During our trip to Chile we made our way to Calama (Atacama Desert). To further explore the area of Antofagasta, we decide to explore the cliffs of Antofagasta by bus. After the 3-hour drive, the disillusionment soon hit us. Except for the small beach at the Pacific Ocean, we found a lot of industrial charm. No beautiful cliffs, which we knew from the images online. Our destination “La Portada” was far away from the bus station.
Lucky us – We arrived at La Portada
After a long time thinking about how to get to La Portada, we spoke to some taxi drivers, who barely understood us. The prices they told us were absolutely horrendous. Just before we wanted to cancel everything, a taxi driver followed us and made us an acceptable offer – 20 euros to our destination La Portada. For Chilean prices this is way to much, but we wanted to take this chance. At this point we did not know that the driver would become our personal guide.
Fantastic natural spectacle
During the 20-minute drive, our personal taxi driver told us how he lives in Chile, that he had already lost friends through earthquakes and how the desert was already changing due to global warming. Then suddenly we reached a large parking lot and were overwhelmed by the amazing nature.
Seagulls and exotic birds were waiting for us and the stone gate of La Portada loomed out of the Pacific. Everywhere we could explore wild animals at the shore. Gannets in the meadow of rocks, seals settle on the stone cliffs in the sun and we could even discover a pelican and a penguin. You should really take binoculars or your zoom lens with you.
Our taxi guide turned out to be incredibly friendly and took us along the coast. He told us everything about the vegetation and the local animals. With good luck, he said, you can even spot whales in the waves. I’ve never seen so many wild animals at one spot. I really recommended this natural spectacle. It is a insider tip for all of you who are in the area of Antofagasta.
A little hint
You have to expect immense delays when you are traveling with the bus to Antofagasta. The bus back to Calama comes directly from Santiago de Chile – a 16 hours drive away from the south.