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Caldera is a seaport in Copiapó Province in the region of Atacamamarker. It has an excellent harbor, protected by breakwaters, being the port city for the productive mining district centring on Copiapómarker to which it is connected by the first railroad constructed in Chilemarker. In 1903, 2,130 people lived in Caldera. (Current population c. 14,000 inhabitants)

Location and Climate

Caldera lies about 75 km west of Copiap√≥marker at the Pacific. The climate is very dry and hot, because of its location on the Atacamamarker deserts coast.

History

1687 Englishman Edward Davis reached the Playa Bahia Inglesa 6 km south of Caldera. 1840 William Wheelwright of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company visited the region of Caldera. On his proposal the first railway was created in the year of 1851 from Copiap√≥marker to Caldera. Its inauguration was on Christmas Day in 1851. Caldera became an important port for the exportation of minerals. The city itself was officially founded on 23 September 1850.

The city have been struck by earthquakes and tsunamis several times being the mayor ones that of 1868, 1877 and 1922.

Tourist Attractions

The church of San Vicente de Paul (dated 1862) and the cave of Padre Negro are worth visiting. Padre Velásquez painted biblical motifs in the cave in 1978. There is a nice beach at Bahía Inglesa.

11 km northwards is the Santuario de la Naturaleza Granito Orbicular where orbicular granite can be seen. 133 km in the north is Pan de Az√ļcar National Parkmarker with mist forests and Humboldt penguins.

Caldera also has a paleontological museum, the Museo Paleontológico de Caldera.

Economy

Mainstays of the economy are copper ore mining and cultivation of citrus plants which are exported via the port. Fishing and tourism play also an important role. The nice beaches attract many visitors.

Picture Gallery

Image:Bahia Inglesa.JPG|Bah√≠a InglesaImage:2005.11.08_005_Granito_Orbicular_Caldera_Chile.jpg|Orbicular graniteImage:2005.11.08_022_Caldera_Cha√Īaral_Chile.jpg|Blossoming desert in 2005Image:2005.11.08_021_Flor_Caldera_Chile.jpg|Blossoming dessert in 2005
Locomotora Copiapó, first train in Chile, 1851-1860


References




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