Cemetery in Pisagua

Pisagua's most sobering site is its old cemetery 3km north of town, spread over a lonely hillside that slips suddenly into the ocean. Here, vultures guard over a gaping pit beneath the rock face, where a notorious mass grave of victims of the Pinochet dictatorship was discovered. A poignant memorial plaque quotes Neruda, 'Although the tracks may touch this site for a thousand years, they will not cover the blood of those who fell here.'

Beyond the cemetery, the road continues for 3.5km to Pisagua Vieja, with a handful of adobe ruins, a pre-Columbian cemetery and a broad sandy beach.