At this Museum, visitors learn about how the Antofagasta Region’s mineral wealth has influenced its history and distinctive culture.
José Manuel Balmaceda 2786, Antofagasta, Chile.
Tues-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat, Sun & holidays 11am-2pm
The Antofagasta Regional Museum, located in the port’s historic center, was founded by the former University of the North. Its permanent exhibition, comprising 12 rooms, provides an overview of the geology that has given the region its unique mineral resources and traces its history from its indigenous inhabitants through to the saltpeter industry of late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and on to the present day.
The Museum is housed in two heritage properties:
The Museum's collection comprises around 9,000 catalogued items, including mineralogical, paleontological, archaeological, bio-anthropological, historical and ethnographical objects. Those relating to the first human settlements on the coast are of particular interest while its historical collections provide an insight into the different social, political, economic and cultural stages of the region’s development, including that of the port of Antofagasta itself. The specialized library contains approximately 2,000 books, scientific journals and publications on topics related to archaeology, anthropology, ethnohistory and regional history.
Displayed on the ground floor of the Museum is the only existing photograph of a woman from the Chango indigenous people, which inhabited the coast of northern Chile.