La Serena is the capital of the fourth region, and along with Coquimbo they make up an important tourist center, with beautiful beaches and complete infrastructure to receive its visitors. Beaches like Tongoy, Puerto Velero, Guanaqueros and Totoralillo combine with virgin areas like Isla Dama, and Pingüino de Humboldt National Reserve, where you can watch bottlenose dolphins and Bosques Fray Jorge National Park.
There is also the Elqui Valley, with astronomical observatories, pisco factories and archaeological centers of Diaguite and Molle cultures. Plus, there are several sport activities, both in the shore and the interior areas.
The cuisine in the North of Chile is characterized by a variety of legumes and cereals, due to the arid climate. Within the most common ingredients are quinoa, a staple in the Inca culture, also is the potato, carrot and various tropical fruits like mango, passion fruit and guava.
Among typical dishes are roast alpaca cooked on firewood, chuño which is a soup-based Popes alpaca, onion, wheat and other vegetables. Also you can find all types of seafood and fishes to make different dishes.
Enjoy the magic of the desert climate in the north and the closeness of the fertile land of the central valley, where grapes are grown to produce amazing wines and piscos, all around the towns of La Serena and Coquimbo. La Serena is doubly blessed with some beautiful architecture and a long golden shoreline.
If you come in the spring or summer, visit the beaches of La Serena. Walk down the long Avenida del Mar to choose where to lay down your towel or go shopping at Recova, the most famous market in the area, which includes an amazing arts and crafts fair. If you’re a sports person, come and enjoy the many adrenaline filled sports of La Serena and Coquimbo, trekking, sport fishing and surfing are some of the activities that are waiting for you.
In Coquimbo, you must visit the La Herradura beach and the nightlife of the English District. If you go in the time of the Chilean Independence celebrations (18th and 19th September), the party is at La Pampilla, a classic spot for dancing cueca, cumbia, salsa, or to try typical food and to drink wine or pisco based drinks.