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A Certain Juan López

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

Leaving from Antofagasta towards the North and after visiting La Portada, our next must visit destination is Juan López, a small vestige of what Northern Chile used to be like.

Juan López bathing resort in Antofagasta

After leaving behind the beauty of La Portada and after dozens of bends and slopes, the road invites travelers to gain enough height as to appreciate the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Practically at the height of the salty sea waters, there appears a road sign reading: “Welcome to Juan López”.

Juan López bathing resort in Antofagasta

A simple but charming name and surname. “And who was this Juan López?” the reader might wonder. History goes that Juan López, a.k.a. “Chango” López, was the first Chilean dweller to participate in the building of the nation in these lands which used to belong to Bolivia back in those days. He performed such tasks from collecting guano to developing the first mining explorations for copper. Juan López began to explore this area in 1845 and it was not until years later that he settled down with all his family in the region. In 1862, he asked the Bolivian authorities to be granted a plot of land to work on it and make it productive. Fishing, as a daily need, was essential in the development of the guano exploitation as well as in the first mining exploitations.

Juan López bathing resort in Antofagasta

The entire Antofagasta Bay was dwelled with small communities and fishing coves where the inhabitants began to develop with their families. The territory occupied by the Juan López bathing resort today, which used to be called a different name in those days, could not escape history either.

Juan López bathing resort in Antofagasta

As it has the shape of a horseshoe, the bathing resort is protected from the wind and its waters are quiet. With a desert shore, it features beaches of grey fine sand that welcome a great number of visitors each summer.

Juan López bathing resort in Antofagasta
Welcome Chile - Outings in Antofagasta
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Bear in mind

Everyone has a different rhythm here. It is recommended that the eagerness caused by great cities be calmed down. Beholding its sites and learning to feel them is the best way to get to know this paradise with a common name but few times seen.

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