Paposo or Caleta Paposo is a hamlet is the southern part of Antofagasta Province, Chile. Paposo is located on a narrow coastal plain bordering the Pacific Ocean. The census of 2002 counted 259 inhabitants.[1] The inhabitants of Paposo rely on fishing and mining for a living.[2]

Paposo is best known for its unusual desert climate and the "fog oases" which exist on mountain slopes a few kilometers inland. In a region almost devoid of vegetation, the fog oases, also called lomas, support a variety of flora.

Geography and climate

Paposo is located adjacent to a small cove on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in the Atacama desert, the driest non-polar desert in the world.[3] Vegetation is nearly absent in most of the Atacama. The foothills of the Andes rise steeply from the sea, reaching an elevation of 700 metres (2,300 ft) less than 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the sea.[4]

Paposo and the Atacama have the BWn (desert) climate in the Koppen Classification, characterized by mild temperatures, unusual in desert climates, and much fog rolling in from the nearby ocean.[5] Average temperatures in Paposo range from 13.4 °C (56.1 °F) in July to 20 °C (68 °F) in January, the warmest month.[6] Annual annual precipitation is 16 millimetres (0.63 in). July is the month with most precipitation with 4 millimetres (0.16 in).[7]

The climatic feature which permits the growth of vegetation on the slopes of the mountains rising above Paposo is the Garua or Camanchaca -- cloud banks caused by the cold waters of the ocean. Inland, on mountain sides, the cloud banks form. The camanchaca, as it is called in Chile, is a dense fog that does not produce rain.[8] The moisture that makes up the cloud measure between 1 and 40 microns across, too fine to form rain droplets.[9]


  1. Ciudades, pueblos, aldeas y caserios" (2005), Santiago, Chile: Ediciones UNE, p. 141
  2. "La Flora de Quebrada de Paposo",, accessed 7 Aug 2017
  3. "Yungay - the driest place in the world | Wondermondo". Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  4. Google Earth
  5. "World Rainfall Patterns: Cool, Foggy Deserts," pp. 34, 37, accessed 23 Sep 2019
  6. "Paposo, Antofagasta (Chile),, accessed 8 Aug 2017
  7. "Paposo",, accessed 8 Aug 2017
  8. Vesilind, Priit J. (2003). "The Driest Place on Earth". National Geographic. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  9. Lavars, Nick (August 25, 2015). "How Chile's fogcatchers are bringing water to the driest desert on Earth". Retrieved 2015-08-25.
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