The City of La Serena
The City of La Serena
Distance: 474 Kilometers away from Santiago
Main Activity: Mining and Fruit Growing
The Capital of the Fourth Region of Coquimbo. It has always been a resting point for travelers that come through the dessert. The city was founded at the beginning of the Spanish Conquest; it covered the valleys of Copiapó, Husaco, Elqui, Limarí and Choapa. The city was also the object of the English corsairs Francis Drake, John Hawkins and other buccaneers’ attacks during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
La Serena is the second oldest city of Chile; it was founded in 1544 with the aim of facilitating the communication with the Republic of Perú, both, by sea and land. The city was destroyed by natives and it was rebuilt in 1549. The city was constructed on a marine origin plateau.
La Serena and its surroundings are famous, it is characterized by excellent tourist facilities, hotels, prestigious resorts, the concentration of large astronomical observatories, varied bakery and liquors house.Its beaches are composed by soft sands and warm waters; it is an important tourist center in the country. Among its most important beaches, it is possible to mention: the Pescador, Marina, Blanca, Corsario, Fuertes, Mansa, La Sirena, Canto de Agua and the Gaviotas.
· La Herradura
La Herradura is located at 14 km south of La Serena and 2 km from Coquimbo, this is a former fishing bay and copper foundry. Actually it is an attractive tourist resort with camping areas, a yacht club, hotels, cabins and other tourist services. The bay is outstanding for its calm sea, suitable for swimming and water sports. Its waters are warm. About size, it is 2 km long and 40 m wide. It is suitable for swimming and water sports such as windsurfing and diving.
The English pirate Francis Drake in 1578 discovered the Bahía de La Herradura (Horseshoe Bay), so called for its shape. From that moment on, the bay served as a refuge for pirates and buccaneers like Bartholomew Sharp, Edward Davis, George Anson and others of lesser renown.
Situated at one end of the beach is the Puerto de Guayacán, which has a fully mechanized wharf. On a visit, you can go to see the church and the Club de Yates.
Also, in La Serena you can visit:
· The Santa Ines, San Juan de Dios and San Francisco Cathedral
· The Santo Domingo, San Agustín and Nuestra Señora de la Merced Churches
· Archeological Museum
· Ignacio Domeyko Mineralogical Museum
· Colonial and Religious Art Museums
· Faro Monumental
· Armas, Abastos, the Poetas and the Heroes Square
Visits to the Astronomical Observatories:
Las Campanas and El Tololo Astronomic Observatories
They have offices in the city of La Serena where you can get a visit pass.
Astronomical Observatory of Cerro Tololo
Reservations in the city of La Serena with two months of anticipation - Telephone: (51) 205200 - (51) 205212.
Astronomical Observatory of Las Campanas
Reservations: Telephone: (51) 207304 - (51) 207308
Astronomical Observatory of La Silla
Reservations in Santiago de Chile with two months of anticipation - Telephone: (2) 4633100
Astronomical Observatory of Cerro Mamalluca
Reservations: Telephone: 051 41 13 52 20 91 38
How to get to La Serena
If you want to arrive by sea, you should travel to the port of Coquimbo, and from there, you need to cover 12 km to La Serena by any kind of transport. Taxis are available.
There are many departures from Coquimbo. From Santiago, there are various buses per day also; you can consult at the terminal for departure times.
Departing from Santiago, you should take the Pan-American Highway to the north (473 km) through a two-lane paved road. Coming from any point of the south, you can follow the same route. If you are coming from the north, you should go to the south through the Pan-American Highway or through the Route 5 towards La Serena.
Hotels in La Serena
There are daily frequencies from Santiago, Iquique, Antofagasta and Copiapó that arrive to the La Florida International Terminal in La Serena. You can ask about departure times.
Mar de Ensueño Hotel and Cabins
Mar de Ensueño Hotel and Cabins is located just 20 minutes from the Airport and only 10 minutes from the Bus Station.
Santa Bárbara Hotel
Santa Bárbara Hotel is the perfect place for people who are looking for fun and nature.
Sendero del Sol Apart Hotel
Sendero del Sol Apart Hotel counts with an excellent location, only few steps to Avenida del Mar and 5 minutes far from downtown.
Serena Suite Hotel
Serena Suite Hotel, is a modern stablishment with a comfortable and familiar environment. It is located in the city of La Serena at meters from Mall Plaza La Serena, Jumbo - Easy, at 5 minutes from the downtown and Del Mar Avenue 15 minutes from the city.