This beautiful village owes its name to the patron saint san pedro, and the word atacama, according to their ancestors, comes from the Cunza language “Aatchatchca” which means “Cabecera” of the country, this word with time was undergoing modifications until arriving at the pronunciation of today . San Pedro de Atacama was conquered by the Incas in 1450 and then by the Spaniards in 1540, constituting the cabildo in 1555.
The square is undoubtedly one of the attractions of the archaeological capital of Chile, nothing better than to watch the time pass under its enormous peppers or molles, trees that will refresh you in the summer evenings. To the side of the square we find the church of San Pedro de Atacama, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the north of Chile, its date of construction is unknown, but it already functioned as a parish in 1641; In 1951 it was declared National Monument. For its construction was used adobe in its walls and wood of chañar and algarrobo, straw and mud in its ceilings, which were covered with wood of cactus.Front to the place we will find the Municipality of san pedro de atacama, carabineros, the mail, The Museum of Father le Paigey sernatur.
The historical center still retains the structure and construction of the influence of the Spanish colony, old houses paired with interior patios, built in adobe with thatched roofs and mud. Its dirt roads have been treated with vichufita, a product derived from the salar that allows to preserve the original aesthetic, causing less pollution.
Its main street “Caracoles” owes its name to formerly from this point groups of miners left to work in the Caracoles Silver Mine, discovered in 1870 by Diaz Gana. Nowadays, this pedestrian street is provided with restaurants, tourist agencies and warehouses that welcome tourists from all over the world.