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Tel: 55, pop: 7,850


60km north of Antofagasta is the small port town of Mejillones. It is flanked by the Pacific Ocean on its western side and the Atacama Desert to the east. There are currently fewer than 8,000 residents in the desert town, making it more of a beach resort for Antofagasta inhabitants in need an escape.


Nice accommodation with excellent views of the sea can be found at Hotel Mejillones (Manuel Montt 86, Tel: 55 621590, E-mail: The hotel has 24 rooms equipped with cable TV, private bathrooms. The on-site restaurant with a fine waterfront view serves incredible seafood from 6-11 p.m. Bar Costa del Sol, also located on the premises, serves quick and filling empanadas, drinks and has live music. Residencial Elisabeth (Alte Latorre 440, Tel: 55 621568) is a budget option with simple rooms and shared bathrooms. Restaurante Juanito (Las Heras 241) serves filling and cheap meals - a lot of chicken asado and rice.


The main street, beachfront Av. San Martín, is home to the uninspiring Museo de Mejillones (Tel: 55-621289). The museum has free admission (though perhaps it should pay the guests to spend time here) and is open Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Buses to and from Antofagasta stop here. Taxi colectivos also serve the town.

The hospital is located on Bernardo O’Higgins, while tourist information can be found a block east of the plaza.


Other places nearby Mejillones: Toconao, Iquique, Calama, Arica, Tocopilla, Taltal, Putre, Antofagasta, Mamiña and San Pedro de Atacama.

13 May 2009

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