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Alto Hospicio

Alto Hospicio
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Coordinates: 20°15′S 70°07′W / 20.250°S 70.117°W / -20.250; -70.117Coordinates: 20°15′S 70°07′W / 20.250°S 70.117°W / -20.250; -70.117{{#coordinates:20|15|S|70|07|W|type:city(94441)_region:CL-TA|| |primary |name=

Country 23x15px Chile
Region 23x15px Tarapacá
Province Iquique Province
 • Type Municipal council
 • Alcalde Ramón Galleguillos Castillo
 • Total 593.2 km2 (229.0 sq mi)
Elevation 600 m (2,000 ft)
Population (2012 Census)
 • Total 94,441
 • Density 160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Demonym Hospiciano
Time zone CLT (UTC−4)
 • Summer (DST) CLST (UTC−3)
Postal code 1130000
Area code(s) (+56) 5
Website Official website Invalid language code.

Alto Hospicio is a Chilean municipality and commune located next to Iquique, in the Iquique Province, I Region. It is a fast-growing popular area in the heights of Iquique and has a population of 94,254 according to the prelimanry result of the 2012 census. It is the second largest commune of the Greater Iquique urbanization with a total population of 275,000 in 2012.


The first inhabitants of Alto Hospicio were the Chango indigenous group, that arrived from the coast. They climbed 550 meters from the cove of Ique Ique during the so-called Festival of the Mule (Bajo Molle), and stopped to rest on the pampa. During Inca times of Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1380 - 1410 CE), Spanish began to exploit the silver deposits of Huantajaya located about three miles northeast of Alto Hospicio Central Prison. Exploitation of silver continued until the end of the eighteenth century when Basilio de la Fuente, a prominent resident of the town of San Lorenzo of Tarapacá, made a fortune with the mineral and funded major irrigation works. After the War of the Pacific, Alto Hospicio was little more than a desolate train station (specifically the area of High Molle), where no more than 100 people lived. By the 1950s, groups of Aymara farmers settled in the area, bringing agricultural products from the inland altiplano. They constructed modest plots for small-scale horticulture and agriculture (both crops and livestock). The economic boom experienced Iquique in the mid-1990s, fomented a population explosion in Alto Hospicio. It was transformed from a small town of about 2,000 inhabitants in the early nineties to a huge city with over 100,000 inhabitants. Alto Hospicio is 10 km away and 600 m above Lower Iquique. In August 2007 the Alto Hospicio Basic Emergency Hospital opened in La Pampa area of the city. Though originally part of Iquique, Alto Hospicio was incorporated as its own municipality on 12 April 2004, when Law No. 19943 was approved under President Ricardo Lagos Escobar .


Preliminary results of the 2012 census indicate a population of 94,254 inhabitants of Alto Hospicio. According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Alto Hospicio had 50,215 inhabitants. Of these (99.995%) lived in urban areas outside Iquique, and only 0.0005% in rural areas due to its desert like surrounding. The population grew by nearly 900% (44,627 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses[2] and similar (90.7%) between 2002 and 2012 by about 44,000 inhabitants.

The commune of Alto Hospicio is composed of 4 census districts.

Census district 2002 Census 1992 Census
# District Area (km2) Total Urban Rural Total Urban Rural
1 Autódromo 435.0 1,844 1,843 1 505 501 4
2 Alto Hospicio 4.1 31,687 31,687 0 8,915 8,915 0
3 Santa Rosa 118.6 7,352 7,328 24 2,564 2,553 11
4 Pampa del Molle 35.5 9,332 9,332 0 3,068 3,068 0
Total 593.2 50,215 50,190 25 15,052 15,037 15

Source: INE 2007 report, "Territorial division of Chile"[2]


The climate of the area is coastal desert, similar to La Pampa, which is influenced by the dry climate and the Humboldt Current. It is characterized by abundant cloudiness, and low oscillation amplitude from autumn throughout the winter to the early part of spring. But this changes in summer when temperatures double and the oscillation increases, and temperature can vary considerably throughout the day. In the morning it may be sunny, but be very cloudy or rainy in the afternoon. The community receives some rainfall in summer, especially between January and February due to high air pressure fronts commonly called "Bolivia," negatively referring to cold Bolivian or Altiplano winters. Alto Hospicio also receives some rainfall in winter but not every year. Chile's climate is changing due to global warming. Alto Hospicio is a place where temperatures are not incredibly high, but sun rays can be very damaging. Average high in summer is 24°C (75.2°F) and 9.4°C (48.92°F) to 15°C (59°F) in winter.

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This page is a soft redirect. Climate data for Alto Hospicio
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

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This page is a soft redirect.Source: Weather Underground[3]


As a commune, Alto Hospicio is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by an alcalde who is directly elected every four years. The 2008-2012 alcalde is Ramón Galleguillos Castillo.[1]

Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Alto Hospicio is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Mrs. Marta Isasi (Ind.) and Mr. Hugo Gutiérrez (PC) as part of the 2nd electoral district, which includes the entire Tarapacá Region.The commune is represented in the Senate by Fulvio Rossi Ciocca (PS) and Jaime Orpis Bouchon (UDI) as part of the 1st senatorial constituency (Arica and Parinacota Region and Tarapacá Region).


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Municipality of Alto Hospicio" (in español). Archived from the original on 31 August 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Territorial division of Chile" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  3. "Promedios meteorólogicos en Alto Hospicio". MSN. 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 

External links