Copiapó, Chile

Copiapó, Chile


Copiapó, a city and commune situated in Chile serves as the capital, for both the province and the Atacama Region.

Located in the valley of the name alongside the Copiapó River Copiapó is 800 miles north of Santiago. However, due to climate change and severe droughts, the river has gradually dried up since the twenty-first century.

Copiapó’s most notable event in history is the Universidad de Chile vs Copiapó football match from 1973. This intense match during the height of the Chilean coup d’état is remembered by many as a symbol of resistance against military dictatorship.

Universidad de Chile, which is known for its left-wing politics, was playing against the local club, Copiacapó, which was known for its support of the military regime. The Unión de Chile team defeated the Copiacapó team. The victory was considered a victory for democracy and liberty.

Brief History of Copiapó

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the region around Copiapó was inhabited by indigenous peoples, such as the Diaguita and the Atacameño. These groups had developed advanced agricultural systems and were known for their pottery and textiles.

Copiapó was founded by the Spanish on December 8, 1744. It was established as a mining town due to the discovery of valuable mineral deposits, particularly silver and later copper, in the surrounding area. The Spanish colonial authorities recognized its strategic importance as a mining centre.

on December 8, 1744, Spanish colonisers sought to capitalise on the region’s abundant silver and gold deposits by founding the city of Apiapó. This city quickly developed into a centre of mining and commerce, drawing in visitors from around the globe.

In the nineteenth century, the city experienced a significant economic surge due to the emergence of the Kañarcillo Silver Mine, which was at the time one of the most abundant in the world. Apiapó is situated on the western coast of South America, at a point known as the “Arica Bend” or “Arica Elbow”. This led to the establishment of various mining companies and the development of infrastructure.

In the 20th century, copper mining became the dominant industry in the region, and Copiapó played a crucial role as a centre for this industry. The city’s proximity to the copper mines of the Atacama Desert contributed to its economic significance.

In recent years, Copiapó has continued to evolve, diversifying its economy beyond mining. The city has expanded into other industries, such as agriculture and tourism, while still maintaining its status as a regional economic hub.

Economy of Copiapó

Copiapó’s economy is mainly made up of mining, farming and tourism. It is endowed with a wealth of mineral resources, particularly copper, which has traditionally been a major contributor to the local economy.

The mining industry in Copiapó and its surrounding areas is dominated by the copper industry. Copper mining is one of Chile’s most important exports and Copiapó is a major contributor to the country’s copper production. In addition to copper, the region also produces gold, silver and iron ore. Several mining operations are located in the Copiapó area. These mining activities have a direct effect on the local economy and the national economy, creating jobs and revenue.

The Atacama desert is among the driest deserts in the world, but the region is home to oases and fertile valleys where agriculture is practised. Grape, olives and other crops are grown in the Elqui Valley and the Huasco Valley. These valleys are famous for their wine and agriculture.

Exploring the City of Copiapó

Exploring Copiapó by foot is one of the most popular ways to experience the city. Stroll through Plaza de Armas, the city’s main square, and take in the stunning architecture and sculptures. The Mercado Central, a bustling market, is also a great place to explore, offering a wide selection of local produce and traditional Chilean cuisine.

City NameCopiapó
RegionAtacama Region
Total Area16,681.3 km2
Elevation390 m
FoundedOn 8th December, 1744
Founded ByJosé Antonio Manso de Velasco
Official Website
Copiapó, Chile