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Experience – La Mano del Desierto – Antofagasta, Chile.

  • Location: Hand of the Desert, Antofagasta, Chile (Google Maps)
  • Hours: All Day
  • Recommended Time: 2 hours
  • How to Arrive: By car
  • Distance from Antofagasta: 60 km / 37 miles
  • Ideal Month(s): All Year

The Mano del Desierto is a large-scale sculpture of a hand located in the Atacama Desert in Chile, about 60 km to the south and east of the city of Antofagasta along the Panamerican Highway. The nearest point of reference is the “Ciudad Empresarial La Negra.”

The sculpture was constructed by the Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal at an altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level. Its exaggerated size is said to emphasize human vulnerability and helplessness. The work has a base of iron and concrete, and stands 11 metres (36 ft) tall. Funded by Corporación Pro Antofagasta, a local booster organization, the sculpture was inaugurated on March  28, 1992.

It has since become a point of interest for tourists traveling along Route 5, which forms part of the Pan-American Highway. It is often an easy victim of graffiti and is therefore cleaned occasionally.

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