Parque Cultural Huanchaca
Huanchaca Cultural Park
Its imposing structure now in ruins like an ancient stone temple, the sea-facing Huanchaca silver foundry was abandoned at the beginning of the 20th century only to be named a national monument in 1974. At its foot now sits the Museum of the Atacama Desert, a striking, largely underground building opened in 2009 that was designed by a leading Chilean firm and reflects the same monumental scale as the foundry. The galleries are dedicated to geology, astronomy and archaeology, while the site as a whole—the museum, the foundry ruins and a foundation that supports local artists—forms the Huanchaca Cultural Park. It has quickly become a popular stop for visitors to Antofagasta, providing an excellent introduction to this region of Chile.