It may appear industrial and gritty but Calama happens to be the pride and joy of northern Chile, an economic powerhouse that pumps truckloads of copper money into the Chilean economy year on year. And while it holds little attraction for visitors — most people will only stop here for the night on their way to the la-la land of San Pedro de Atacama — there is a visceral appeal to this mining town that definitely goes that extra mile in ’keeping it real.’ Calama is located in the middle of the Atacama desert and is a strategic point to visit San Pedro de Atacama.Located in the region of Antofagasta, Calama is the capital of the province of Loa. Due to its closeness to several deposits and to Chiquicamata (the world’s largest open pit mine), many have called this city “Chile’s mining capital”. Part of Bolivia until the War of the Pacific, this is a city where natural beautie and the historical traces of Inca culture combine to create a beautiful scenario. This is a strategic spot to visit the local tourist attractions such as Pukará de Lasana, Tatio Geysers, and San Pedro de Atacama.