Museo Regional de Atacama

Norte Chico

This catch-all museum provides an overview of the region's natural and human history, its mineral wealth, and key events that have shaped history over the centuries. Among the wide-ranging displays, you'll find ancient zoomorphic vessels for preparing hallucinogens used by indigenous shamans, pottery from the El Molle period (c AD 700) and weaponry from the War of the Pacific when Copiapó was a base of operations for the Chilean invasion of Peru and Bolivia.

There's also a room with period furnishings and portraits of industrialists and military figures from the 19th century. The Sala de Mineira (Miner's Room) has old objects used by laborers who toiled underground, as well as a display related to 'Los 33' – the 33 miners who were successfully rescued after being trapped underground for 69 days in 2010. The courtyard contains the original pod (the Fénix 2) used to rescue the men.

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Nearby Norte Chico attractions

1. Catedral de Copiapó

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The city's cathedral has a striking three-tiered design rising over the main plaza.

2. Museo Minero de Tierra Amarilla

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To find out more about the region's geology, head 18km southeast of town to this private museum near the village of Tierra Amarilla. Surrounded by working…

3. Mina San José

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In 2010, 33 miners were trapped more than 700m underground after a devastating collapse within the mountain where they'd been working. Following a…