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WorldSouth AmericaEast PacificSouth AtlanticChileAntofagasta
Port of Entry
23°38.5′S, 070°24.0′W Chart icon.png
Plaza Colon, Antofagasta

Antofagasta is one of the old 'Nitrate Ports' situated in territory aquired 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.


OpenCPN plan of the harbour showing approximate track - click for larger view
Pozo de Salitre - click for larger view
The entrance - click for larger view
The marina - click for larger view

There are no large scale charts of this harbour.


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 seabreeze 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.


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


The Patagonian Net on 8164 USB may , at times, be heard from Antofagasta.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


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 metres 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 occured in late winter, however I experienced two in April/May 2014. Note! A severe storm later in 2014 is reported to have destroyed most of the marina berths, check ahead before planning a stay here. 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.


One hours 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.

For entrance details see Chile.


Marinas & Yacht Clubs

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 early 2014 were US$20 a day with the first three days free. The price for longer stays is negotiable.


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, 23*26'S, 70*23'W.

There is no safe anchorage outside the port.

Yacht Repairs and Services

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.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Available from the Shell service station about 5 minutes walk south of the marina.
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.
Potable water laid on to the pontoons. However as it is produced by a local de-sal plant locals suggest using bottled water for tea and coffee etc.
240V laid on to the pontoons at no charge.

Things to do Ashore


List places of interest, tours, etc.

Grocery & Supply Stores

There are three supermercados close to the port, Lider,Tottus, and Jumbo. There is a fishmarket on the north side of Pozo Salitre


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


Free yacht club wi-fi. A number of internet cafes in the town.


  • Expensive

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

Garbage facilities exist within the marina.


Regular high quality bus links to Arica, Santiago and all points in between. About 24 flights a day to Santiago via LAN, PAL, and SKY.


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)


References & Publications

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:

  • February 2014 --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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