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WorldSouth AmericaEast PacificChileAntofagasta
Port of Entry
23°38.500'S, 070°24.000'W Chart icon.png
lat=-23.64167 | lon=-70.4 | zoom=15 | y
Plaza Colon, Antofagasta

Antofagasta is one of the old 'Nitrate Ports' situated in territory acquired by Chile during the 1879-1883 'War of the Pacific'. Up until the 1940's it was a major exporter of nitrates, now its wealth comes from the extensive copper mines in the hinterland. With a population of over 300,000 it has the highest GDP of any area in Chile.

Pozo de Salitre


British Admiralty
BA4227 - Rada de Antofagasta

See also Chile.


Situated on the edge of the Atacama Desert Antofagasta is in one of the driest regions on earth. Average annual rainfall is 4mm and locals say it has not rained for 12 years. Land and sea breezes prevail throughout the year and this keeps the temperature between 5 and 27 degrees.

The South East Pacific High lies well offshore to the southwest of the port and combined with the Atacama Desert this has a major effect on the weather.

Typically the day starts of calm or with a light easterly. About midday the sea breeze gets away and blows out of the south at up to and sometimes more than 20 knots for the afternoon, giving way to calm in the late evening.

If there is a light southerly blowing when the sun comes up there is a good chance there is going to be a stronger than normal afternoon breeze.

Sources for Weather forecasts:


See Chile.


The Patagonian Net on 8164 USB could, at times, be heard from Antofagasta. It is now inactive.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The entrance
OpenCPN plan of the harbour showing approximate track

While the approach is straightforward yachts should keep well offshore until abeam the entrance as there are unmarked dangers inshore and the sea can break unexpectedly. Locals suggest keeping the south-west face of the Muelle de Salitre just slightly open on the approach. A rock known as 'The Widow' with less than 2 m over it is situated in the middle of the entrance and when entering it pays to keep close up to the southern breakwater.

The South America Pilot Vol 3 states "During 'Bravezas' and bad weather the channel to Caleta Poza del Saltire is sometimes impassable due to the heavy swell which rolls over the reefs and breaks completely across the entrance. Strangers should on no account attempt to enter the cove at night". Bad weather is said to occur maybe once a year in late winter.

I was advised that Bravezas were rare and only occurred in late winter, however, I experienced two in April/May 2014. Note! A severe storm later in 2014 was reported to have destroyed most of the marina berths, check ahead before planning a stay here. Google earth imagery in early 2019 suggests the marina has been repaired and is back in service. They are caused by heavy gales in the far south of the South East Pacific which produce a heavy swell which affects the whole northern Chilean coast. It is normal to receive at least several days notice of the arrival of a Bravezas event. The recommended routine in Antofagasta is, with the club captain's assistance, to drop anchor in the harbour entrance and then drop back until you can pick up the club buoy near the end of the Muelle de Salitre. A line can then be taken to a secondary mooring astern to hold her in position. The other option is just to lay out a kedge on a good scope from your position on the finger so you can haul your boat well clear of the finger.


Antofagasta is a port of entry/exit for Chile. For details see Entrance: Chile.

One hour notice of arrival should be given to 'Antofagasta Port Radio' , VHF Ch 16 and 14, and they should be contacted again once you have berthed.

If entering from another Chilean port then the Armada can be found at Grecia 1946, about a 20-minute walk south of the marina.

If entering from overseas... a very rare event here... then you should wait for the Armada and Immigration to come to your yacht. Once that has been done you can go to the Aduana office on the left-hand side of the entrance to the commercial port ( almost opposite the Capitania) and request an 'Admission Temporal' for your yacht.


Marinas & Yacht Clubs

The marina

Club de Yates Antofagasta

Club de Yates Antofagasta/wiki/Antofagasta#Club_de_Yates_Antofagasta
Marina icon Club de Yates Antofagasta [[Antofagasta#Club de Yates Antofagasta|Club de Yates Antofagasta]] 23°38.575'S, 070°23.978'W

Club de Yates Antofagasta has two pontoons on the starboard hand as you enter... there is also a visitors' mooring midway between these pontoons and the old Nitrate Pier. Call the Club on Ch 16 for assistance in berthing. Typically it is headlines to the pontoon and a line to a club buoy aft. Quite often there is a fair bit of surge and this should be taken into consideration when protecting your lines from chafe and keeping your yacht far enough from the pontoon to stop her 'kissing' it.

Depths alongside the pontoons is variable and caution should be exercised when entering.

There is a hard stand and an 18 tonne Travelift.

Rates in 2023 were US$20 a day with the first three days free. The price for longer stays is negotiable.

[email protected]; Tel: +56 (55) 2789530; Fax: +XX (XXX) XXXXXX; VHF channel 16


Bahia Mejillones

Bahia Mejillones/wiki/Antofagasta#Bahia_Mejillones
Anchorage icon Bahia Mejillones [[Antofagasta#Bahia Mejillones|Bahia Mejillones]] 23°05.688'S, 070°28.223'W

If the port is closed then safe anchorage can be found in the SW corner of Bahia Mejillones, which is a solid daysail further north, or, somewhat closer, in Caleta Constitucion.

There is no safe anchorage outside the port.


Water Potable water laid on to the pontoons. However, as it is produced by a local de-sal plant locals I suggest using bottled water for tea and coffee etc.
Electricity 240V laid on to the pontoons at no charge
Toilets Yes
Showers Yes
Laundry In the Yacht Club, expensive. Also very expensive in the town.
Garbage Garbage facilities exist within the marina
Fuel Available from the Shell service station about 5 minutes walk south of the marina
Bottled gas US and Australian tanks can be filled at the Lipigas terminal which is some distance north of the city on the road to Mejillones. They may have to be left overnight and the minimum charge, in early 2014, was $CP8000 for 5 kilograms
Chandlers No
Repairs There are no dedicated yacht chandlers or repair businesses in the town. However, in a town of this size, there would be a good chance of getting things fixed as it serves a large mining industry. There are at least two large 'Home improvement' centres, Easy and Sodimac
  • Free WiFi in the Yacht Club
Mobile connectivity Yes
Vehicle rentals Yes


  • There are three supermercados close to the port, Lider, Tottus, and Jumbo
  • There is a fishmarket on the north side of Pozo Salitre together with a large produce market in the northern part of the city.

Eating out

There are numerous restaurants in the town to suit all budgets.


  • Regular high quality bus links to Arica, Santiago and all points in between.
  • About 24 flights a day to and from Santiago with LATAM, SKY, and JetSMART.



Give a short history of the port.

Places to Visit

List places of interest, tours, etc.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Chile.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Antofagasta and this page's details validated:

  • April 2023 --Frank, Westerly Serenade

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Frank Holden

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