It is estimated that about 11,000 years ago the first people settled in the far north of Chile, choosing the area of the highlands, the rugged Atacama desert.
The Atacameños were the original people and founder of the "Culture San Pedro", settling in the Loa River and across the Atacama desert oasis.
They were the first farmers, and therefore, the first sedentary people of the country. As arable land was scarce, farming terraces built on the slopes of the hills, they were artificially watered and fertilized with guano flame. Its main activity was, therefore, agriculture, highlighting the seven varieties of crops corn, quinoa, beans, prickly pears, cotton, pumpkins, potatoes, beans, among others.
They also devoted to livestock, especially llamas and alpacas, to which seized the meat and wool. In addition, they used it as their primary means of transportation for frequent trade with the coastal peoples.
His artistic development is expressed through pottery, weaving, basketry, wood carvings and metalwork, especially copper and bronze. Famous are his snuff tablets and their respective tubes, made of wood.
As for his religion, is known to believe in life after death, and buried their dead with clothing and food for their journey to the afterlife. They worshiped the various forces of nature. Found no temples or mosques.
The Atacama became more developed pre-Columbian people of Chile.
Upon arrival of the Spaniards were presented as a peaceful people before the passage of the expeditions of Diego de Almagro and Pedro de Valdivia, who came to stock in desert oases towards the middle of the century XVI.de Chile.