well worth the effort. This desert oasis is a gateway to otherworldly landscapes like the Moon Valley and the Atacama Salt Flats. The small town itself is charming, with adobe buildings and cozy cafes. It’s a complete change of pace from Antofagasta and a highlight of any trip to northern Chile.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Antofagasta?
    The city enjoys a mild desert climate year-round, but the months of March to May and September to November offer the most pleasant temperatures for outdoor activities.
  • Are there any cultural events in Antofagasta?
    Yes, Antofagasta hosts various festivals throughout the year, including the Antofagasta International Film Festival and the Anniversary of Antofagasta celebrations in February.
  • Is Antofagasta suitable for family travel?
    Absolutely! With its beaches, museums, and nature reserves, there’s plenty to keep travelers of all ages entertained.


Antofagasta is a city that may not be on every traveler’s radar, but it certainly deserves a spot on your bucket list. From its stunning natural wonders like La Portada to its rich cultural offerings at the regional museum, there’s no shortage of experiences to be had. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on its beautiful beaches or gazing at the stars from Paranal Observatory, you’re bound to leave with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore the best that Antofagasta has to offer!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.