La Serena Travel Guide

  • Front of shop
    Front of shop
    by mikeleawry
  • La Serena
    by kiwigal_1
  • La Serena
    by kiwigal_1

La Serena Things to Do

  • Pedro de Valdivia Park

    On the northwest side corner of the city center, next to the Japanese Garden, is Park Pedro de Valdivia. In the park there is a very large open guarded space with a lot of green around it where people come to give their children the sense of liberty. It is used for fiestas and social and cultural events. Many come with their dogs. I happened to be...

  • Tongoy

    Tongoy is 47 klms from La Serena and has the luck of having not one but two beaches on its both sides. Playa Grande and Playa Chica. So part of the city is built on the "Peninsula" and the rest live in Tongo Bajo. They are about 6,500 inhabitants. There is a park on top of the peninsula in honour of the poet who was born there, Victor Domingo...

  • Japanese Garden

    The Japanase Garden is next to the Pedro Valdivia Park and visible from Pablo Muñoz str. You can take the first photo from up the hill. Then you go down to enter the Gardens. It is as beautiful and exotic as any other Japanese garden I have seen..out of Japan - for I haven't been there yet.. Well..maybe not so very Japanese in fact..anyway. It's...

  • Plaza de Armas

    Surrounded by well-restored historic building this square is one more of the typical chilean Chilean squares with tall trees, people lingering and children playing. The Cathedral, The Courthouse, the church of Santo Domingo and the Historical museum of Gabriel Gonzales Videla are all around. Videla is a former President who has been very hostile...

  • La Serena- beach

    This long golden beach attracts a lot of swimmers from all over Chile as well as tourists, especially in January and February. It's long and spacious with some up market hotels, too. The beach can be reached by local bus.You get off on the main road and then you walk for a few meters to step on the sand. Locals told me to get off at Quatro...

  • Elqui Valley

    Elqui Valley is a majestic place. You can visit it in a tour or stay for more days to walk or meet the local people and taste the fine local wine. I chose the tour as a time-saving option. The guide was a knowledgeable and tender schoolteacher who explained everything to us as if we were his students.. We first stopped in a shady forest near Serena...


La Serena Hotels

See all 20 Hotels in La Serena
  • Hotel Mar de Ensueno

    Very nice hotel, rooms are comfortable, nice and clean, it has swimming pool, mini-bar, restaurant,...

  • Costa Real Hotel La Serena

    Avda. Franciso de Aguirre 170, La Serena, Chile

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Hotel del Cid

    O'higgins 138, Casilla 822, La Serena, Chile

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Solo

La Serena Restaurants

  • Best Sandwiches in Town

    As expected the Sandwiches are always amazing, really great service from the actual owners, who are an Australian couple who now live in Chile. The location is really convenient as it´s a block and a half from the bus terminal and across the road from the big mall.The fresh produce in Chile is great, so make sure you ask for extra Avocado, which is...

  • Seafood on the Beach

    In Totorolillo Beach there was a fishing wharf lined with street vendors selling fresh seafood. You could get ceviche, crab and other specialties for a really good price. I loved the crab and the ceviche!

  • Seafood Restaurant

    After a day at the beach we were dying for a good meal of seafood. We caught a cab and went to Playa Cuatro Esquinas and found this restaurant in a group of about 3 other seafood restaurants. The restaurant seemed popular and there were plenty of other people dining there which is always a good sign! I had Corvina (see the pic) which is a type of...

  • Great Food On The Beach

    We were staying along the beach in the off season (anything other than January and February). Finding a restaurant within walking distance that was open was difficult. There were quite a few nice restaurants fronting the beach, but most were closed. The Bucolic (or Baculic---I spelled it both ways!) is located right on the beach, had good/fast...

  • Very good food in La Serena - Bonne...

    Great coffee and pastries but it's also a very good place for lunch and dinner (huge salads and big plates of pastas for instance...). Minimum prices (around 2500 pesos - 3,5 USD)Super cafe et desserts, mais aussi tres sympa pour dejeuner ou diner (grandes salades et assiettes de pates, par exemple...): Prix minimums (autour de 2500 pesos - 3,5...

  • Want a Cappuccino?

    This Coffee shop is located in downtown La Serena. It's a nice place to meet with your friends for a breakfast, lunch or just have a drink. I always come here for a Cappuccino, love it!.


La Serena Nightlife

  • Wine and Pisco tours, interesting...

    Max and Carolina organize Wine and Pisco tours, and also different kinds of events in this region.Both are bilingual, so there's no problem if you don't Speak Spanish at all.You can contact them anytime. Please check the web site written down below.

  • Casino!

    In Peñuelas (just in the limit between La Serena and its neighbouring city, Coquimbo) it's located the Casino, in front of the beach.It offers more than 400 machines, blackjack, two bars, restaurants and shows. No tie required but avoid jeans and sneakes.

  • A warm place to share with your friends...

    This is a Restaurant and also a night club where you can meet with friends and also meet different people. Lot of foreingers come here during the year.There is live music on the weekends. Up to you.


La Serena Transportation

  • book in advance

    A quick tip! If you happen to be there in peak season and you are going north to San Pedro de Atacama be sure to book your bus ticket a couple of weeks in advance !!! The central bus station lacks in organisation so be careful with your bags while you are trying to find which bus is yours. There are no platform numbers or even platforms and there...

  • Bicycle

    La Serena and its neighbouring city, Coquimbo have a cicloway surrounding the coast. It's a good idea to get a bicycle and ride the beautiful coastline!

  • Taxis

    Since we were staying in the beach area several miles from town, we had to take a taxi to El Centro or to the bus station. In the summer, there may have been buses along Avda del Mar but in November there were none. Our experience was that the taxis had no meters. Be sure to find out how much the cost will be before you get in. The drivers seemed...


La Serena Shopping

  • home made marmalade

    There are sweets and marmalade made from the delicious local fruits all along Elqui Valley, as in Vicuna, Monte Grande and Pisco Elqui. There are also nice local art crafts. They are usually sold in street stalls or in a few shops in Vicuna.

  • The Mall

    It's the mall in La Serena, it has 70 stores, 2 Department Stores, 6 movie theatres and 9 restaurants, located in front of the beach and with no parking problems.Its architecture follows the typical La Serena colonial style Clothes, music, electronics, or go to the movies or dinner.It also has videogames for kids and a library.

  • "Totora" hand-crafts

    Totora means in English "Cattail" a sort of fiber wich you can make different types of hand-crafts with.This guy is always sat outise the Recova's Market selling his stuff. I have seen him for years!!. As you see in the pic, he has different stuff, bags, woolsticks container, etc... Depending on the piece, but they are always very cheap. For a...


La Serena Local Customs

  • kiwigal_1's Profile Photo


    by kiwigal_1 Written Jan 27, 2009

    In Chile the standard tip in a restaurant is 10% which is sometimes added onto the bill but more often than not you need to leave behind on the table. If paying by credit card you can ask to add the tip to the bill and indicate the standard 10%.

    Do not tip taxis.

    If you drive a car in Chile, in particular Santiago then there are places where you can park for free but there may be a man or woman "helping" you to park. This person works for tips. They can wash your car while you are away usually also. The tip you pay them should be anything from 200 pesos or more depending on the length of time you stay. I usually pay around 500 pesos.

    In supermarkets the people who pack your bags only work for tips. They are not paid by the supermarket. Depending on the amount of groceries you could tip anything from 50 cents up to around 500 pesos. The 10% rule is not hard and fast here, just whatever loose change you have.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Singles
    • Women's Travel

    Was this review helpful?


La Serena Warnings and Dangers

  • Spiders....

    When you visit the Puclaro's Dam try to be careful if you lean on the handrail to watch the mountains....there are some spiders living underneath!!!!!!.... incredible nature eh? ;o)


    Yeah, unfortunately you'll see quite many homeless dogs on the streets, some of them seriously ill (scald head, malnutritioned)...Try to hold your heart very tight and keep walking :o(Note: They're not agressive.

  • La Serena Hotels

    20 Hotels in La Serena

La Serena Tourist Traps

  • Aquamantos's Profile Photo


    by Aquamantos Written Jun 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You'll find this quite often, not only in La Serena, but in the whole country. Not too terrible. The thing is that many people just "pretend" to be ill (fake blinds, deafs, arm or leg amputated...). You'll also find lazy backpackers on the streets asking for money, they'll say "Please give me some money, I need to travel to the South"...but you'll see them always in the same street!!!!!!, they are "fake" it?.

    Unique Suggestions: I always try to give some money to old people who seem to be ill in real.......

    Try to not give your money away to every single begging person in the streets.....or you'll lose everything in one day!

    *I'll try to find a good pic*

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Study Abroad
    • Work Abroad

    Was this review helpful?


La Serena Off The Beaten Path

  • The Interview

    We were in Elqui Valley. We stopped in Vicuña and then I remembered Gabriela Mistral's museum was there. I asked the guide but it wasn't on the schedule so what now? I decided to run and go by myself, but the next minute I was in the company van with the guide and driver, Jorge, on the wheel. Jorge was a lovable, gentle and knowledgeable teacher...

  • Pelicans...

    At the Avenida del Mar you can see pelicans sometimes, they're so interesting animals..... The one you see in this pic had a broken wing :o( and I guess that's why he was on the shore....

  • Victor Paz' Pottery Work Shop

    He's a very well known personage in La Serena, because of his cheap and good pottery.Here you can buy plant pots, jars, and also clay plates and salad pots which looks very rustic and nice at home :o)Mr. Paz is a very friendly guy and will be very pleased to show you his work shop.You can also see him working, like in this pic.


La Serena Favorites

  • Cruz del Tercer Milenio - Coquimbo

    Sitting up on the hill overlooking Coquimbo Port (the city adjoining La Serena) is the Cruz del Tercer Milenio, which is a huge cross that was built to commemorate the birth of Christ and the dawn of the new century. It is 83 metres high and situated on the highest hill in the city - called El Vigía, which is 157.3 metres high.The Cross has a...


    Vicuña es la ciudad principal del Valle de Elqui y está situada a 62 kms. de La Serena. Tiene una población de 22.000 habitantes y es una ciudad pintoresca con casas de adobe con una plaza central dedicada a su ciudadana más famosa, Gabriela Mistral, la poetisa que fue galardonada con el Premio Nobel de Literatura en 1945 y Premio Nacional de...


    A 14 kms de Paihuano está Montegrande. Entrando, a mano izquierda está La Galería de Arte Zen, de origen budista, donde existen pinturas, talleres de relajación y meditación. A su lado, un pequeño stand en el que se pueden comprar perfumes naturales de limón, naranjas o hierbas. Más arriba, el Mausoleo de Gabriela Mistral, donde en su lápida están...


Instant Answers: La Serena

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

23 travelers online now


Map of La Serena

View all La Serena hotels