There was life there. Just like in the salt work in Chacabuco, considered an important district because of an urban development which provided a satisfactory life for a population of over 5 thousand inhabitants.
Its glorious times ended in 1940, when salt was not considered a business in the world any more. Today, this salt work is one of the most faithful proofs of the life of workers in the salt plain.
María Elena, the Only Surviving Example
Maria Elena is the sole natural saline field under exploitation. It was created in 1926 based on the same traditional architecture as the rest of the salt plain settlements and the nearby Plaza de Armas.
From such site, we can gaze several places expecting the usual visit of tourists: the old building, the tavern (pulpería), the theater, The Anthropological Museum and the former Escuela Consolidada de Experimentación. These buildings help us to clearly appreciate how the community has lived now and in the past, where salt has played the most important part of the daily life of thousands of people.
Its refurbished dynamic center preserves the traditions of a flourishing time and a steady economy known by the Chilean people as the “White Gold Time”. A historical moment which survives and is breathed in every corner of the region of Antofagasta.
half a dayDifficulty
ExtrasPrint this outing
Useful DataHow to get there
By car.Bear in mind
We can go to the salt works by car; therefore, elderly people are also able to enjoy the place. If you want to be well-informed and better understand this visit, any book on Chilean history can describe the past times of the salt industry.