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The small fishing town of Taltal located at the base of the coastal mountains is the only stop of relative significance on the trip from Chañaral to Antofagasta. The town was once a key nitrate port, but is now a simple fishing village with some interesting buildings and a few well-manicured plazas. At the center of the town is Plaza Arturo Prat that contains monuments to the nitrate era. The Iglesia San Francisco Javier that dates to 1897 is located here as well. Take a peek at the former houses and offices of the Taltal Railway Company and the old locomotive that rests at the corner of Prat and O’Higgins. The Museo de Taltal on Prat has an archaeological collection from the region.

Club Social Taltal serves delicious fresh seafood in town. It is located at Torreblanca 162. Las Anclas, located on the corner of Esmeralda and Martínez has great seafood, too. Hotel San Martín (Martínez 279, Tel: 55-611088) has simple single rooms for as little as $10. Hostería del Taltal (Esmeralda 671, Tel: 55-611-173) offers accommodation near the sea at a rate of approximately $35 per night and includes breakfast. Rooms are spotless and the beds are comfortable. Taltal is found easily enough if you are driving by following the sign that points to a road that leads 25km west off the Panamericana. Several bus companies offer service to and from Taltal, including Tur Bus. Onward destinations to Antofagasta and Chañaral.

Tel: 55, Pop: 10,000.



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

By Chris Hughes
Traveling South America to give Viva readers the most up-to-date information...
06 Jul 2009

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