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Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
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Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

Custom Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works Tours in 3 Easy Steps

Create a custom tour to Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works for less than most premium group tours. Get started by adding destinations and activities to view tour ideas that match your interests.

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All Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works are a UNESCO World Heritage in Chile’s Atacama Desert. There are more than 200 former saltpeter works in the area and this is an intriguing and unusual destination to add to a tour of Chile. Workers from Chile, Peru, and Bolivia lived here in company towns that developed a distinct culture of their own. The industrial ruins here are bleak yet fascinating especially for people interested in the industrial revolution.

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During the first half of the 19th century up through WWII, in the isolated Pampa desert, thousands of Chilean, Bolivian and Peruvian workers came together to process the largest deposit of saltpeter in the world. The saltpeter, in turn, was produced into fertilizer sodium nitrate used globally to morph agricultural land. During the world wars, the saltpeter was also used in explosives. The works themselves were actually built and operated during a time when northern Chile was part of Peru. This distinctive working circumstance resulted in a rich, unique and communal Pampino culture all its own. Each of the 200 original saltpeter sites was linked by a series of trains and represent the technological progress of an era.

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works

Humberstone and Santa Laura saltpeter works are two of the industrial heritage sites found in this remote desert and are representative of the binding of the diverse Pampino culture. The little-known saltpeter works in northern Chile were named UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2005. On a tour of the saltpeter works, you can learn about how the mining process worked, see the worker’s quarters, and learn about the unique Pampino culture, a mixture of Bolivian, Chilean, and Peruvian people.

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Create Your Own Custom Tour

Click your preferences: Destinations & Activities. Be as specific or general as you like - or click Help Me Decide! We'll spice it with hidden gems & personal tips to create your perfect trip.

Choose Amazon destinations (optional)
Choose destinations (optional)
Choose Bolivia destinations (optional)
Choose Brazil destinations (opt)
Choose Chile destinations (opt)
Choose Colombia destinations (optional)
Choose Ecuador & Galapagos destinations (optional)
Choose Paraguay destinations (optional)
Choose Patagonia & Antarctica destinations (optional)
Choose Peru destinations (optional)
Choose Interests
Choose activities
What category of accommodation?

You can choose more than one!

When would you like to go?
for
How many travelers?
age groups
age groups
Review my trip summary
destinations

activities

accommodations

when

who

Highly recommended - Phone: We ❤️ to talk! A brief chat with your personal Travel Consultant helps us create your perfect trip!

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Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works Travel FAQ’s

Thinking about a Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works trip? Here’s a list of frequently asked questions we often hear from our guests.

Where are Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works?

Located in the north of Chile in the Atacama Desert. The easiest way to visit is on a day trip from the coastal city of Iquique which can be reached by air from Santiago or six-hour road journey from San Pedro de Atacama.
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