Once a small fishing village, Huasco grew into a town due to the iron ore industry as well as tourism. It is good base to operate from for those who come to Chile to venture into the desert.
Just north of Huasco, in the south of the Atacama Desert, is the Llanos de Challe National Park. In September, October and sometimes early November you may witness the desert in bloom, a true kaleidescope of flora. The Garra de Leon (lion's paw flower) is a particular highlight of the park and only grows in this unique and isolated location.