COBIJA, or Puerto La Mar (the official title given to it by the Bolivian government), a port and town of the Chilean province of Antofagasta, about 800 m. N. of Valparaiso. It is the oldest port on this part of the coast, and was for a time the principal outlet for a large mining district. It was formerly capital of the Bolivian department of Atacama and the only port possessed by Bolivia, but the seizure of that department in 1879 by Chile and the construction of the Antofagasta and Oruro railway deprived it of all importance, and its population, estimated at 6000 in 1858, has fallen to less than 500. Its harbour is comparatively safe but lacks landing facilities. Smelting for neighbouring mines is still carried on, and some of its former trade remains, but the greater part of it has gone to Tocopilla and Antofagasta. The town occupies a narrow beach between the sea and bluffs, and was greatly damaged by an earthquake and tidal wave in 1877.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)