The Pampa del Tamarugal is a plain that is found in the Intermediate Depression in the Tarapacá region and which is characterized by being an extensive plain of materials deposited by erosion processes, during at least the last 3 million years, and sporadically It is interrupted by some hills islands.
This area has numerous salt pans that were once large inland lakes, with significant concentrations of chlorides and other salts. In its pampas are also important deposits of nitrate and iodine, which since the time of the colony have been exploited as deposits of saltpeter.
This plain also has water reserves in the subsoil; these reserves provide drinking water to Iquique and other nearby cities. In the last time it has given way to an incipient agriculture, for its excellent quality of soils, suitable for vegetables and fruits, standing out the crops of chard, garlic, alfalfa, lettuce, melons, tomatoes and prickly pears.
Their temperatures fluctuate between absolute minimums of -5 to -12 ° C and absolute maximums of 36 and 40 ° C, with an average of 250 days cleared per year.