Secrets of the North of Chile: Climate, Tourism and Astronomy

28 May, 2020


When observing the map of Chile, we can immediately notice that it is a long and thin country. However, Chile has 16 regions and 4 of them belong to the northern end of the country. Arica and Parinacota, Atacama, Tarapacá, and Coquimbo keep valuable secrets of astronomy, as well as vegetation and resources that the territory generously offers.

It is Divided in Subzones

The cities of the northern end of Chile are divided in subzones known as ‘Norte Chico’ (Small North) ‘Norte Grande’ (Big North). On the one hand, Norte Grande encompasses the regions of Arica and Parinacota, Tarapacá, Antofagasta and the north of Atacama. They’re all known for their desert climate.

On the other hand, the Norte Chico subzone includes the region of Atacama, Coquimbo and part of the north of Valparaíso. The climate in these areas is semi-arid.

Tourist Spots in the North of Chile

Chile is a country that offers different types of tourist experiences. In the case of the north, its beaches, the Atacama Desert, and the Andean plateaus are some of the favorite tourist spots.

You can explore the Atacama Desert by bike, enjoy the incredible beaches in Iquique and La Serena, or get lost in Lauca National Park, which is located 4,500 meters above sea level and stands out due to its surrounding volcanoes.

In Iquique you can enjoy the colorful dance show that is part of the Tirana, an iconic festivity that celebrates the customs and traditions of the north.

Astronomy: A Must in the North of Chile

Wherever you are, you’ll be able to enjoy a starry sky at its best. The north of Chile is recognized to have one of the cleanest skies worldwide, especially in the Atacama Desert. Due to this, the area has been chosen as the perfect scenario of study for scientists and astronomers from all over the world.

What most people don’t know is that during certain days, the observatories are open to anyone who’s interested in visiting them. Among them, you can find Cerro Tololo in the Coquimbo region, La Silla Observatory in the Atacama region, and ALMA in Antofagasta.

Chile, a Source of Energy

Did you know that northern Chile has the biggest solar incidence in the world, particularly the Atacama Desert? (Source: Generadoras de Chile).

The northern area has developed successful projects of Solar Power Energy. Moreover, the Coquimbo region is recognized due to its wind power park. Nowadays, the north of Chile is an incredible source of renewable energy.

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