Upon arrival, Mamiña appears to be a dusty desert village surrounded by parched precordillera. However, the valley floor below is home to famously pungent hot springs, around which a small sleepy resort has shaped itself. The baths, particularly popular with local miners, are the only reason to come here, which you can easily do on a day trip from Iquique.
Parque Nacional Volcán Isluga
If you want to get off the beaten track, this isolated national park richly rewards the effort. Dominated by the malevolently smoking Volcán Isluga, the park is dotted with tiny pastoral villages that house just a few hardy families or, at times, nobody at all. The park's namesake village, Isluga, is itself uninhabited.
El Gigante de Atacama
It's the biggest archaeological representation of a human in the world – a gargantuan 86m high – and yet little is really known about the 'Giant of the Atacama.' Reclining on the isolated west slope of Cerro Unita 14km east of Huara, the geoglyph is thought to represent a powerful shaman. Experts estimate that the giant dates from around AD 900.