Atacama virtual: English

Atacama Region, Chile: Historical records

Paul Treutler: Port of Caldera (1852)


W. Griem, 2020

Text of Treutler
page +

Paul Treutler
Caldera - de Reclus
Carta de Caldera de Espinoza 1895

 Literature: Caldera at 1852

deutsch / español / english

Paul Treutler visited 1852 Caldera: Original text, description of the port of Caldera -
The port of Caldera is located 27°5'20" s. Lat. and 70° 56 w. Long. Founded by a law of December 21,1850.
Treutler published "his" description of the port of Caldera where he arrived from Valparaiso.

The port of Caldera is situated 27° 5'20" s. B. and 70° 56 w. L. and was created by the law of 21 December 1850.

If I hadn't possessed such reliable news about the great mineral wealth of this province, which was now to become my sphere of activity and my homeland, and if I hadn't been inspired by the hot desire and hadn't been assured of the prospect of acquiring a significant fortune in a short time, the sight that presented itself to me here would have really daunted me all the more.

My fantasy, which in Europe had portrayed the most beautiful images of the areas I would live and travel along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, had betrayed me.

Wherever my eye turned around the large harbour, I saw nothing but the most barren sandy areas that stretched for miles to the horizon where grey, bare rocky mountains piled up. Nowhere else was there a trace of vegetation and only on the shore did a larger building, several smaller houses and miserable huts reveal that there were living creatures in this desert.
The difference in climate was immediately noticeable because all the inhabitants of this port were significantly browner than those of Valparaíso. When we landed happily and in the almost foot-deep, burning sands some 100 steps with the most glowing heat of the sun after a small tavern waded, we received a second proof of the climatic change by being literally bathed in sweat. This also could not have a positive effect on me. Since I had many suitcases, I was one of the last to arrive at this so-called hotel. I now learned that there was no room, no corner where one could have protected oneself from the burning rays of the sun and I was forced to settle in the sand with my suitcases. By the way, this fate was shared by whole families, who provided shade with suitcases over which the cloth was stretched.

I then hired a guard for my luggage and went to the dining room, where they rang every half hour, one could say for feeding. Those who had had breakfast had to leave their seats immediately in order to make room for the arrival of the sober guests. When I had won a chair, I first demanded water to quench my burning thirst. They brought me almost pure salt water, which was quite undrinkable. The fried fish that was now served was not fresh, the meat smelled and the coffee that was cooked with the salt water was not enjoyable, so that I did not enjoy the whole breakfast, which cost two pesos per man, and soon made room for others who might have had a better stomach. As soon as this feeding was over, the table was cleared and the bench was laid on top of it and the game continued until the departure.

Copiapó, the destination of my trip, was 12 1/2 German miles [92.7 km] (1) from here in northeastern direction in the interior of the country and was already connected to this desolate place Caldera by a railway, which was the first in South America since a few weeks to be handed over to the company (2). Unfortunately, there was no railway station (3), where one could have found shelter against the sun, and since the next train was only to leave in the afternoon, we were condemned to crave and fry here for seven hours.
Unusually unaccustomed to this truly tropical heat, I returned to the seashore, where at least a fresh breeze refreshed me, and as I continued to discover some cliffs, I hurried along looking for shade. I found a place where a small cave gave me the opportunity to refresh myself in the waves of the ocean that penetrated into it. Beautiful sand covered the bottom of the shallow water. [...]


Los textos originales fueron digitalizados, transformados a ASCII redactados y traducidos  por Dr. Wolfgang Griem.

Caldera, Aduana en la Región de Atacama
Caldera in the Atacama Region


Jeografía Descriptiva de la República de Chile - Arreglada.- Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades; quinta edición; Santiago de Chile.
: Fünfzehn Jahre in Südamerika an de Ufern des Stillen Ozeans. - 3 Bd., 236 Seiten; Weltpostverlag, Leipzig. (Colección W. Griem)
• RECLUS, E. (1895):
Nouvelle Geographie Universelle - La tierra et les Hommes.- XVIII Amerique du sud - les regiones Andines; Paris 1895. (Colección Biblioteca Museo Regional de Atacama)

Any new publication not authorized by the authors is expressly prohibited. This applies in particular to electronic publications:  Usage guidelines.

previous page of geovirtual, Atacama
History of the Atacama Region - Content of the virtual Atacama pages
next page of geovirtual, Atacama
Linea plateada en
Geology (Spanish)
Apuntes Geología General
Apuntes Geología Estructural
Apuntes Depósitos Minerales
Apuntes Exploraciones Mineras
Geological periods
Literature and Citation
Geological index (spanish)
Virtual museum
Virtual Museum: First page
Geological excursion
Some Minerals
History of Geosciences
Mining in historical literature
Fossils in historical literature
Historical authors mining and geology
Geological index (spanish)
Images of Chile and Atacama
The Coquimbo Region, Chile
The Coquimbo Region
History of the Coquimbo Region
Railroad history of Coquimbo
Names and places
Images from Chile
Atacama Region, Chile
Journey to Atacama
Atacama sightseeing places
History of Atacama
Mining history of Atacama
Geology of Atacama, Chile
The railroad history of Atacama
Flora Atacama
Animals of the Atacama Desert
Virtual viewpoint Atacama
Atacama en b/n
Road - maps /
Morphologic 3-dimensions
Climate history of Atacama
Books & Collection of Books
List of names and places of Atacama
sitemap - list of all files  - schematic content - Information site /contenido esquemático / Entrada del Museo virtual / History of Atacama Region
History of the Atacama Region, Chile
© Dr. Wolfgang Griem, Chile - all rights reserved  (Mail a Wolfgang Griem Uso de las páginas de y
Published (spanish): 2.5. 2015; Updated: 19.9.2017, 11.8.2018, 30.1.2021
Mail a Wolfgang Griem Mail and contact
Ver el perfil de Wolfgang Griem en LinkedInSee profile of Wolfgang Griem
All rights reserved
Any new publication not authorized by the authors is expressly prohibited. This applies in particular to electronic publications: Usage guidelines.
© Wolfgang Griem (2005, 2009) - Todos los derechos reservados - alle Rechte vorbehalten - all rights reserved
valido W3C
validated 30.1.2021