Humberstone is an abandoned mining town (nitrate) in northern Chile, but perhaps the only one that efforts are being made to preserve. I had the whole town to myself for a few hours before the first bus load of sightseers arrived from the coastal town of Iquique – about 70km distant. All it lacked was a child chasing a hoop to make it a DiChirico painting, or Clint Eastwood’s character from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly to make it a film set (I just couldn’t shake Ennio Morricone’s theme tune for weeks afterwards). The large hall in the centre of the image felt like it had been abandoned just a week before. Bunting and deflated balloons hung from the walls, the effect was eerie – I later discovered that the annual reunion of mine workers had indeed occurred just weeks earlier.

Shot on Fuji transparency film on a Pentax K1000.

606 views at 16 April 2013.

More images from this cycle tour can be seen in the South America by bike collection on my Bubblesite.

Jindabyne based graphic designer, cyclist and photographer.
More of my work can be seen at

View Full Profile


  • sarnia2
    sarnia2about 4 years ago

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeabout 4 years ago

  • Daidalos
    Daidalosalmost 3 years ago


  • Candy1974
    Candy1974almost 3 years ago

    I was there too. Muy impresionante! Great work!

  • Thank you

    – Syd Winer

  • Keala
    Keala10 months ago

    This town was founded in 1862, around a nitrate mine in La Palma, although the name of Humberstone did not come with it’s foundation, but later, in 1925, when it was named after the mine manager who brought prosperity to the settlement. Both Humberstone and Santa Laura, the nearby town, have made the most of the period in which nitrate trade was on great demand.
    Interesting town!! Must have been fun to explore!

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.