We left Antofasgasta at 8:50 am and arrived in Copiapó at 2:15 pm, having driven 576 km. We stopped at La Casona on O'Higgins because it was in Lonely Planet. It was awful.
We stayed down the street at Duna Apart Hotel, O'Higgins 460, Copiapó, fono: 56-52-240-203, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web: www.dunapart.cl where we had a one-bedroom apartment for CLP $44.000. We went to the family restaurant next door for dinner.
We weren't in Copiapó at the right time of year for the flowering desert/desierto florido, unfortunately.
We had breakfast in our apartment the next day and left at 9:05 a.m.