Salitrera Santa Laura
Salitrera Santa Laura
4.5
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
The area
Reach out directly
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Attractions
1 within 10 kms

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles352 reviews
Excellent
201
Very good
105
Average
44
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Yann Renaud
Switzerland842 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Friends
The place is far smaller then Humberstone, but still worth paying a (shorter) visit. In one hour you can make a good tour of the place. Don't forget the small museum, which exhibits some nice and authentic pictures of the town, when it was still in use.
Written 23 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pammy2015
Germany13 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017
We had a very good guide who took us back to the past when the mine was full with workers, families. It is impressive to see how organised it was. It had its advantages and disadvantages.
It's worth going there, you can buy some souvenirs, snacks and take some photos.
Don't forget to take some water with you.
Written 17 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

roland2409
Iquique33 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Friends
A nice site to visit in the Atacama Desert. Bring water sun glasses and shade.
A 2 hour visit is enough the proceed to near Humberstone where you will nedd more time.
Nice pictures at sunset.
Written 26 April 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Malcolm B
Sydney, Australia241 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2017 • Couples
As a chemist, I found the tour of the now decaying Santa Laura Saltpeter factory absolutely amazing. There are detailed descriptions accompanying each step of the process, from the leaching and recrystalization of the Saltpeter to the side business of iodine extraction. The scale of the process was large for the day and it was good to be able to walk in and around the impressive timber structures.

The electrical generators are of British origin. I gather the original owners were British and stopped the supply of Saltpetre to Germany during the First World War, which hurt business somwhat. Our guide told us that the workers lived on-site (in the middle of the Atacama Desert) and were paid in tokens that could only be spent at the on-site shop owned by the mine manager.

We were on a private tour and probably spent a good hour at this site. I imagine it would be less interesting as part of a large group, especially if your guide was unfamilar with the history. The main house is in good repair and contains a lot of memorabilia from the times. We did not visit the nearby ghost town as we were more interested in the Saltpetre extraction and purification and were restricted with time.

We were driven through this site on a 14 hour road trip from Arica to San Pedro and also stopped off at Geoglyphs along the way. The whole trip was a bit of a grueling marathon and I am certain there are easier ways to access the site. The nearby city is Iquique but we did not have time to pass through it.

Saltpetre was the white gold of Chile and Peru the 1800's as it was used to make explosives and fertilizers. Visiting Santa Laura is visiting the core of former European wealth generation in the Atacarma region and is essential viewing fro chemists and history enthusiasts.
Written 20 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Indovinello
Temuco, Chile25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Family
After walking throughout all the industrial site, Santa Laura definitely presents itself as a silent witness of the complex industrial processes and the hard working conditions workers had to endure those days. Make sure to bring confortable clothing, water, hats, sun glasses and sunscreen.
If you visit Humberstone, this place is roughly a 30' walk away. It's smaller but the little museum with relicts and old fotos makes up for that.
Written 25 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

16jamesdoc
London, UK659 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Solo
This, together with Humberstone, is unmissable. Santa Laura shows how the nitrates were processed and Humberstone is a graphic display of how the workers lived, were educated, entertained and spiritually enriched. Somehow in this desolate place they seemed to have managed a community spirit.

The tour which I went on included visits to the churches of La Tirana and Tica followed by a swim at Pica. I didn't really need all of these in such detail but at CL$ 20,000 (about £20 or US$30) for 11 hours, you couldn't argue about the value.
Written 17 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

turron2001
Santiago, Chile73 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Friends
Around an hour from Iquique and standing the intense sun and warm evening winds, Santa Laura offers an incredible view of the Salt Pepper works that were done all over the north of Chile. After walking throughout all the industrial site, Santa Laura definitely presents itself as a silent witness of the complex industrial processes and the hard working conditions workers had to endure those days.

Make sure to bring confortable clothing, water, hats, sun glasses and sunscreen.
Written 28 December 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christoph R
Basel, Switzerland417 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Solo
If you visit Humberstone, this place is roughly a 30' walk away. It's smaller but the little museum with relicts and old fotos makes up for that. The huge industrial structure makes for good pictures. But you won't stay as long as in Humberstone.
The entrance for Humberstone also is valide for Santa Laura!
Written 2 December 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RovingAl
Vienna, Austria93 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Solo
Exploring Santa Laura is great fun. I got a big kick out of it when I did it alone. First in daylight and then at night. The day part was easy. I took one of the regular inter-city buses from the Iquique market and got off just short of the access road to Santa Laura. Since I was traveling on foot, I decided that I could take some shortcuts. Up a dune, across a flat and I entered the historic grounds from above and to the right of the main entrance. No one challenged me, there were no fences and no dogs. Once inside, it is only logical that nobody paid me the least attention. Because there were no other visitors and the few staff were presumably taking their lunch break. I could explore the grounds at my own pace. The skeleton of the main building looks very impressive from the ground. But its inside is what makes it so special. Be careful and follow the basic rule - never walk in the middle of any wooden surface. I weigh well over 100 kg. and if you are not much heavier, I guess you should be all right. And do not attempt it if you have fear of heights. Mind you, I am not an adrenaline junky, and a very safety-conscious traveler. After I got the grounds covered to my satisfaction, there and then I decided to return at night. This time I didn´t mind company and bought a place with a tour operator that happened to offer a midnight visit to both the Humberstone facility and Santa Laura. Humberstone at night is a huge delight for kids. We played a game of hide-and-seek on a galactic scale. Everybody, adults including, were shrieking with sheer delight. Though at times the game got real spooky, too. Very entertaining. After that we moved over to Santa Laura. At night it is bathed in the eerie brilliance of several well-placed floodlights. After the tour that kept to the floodlit areas was over, we were offered generous drinks, tasty snacks and groovy music in the club room. When the fun got going and everybody was busy, I borrowed a powerful flashlight that was conveniently left on the hook by the door and penetrated the main ruin for the second time. Exploring it with a narrow flashlight beam was a marvelous experience. I felt like the shadows surrounding me were filled with ghosts. I knew that the place was long dead, but somehow it seemed alive, alert and...watching me.
The tour got back to Iquique past 1.am. and the driver delivered everybody to their respective hotels.
Final remark: Santa Laura is NOT a place where you let your children roam free. It is NOT a playground attraction. Keep children under supervision and/or control AT ALL TIMES.
PS I visited in 2013, but I am reasonably certain that nothing has changed there much in the meantime
Written 23 February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LuchoAbdon
Santiago, Chile51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2014 • Family
Do you know how nitrate was processed in the 19th century? Here you can look at the whole process, in a very well preserved, pine wood, huge structure! It does not have the dwellings of Humberstone. Between Santa Laura and Humberstone you learn everything about the old 'Salitreras'.
Written 21 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Salitrera Santa Laura - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

All Iquique HotelsIquique Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Iquique
All things to do in Iquique
Casinos & Gambling in IquiqueDay Trips in Iquique
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars