This lake lies in a great pit or caldera created by the wrecking in prehistoric times of the volcano Mount Mazama, which according to geologists once had an altitude of about 14,000 ft.
South-east by rail from Caldera, the principal port of this great mining district.
Its port, Caldera, 50 m.
Communications.-Railway construction in Chile dates from 1850, when work was begun on a short line between Copiapo and the port of Caldera, in the Atacama desert region.
During the night of the 23rd of April, and whilst the " Blanco Encalada " was lying quietly at anchor, a torpedo boat called the " Almirante Lynch," belonging to the Balmaceda faction, steamed into the bay of Caldera and discharged a torpedo at the rebel ship. The " Blanco Encalada " sank in a few minutes and 300 of her crew perished.
The Caldera & Copiapo railway (built 1848-1851 and one of the first in South America) extends beyond Copiapo to the Chanarcillo mines (50 m.) and other mining districts.