Antofagasta (äntōfägäˈstä) [key], city (1992 pop. 226,749), capital of Antofagasta region, N Chile, a port on the Pacific Ocean. Antofagasta was founded by Chileans in 1870 to exploit nitrates in the Atacama Desert, then under Bolivian administration. Its occupation by Chilean troops in 1879 sparked the War of the Pacific (see Pacific, War of the), and after the war the city and province were ceded to Chile. Antofagasta has depended primarily on nitrates and copper and sulfur exports, and its economy has often been affected by sharp fluctuations in world demands. Borax and iodine are also mined. The city is an international commercial center and a major industrial hub with large foundries and ore refineries. Backed by desert hills, Antofagasta enjoys a fine climate but has little rainfall. Water is piped in from the San Pedro River, 280 mi (451 km) away. The Univ. of the North was established in Antofagasta in 1956. The city is located on the Pan-American Highway, which facilitates communication with the rest of Chile.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Antofagasta from Fact Monster:

  • Chuquicamata - Chuquicamata Chuquicamata , town (1992 pop. 12,722), Antofagasta region, N Chile, on the western ...
  • War of the Pacific - Pacific, War of the Pacific, War of the, 1879–84, war between Chile and the allied nations, ...
  • Atacama Desert - Atacama Desert Atacama Desert , arid region, c.600 mi (970 km) long, N Chile, extending south from ...
  • Chile - Learn about the history, geography and culture of Chile and find statistical and demographic information.|Information on Chile — geography, history, politics, government, economy, population statistics, culture, religion, languages, largest cities, as well as a map and the national flag.
  • Encyclopedia: South American Political Geography - Encyclopeadia articles concerning South American Political Geography.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: South American Political Geography

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe