Six hours in Calama

We left Arica last night on an overnight bus and though we have our bus routine down by now, we never get a fully restful sleep. When we arrive in Calama at 9 am, we stumble off the bus dazed. We’ve got only six hours before a flight from Calama to Santiago–an unfortunately already-booked holdover from when we originally planned to visit San Pedro de Atacama.

For most people, Calama is a stop along the way to the famed San Pedro de Atacama, so there isn’t much tourism infrastructure here. The town’s┬áprimary industry is copper mining and the metal appears everywhere, from embellishments in the sidewalk to souvenirs available in the shops. As a complement to copper’s reds, the sun’s rays here cast an intense orange hue over the desert town.

Here are the photos from our scarce six hours in Calama:

 

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We arrive at the bus depot in Calama
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A family shops at a local market

 

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People look for work on a jobs board
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A guy poses for a photo
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Street art in an alley off the Eleuterio Ramirez, the city’s main main pedestrian street

 

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A man works on renovations in Calama’s main pedestrian street

 

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More street art off of the main pedestrian street
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The El Loa Airport in Calama, complete with copper paneling and an advertisement for mining tech
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Two copper rings we purchased as souvenirs
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