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Opening Heaven’s Doors

Pablo Etchevers Pablo Etchevers (2) Jorge González (1)

Sometimes nature shows us how small men are. La Portada is a site where this happens. If the photos are impressive, describing the feeling of being in front of this feature is impossible.

La Portada Natural Monument - Antofagasta

Along with the strange characters of Easter Island, the picture of La Portada is one of the most popular in Chile. It is due to this image that tourists from all over the world have come to this country in order to observe this beautiful postcard.

This is a geomorphological and geological feature of sedimentary rocks and fossil remains that has been eroded by the wind and the sea for thousands of years. These agents have given shape to caverns and cliffs and have carved the great arch of La Portada with perfect detail.

This arch, huge even when it is watched from the shore, shows visitors how an enormous cliff was interrupted by the braveness of the Pacific Ocean, with its blue color and its white foam.

La Portada Natural Monument - Antofagasta

This braveness cut off every bond between the territory and this new formation that appears like a great islet from a distance. Vultures, seagulls and sea birds of all kinds fly around it and sea lions, sharks and dolphins wander about its waters. Its arch is 42 meters tall, 23 meters wide and 70 meters long. These dimensions cause fascination and pleasure at first sight on the faces of visitors.

To reach this place, it is necessary to leave the City of Antofagasta heading North and, after traveling for almost twenty kilometers, access the area through the highway joining the Cities of Antofagasta and Tocopilla.

La Portada Natural Monument - Antofagasta

Feeling like Touching it

The base of this geographic feature is made up by a large number of black volcanic rocks which, along with sandstone and sea shell remains, contribute with their millions of years. The tour lets tourists approach a circular natural vantage point that offers the exact dimension of the show.

A traditional restaurant has worked there for decades and visitors may have lunch or dinner as they watch this beautiful scenery, or else taste a glass of pisco to make a toast or simply celebrate the visit.

La Portada Natural Monument - Antofagasta

Depending on the tide, some labyrinthic stairs enable visitors to get down to the beach and take photographs, watch how the local fishermen work near the shore or get deep into one of its caverns.
From these beaches, it is at the very level of the water that the exact dimensions of La Portada are appreciated along with the hundreds of bird species that wander about in search for food or from one spot to another.

Get your binoculars ready to enjoy a show from out of this world and see how the guano birds, and sometimes the dolphins and the sea lions cross this natural gate of rocks, declared Natural Monument in 1990.

La Portada Natural Monument - Antofagasta
Welcome Chile - Outings in Antofagasta
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Bear in mind

La Portada is a site to be visited at various times of the day. One of them is dawn and the other one is dusk. During these moments, the sun lights this emblem of nature with its beams. The nights of full moon are also ideal to see the stateliness of the arch reflected on the dark waters of the Pacific.

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