Humberstone: the ghost town lost in the Atacama Desert


If you are thinking of a trip to South America and you have not yet included this destination, perhaps you are forgetting something.

Humberstone is definitely a place of charm and history to visit if you are a lover of mystery and silence. It was born in 1872 with the aim of producing saltpetre at a time when the demand for nitrates was growing.
In a short time it becomes a small town / factory where workers settle, new buildings are created and, over time, cinemas, swimming pools and a church are built.

Abandoned houses of a deserted street in Humberstone, Atacama Desert, Chile

With the Great Depression of 1929, however, many things changed. All the wealth created with saltpeter collapses in a short time so that Humberstone and the factories in the area go bankrupt. Since 1960 the workers drop out Humberstone gradually and here becomes the ghost town we can see today.

Despite this, Humberstone became a national monument in 1970 and a UNESCO heritage site in 2005.
UNESCO highlights the great cultural riches of this place starting from the great work of the workers and their life itself (language and culture in the first place).
In the lost city you can also admire a theater where Mexican films and various operettas were presented. The factory town square is still open to tourists and the curious, as is a café.
But the charm of letting yourself go to the silence of a city so rich in history and past life immersed in the desert is unparalleled.

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