Antofagasta is considered the fifth largest city in Chile. It is the capital of the Second Region. The "Pearl of the Far North" is located at 1361 kms. north of Santiago and has a population of around 255.000 inhabitants. This city is characterized for having grown as a long, narrow strip along the coast upto the hills of the Cordillera de la Costa Mountain Range. Its main activity is its bustling commercial life (Monday-Friday from 09:00am to 1:30pm and from 4:00pm to 9:00pm). Shipments of copper extracted from the largest worldwide open pit mines, such as Chuquicamata and La Escondida are loaded in this city.
This area, where the capital city of the Second Region is located, is known for good weather with almost permanent sunshine. This enables the development of various practices, like astronomical tourism. There are 2 large-scale scientific and turistic observation centers, Paranal and Armazones, which have been available for a decade now.
The entertainment in the city is varied. It has a rich cuisine based primarily on seafood and there are excellent restaurants. At night, there are a variety of pubs and discos, mostly along the coastline. In the summer, taking advantage of the dry weather, low humidity and nice water temperatures it is ideal to take a dip in its waters late at night, since its beaches are illuminated and protected. Some of these beaches are "Balneario Municipal", "Las Tortolas", "Pozo La Tortuga y Muelle de Piedra", "Juan Lopez," "La Almeja", "Huáscar” and “Hornitos". “Hornitos” is one of the most famous beaches, with its fine sand and warm waters.