Exploring Northern Chile Pt.1 – Antofagasta

Chile🇨🇱 is a country I don’t think I would’ve found myself visiting if it wasn’t for my mere love to explore the diaspora of black people around the world. Additionally, I don’t think I would have been to Chile 4 times if it wasn’t for my fiancé living there for a year and a half.

Nonetheless, each time I’d visit, Dimy (my fiancé) and I would explore somewhere new. We decided on Northern Chile, and planned to fly north from Santiago and make our way up to Arica, Chile where the Black Chileans lived. But, this post is about our first mission, which was to fly to Antofagasta.

What’s so special about this city you may ask. Well, for one northern Chile in general is quite different due to the fact that most of the upper part of the country is desert. Antofagasta and Arica live in the Atacama desert which has been found to be the driest place in the world.  I found out they had this really cool humongous Hand in the middle of the dessert called “Mano del Desierto” and wanted to get a chance to see it.

When we arrived in Antofagasta, it was indeed quite dry. We rented a car and were on our way to our hotel. The city is beautiful and right on the ocean.

We checked into our hotel and proceeded to drive into the desert. One of the coolest things about this experience is the fact that I’ve NEVER seen ocean and desert co exist. But here, in Antofagasta, you will get the wonderful ocean on one side and then you look to the other side and see desert… hella cray! So we drove for about 45 minutes until we arrived at the wonderful work of art.

The hand is 36 feet tall, wayy bigger than we expected and it is literally, LITERALLY in the middle of no where. On the drive we didn’t pass much of anything so you’re straight drivin’ into the desert to get here.

When you do arrive it’s such a nice pay off. The history behind why this hand exists is that it is supposed to represent injustice and the victims lost during the Chile dictatorship. We spent about an hour here. The ambience just called for us to stay. Standing in the middle of nowhere basically in silence. It was an experience I think we’ll never forget.

I’m all about exploring places that get less attention. Usually when people visit Chile they stay in Santiago, which is fine. However, if you’re looking for a cool place away from a lot of tourist, and you’re up for seeing something different, I’d suggest checking out the far north or even far south!

That’s it for now. Check back next week for Part 2 of this post with the details on how we made it to Arica and our encounters with the Afro-Chileanos.

26 Comments

  1. PossesstheWorld.com
    October 6, 2017

    That hand is amazing and the juxtaposition of sea and desert must be quite mind blowing. Great post

    Reply
  2. Monica Badiu
    October 6, 2017

    Chile is on my wishlist. I really need to get there soon. Loved the pics with the hand. It does have an emotional story.

    Reply
  3. Medha
    October 6, 2017

    I cannot believe that hand is actually so massive! It is such an impressive structure. Chile, overall, looks so amazing.

    Reply
  4. Anna
    October 6, 2017

    I am so excited about the picture with the hand! Saw it before on your Instagram! I really wanna go find it myself. So cool! Thank you for sharing, this is really new to me!

    Reply
  5. Theresa
    October 6, 2017

    I look forward to your next posts; you’ve got me quite interested. That hand is amazing! Very cool with the sea and desert jammed right up next to each other, you wouldn’t think that would happen.

    Reply
  6. Tifanee
    October 6, 2017

    I really liked this post! Sometimes I read things that make me want to pack and hop on a plane to go see whatever it is right away. That is an amazing piece of art, and in the middle of nowhere! Amazing. The city reminds me of Miami for some reason lol but then there’s the desert and that’s where the similarities end. Thanks for the post!

    Reply
  7. Kate Rebel
    October 7, 2017

    Wow the hand looks amazing and it IS bigger than i thought – though I am sure it is much more impressive in real live. It’s kinda weird but also amazing that it is in the middle of nowhere- Makes you think it’s from a different world somehow…

    Reply
  8. Jem
    October 7, 2017

    Wow! That is amazing and so unexpected! Lovely post, thanks for sharing

    Reply
  9. Zara
    October 7, 2017

    I’ve visited Chile before but I’ve never heard of this place! Looks really obscure and off the beaten path is always something we seek. Thank you for sharing, I just wish I’d known about it 3 years ago! Great photos 🙂

    Reply
  10. Yesh Sewdayal
    October 7, 2017

    Chile was never on my radar until I made the sweetest friend from Copiapó! She taught me a lot about the culture and history of Chile and it’s definitely on my list for a vacation! Your post and beautiful pictures have given me serious wanderlust!

    Reply
  11. Bee
    October 7, 2017

    Chile continues to be a fascinating destination. The historical and natural aspects are amazing and def worth exploring.

    Reply
  12. Indu
    October 7, 2017

    Exotic deserts as I read and see in your fabulous pics reminded me of my exploration in Sahara desert. Thanks for sharing your wonderful travel experience.

    Reply
  13. Lee
    October 7, 2017

    Gosh driest part of the world! I can understand why you hung around the hand a while longer, such beauty in a vast landscape!

    Reply
  14. Sindhu
    October 7, 2017

    Quite an interesting read. I m really intrigued to go visit and see the huge hand in the middle of nowhere myself. Quite a noble cause it has been installed for.

    Reply
  15. Laura @thetravellingstomach
    October 8, 2017

    I love this massive hand! Great photos and an interesting story behind it.

    Reply
  16. Petya Miteva
    October 8, 2017

    Wow, Chile is added on bucket list after reading this post. The hand looks amazing and enormous!

    Reply
  17. Jay
    October 8, 2017

    Wow, interesting article. So mysterious as to why they’d build it there

    Reply
  18. WhodoIdo
    October 8, 2017

    I didn’t realise that Antofagasta is the driest place in the world. The hand is so tall and to find that in the middle of nowhere is something. A great place to visit and not a person in sight. I’ll add this to the list!

    Reply
  19. Jackie
    October 8, 2017

    What an exotic destination . Thanks for sharing nice tips and pics:)

    Reply
  20. Mario
    October 8, 2017

    Ahh! There it is! I’ve seen come pictures of this huge statue before but totally forgot about it. Nice to know now that it is in Chile. Will put this in my initiary. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  21. Em
    October 8, 2017

    I love that you are exploring the black people diaspora. I wouldn’t have thought about Chile as one of those places. This hand sculpture in the middle of the desert, what an experience!

    Reply
  22. Jas
    October 9, 2017

    I remember seeing the hand on your insta and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. Have definitely added Chile to my bucket list and I seriously can’t wait to cross it off!

    Reply
  23. Joanna
    October 9, 2017

    I have visited Chile at the beginning of this year but I didn’t get to see the North of Santiago. Antogafasta looks like a fascinating city between the desert and the ocean. I would love to return to Chile and get a glimpse of the North as well.

    Reply
  24. Gabby
    October 9, 2017

    looks like an interesting visit to the hand in the desert. I love areas that are not so frequently visited by tourists, and standing alone in the desert to only listen to the silence around you sounds so peaceful

    Reply
  25. Alex
    October 9, 2017

    Chile was never somewhere that I would have thought to visit but it looks incredible! Love the hand scultpure 🙂

    Reply
  26. The Wildest Tales
    October 10, 2017

    I’m waiting for more posts from Chile as it’s been on my bucket list for so long! Hope you had a blast! That big HAND looks amazing!

    Reply

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