La SerenaNorthern Chile. There is a lot to see and do nearby.
By busBuses leave several times every hour from Santiago de Chile to La Serena. The trip takes 7 - 8 hours. Companies include Pullman Bus, TurBus and Flota Barrios. Available are regular buses, semi-cama and the first class salon-cama. Prices vary greatly.
You can see TurBus booking and timetables here.
By planeLAN flies five times Sun-Fri and four times on Saturday from Santiago de Chile to La Serena. Flight duration is 1 hour and fully flexible ticket cost US$168 one way, US$305 return; advance non-flexible return tickets through the website may be much cheaper than the flexible one way price. There are also daily flights from Antofagasta. On Saturdays there is one flight from Copiapó and Calama.
Sky Airline flies three times daily from Santiago de Chile and Antofagasta.
By busBuses leave several times every hour from La Serena to Valle del Elqui. The trip takes 1-2 hours. Ticket price: CLP$2000-3000 depending on where you go. They leave every hour from the bus station.
- In the Archeologigal Museum there is the only rapa nui moai head to have toured Europe. Entry CLP$600.
- The nearby observatory is also open to the public.
- If you are around in early Spring you might be lucky enough to see the desert in bloom. It happens in occasional years and is stunning.
- Elqui Valley, one of the most beautiful, clear and brilliant nights you will ever see. Here you will find the main villages that you can easily do on a bike. Vicuña, where Gabriela Mistral was born, and where you can get to see how the Chilean Pisco is made. Pisco Elqui, which is ideal for a romantic escapade and Cochiguaz.
- Isla DamasOn Isla Damas, you can swim, walk along trails and to lookout points or go scuba diving and snorkeling. Once back on the mainland, stay the night at Punta de Choros, where cabins and campsites will allow you to enjoy warm seaside evenings.
Parque Nacional Fray JorgeFray Jorge National Park Nacional comprises acres at altitudes of between and 2188 in the coastal area located miles east from most beautiful places to visit are Hydrophilic trail is very mouth river.
Solar eclipse of July 2, 2019La Serena is one of the cities on the path of totality for this eclipse.
- The japanese style (indeed, laid out by a Tokyo landscape architect) garden Jardin del Corazon is just west of the center. It celebrates the 450th anniversary of La Serena, its ties with its Japanese friend Tenri and the export of Chilean ore to Japan. Plenty of ducks and geese in the pond, some fish and the odd turtle. Entry CLP$2000.
- Beaches - La Serena has some of the country's longest stretches of beach. You can take a whole day walking from one end to another.
- Observatory tours. The Elqui Valley outside La Serena has some of the best conditions for observing the sky, hence the many observatories, some open to the public doing tours from La Serena city at night. Tour prices including transport are about CLP$15000.
phone: +56 51 411352, +56 51209138address: Calle Gabriela Mistral 260, oficina 1, Ilustre Municipalidad de Vicuña
phone: +56 51 225387, +56 2 4633280 (booking)address: ESO, Casilla 567, El Santo, 1538
phone: +56 51 205200address: CTIO, Casilla 603, Colina El Pino s/n
- There is a cinema at the Mall Plaza, by the bus terminal
- There is a casino at Av. El Mar
phone: +56 9 6138 5166address: La SerenaTake a whale watching tour to a fishing village community and observe whales, dolphins, birds, penguins and other sea life.
- Papaya Juice - Sold all over the city but especially at markets, the papaya is grown locally here
- Pisco - The national drink of Chile is brewed in the nearby Elqui Valley and is a must-try for every traveller, enjoyed either as a Pisco Sour (Pisco with limon juice, sugar, and egg-white) or Piscola (Pisco with Coke)
- Handicraft - Nice handicraft markets are held every summer
Daniella IIaddress: Av. Francisco de AguirreA set lunch may only set you back, 1500 CLP ($3 USD), you might find it's not worth it. This goes for home-made food, and not getting all sick.
Casona Dell 900address: Av. Francisco de AguirreHas great BBQ meats served on a coal heated plate
Garyaddress: Matta, getting to Francisco de Aguirre, in front of Alliance françaiseGood lunch, home-made food, and far cleaner than other places. The full menu goes up to CLP$2000 including entrée, main course and dessert. Sodas, CLP$800.
Ayawasiphone: +56 986949534address: Pedro Pablo Muñoz 566Organic and mostly vegetarian cafe. Charming atmosphere, very friendly English-speaking owner, and amazing food. Great for soup and a sandwich at lunchtime or coffee drinks by the fire on a rainy day.
phone: +56 51 2228474address: Andres Bello 979Rich breakfast included, friendly and helpful staff, big backyard with quiet corners, cafetería service during the day, storage room, various room types (from dormitory to suite with private balcony or rooms with shared bathroom), reasonable prices, possibility to make tour reservations, wifi included, book exchange and lending, laundry service, car and bike rental, service corner with fridge, microwave and electric kettle, parking space
phone: +56 9 74667433address: Las Rojas N°18Has excellent rooms with shared (always clean)bathrooms and kitchen, the possibility to make your own sandals thanks to Pancho (but at least one traveller reports unwanted advances from him, so young women may want to keep this in mind) and his workshop, a great variety of tours, organized by themselves, and the best is the assistance they give to passengers, they really make you feel at home, so don't hesitate in asking them for whatever you may need.
Residencial Jofréaddress: Regimiento Coquimbo, Central La SerenaHas excellent rooms with private bathrooms, hot water, shared kitchen facilities, TV room and free internet.
address: Vicuña 415Nice hostel neart the market. Member of HI get 10% discount. Staff helpful, good kitchen, living room and terraza. Breakfast and internet included.
phone: +56 51-216053address: Eduardo de la Barra #29Peaceful hostel in a quiet neighborhood next to the Japanese gardens. Walking distance to Lider and downtown.
- A few hours to the south is Fray Jorge National Park.
- At Isla Damas it is worth seeing the penguins and sea lions. From La Serena it is 120 km north at a coastal village called Los Choros. Dolphins also frequent the area.
- The Valle de Elqui is a beautiful valley in the otherwise arid region. Equestrian tours are available that climb into hills going in among the papaya farms and looking down on valley. Taste some pisco sour at a distillery and stay the night.