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Antofagasta

II Región de Antofagasta

Classification: Region

Area (sq km): 126,049

Capital City: Antofagasta

Country: Chile

Antofagasta is a region in Northern Chile, bordered by Tarapacá to the North, Argentina to the East, Atacama to th South, and the Pacific Ocean on the West.

The capital of Antofagasta is the city of the same name, located in the central-West area of the region. The majority of the populations lives along the coast, and in the city of Calama along the Andes.

Antofagasta's economy is mainly dependant on mining, with some influence from fishing. Tourism is beginning to make an impact on the economy, as well as the sciences, as the province is home to the Very Large Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA).

Historically, Antofagasta was populated by two main native groups, the Chango people along the coast, and the Atacameño people around the Atacama Desert. There are still a number of Atacameño people living in Chile, but the Chango people are officially classified as extinct, due to Spanish conquistadors and integration with other native populations.

Antofagasta has no official flag, but the flag normally used is blue with the region's coat of arms in a yellow circle, with the rgion's name around the outside.

The origin of the name of Antofagasta is not confirmed, and has been suggested that it may come from a combination of words from: Cacán, meaning "Town of the Great Salt Lake"; Quechua, meaning "Copper Cache"; or Chango, meaning "Sun Gate".

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