La Serena, one of the most chosen beaches in Chile
“Rest by the sea, shopping, the Gabriela Mistral route, pisqueras and astronomical observatories in the Elqui Valley.”Towards the other side we see that kind of large rocky rock covered with houses and houses and crowned at the highest point by the huge Millennium Cross: this is Coquimbo, which is another city and another municipality but it is as if it were the same, because Everything is united. Just as further south - 430 km away - the port of Valparaíso and the beach of Viña del Mar are almost together, here the same thing happens with Coquimbo -the port- and La Serena -the beach-.
Port of Valparaíso, Chile
And here, in this department, we are in La Serena but really in Coquimbo. How is that? It is that the limit between both municipalities passes a few meters further, further north. From this corner of Coquimbo we see all La Serena; and if you want to add another mess, we are in the Coquimbo region, whose capital is precisely La Serena. Between both municipalities they make a city of almost 500 thousand permanent inhabitants. And many, many more, between December and February.
All right. The fact is that it is usually cloudy dawn here, like today. Ideal for those who prefer the beach with few people and without a scorching sun (although eye, to burn, burn). A great moment to walk, enjoy the cool and calm sea, among some habitual walkers, early risers and some newcomers - especially Argentines, and especially from Mendoza and San Juan - that the first day is not yet located: They go down early to the beach with umbrellas, chairs, matt and all the combo and start looking here and there, as if wondering where the people are.
Beach time, Chile
What is said beach-beach starts here at noon, or something later. Then the sun rises and the umbrellas bloom like mushrooms, the shuffleboard and paddle courts are marked, spikeball and freesbee are played and bananas appear, all a rage this summer: those puff chairs that inflate with the breeze and are The sea of comfortable.
And everything continues until very late, when the sun is falling on the blue horizon and the cool breeze forces to look for the little camper that was at the bottom of the bag. Of course, surfers, who are always looking for “the best wave” can be seen at all times, in general by the area between the lighthouse and the Maui hostel.
The waves and the wind
Let's go back to this department-viewpoint. From where we are to the lighthouse are 4.5 km. Round trip, 9 km in about two hours. A good exercise to start. On the other side, up to Coquimbo, it is 5 km. But going to the lighthouse we have a good screenshot of the place: in the central area of the long Avenida del Mar are the firsts, the oldest holiday condominiums, with elegant touches and no more than 5 or 6 floors.
Avenida del Mar, Chile
Sun and beach. It is, of course, the main argument of La Serena to attract thousands of visitors every summer. Although to be exact, let's say that this is the main and most populated of the beaches, but there are many more: from Pichidangui in the south to Punta de Choros to the north, passing through Tongoy, Guanaqueros, Los Vilos, Totoralillo or Chigualoco, among others , the Coquimbo region offers a wide variety of beaches, small or wide, lonely or in the middle of the city, with nightlife or super quiet.
La Serena, the old one
Yes, the beach here is the central argument, but not the only one; history too, for example, has an important place. Because La Serena, founded in 1544, is the second oldest city in the country after Santiago. So do not say that we do not warn you and reserve a while to stick a little vueltita through the center, because it is worth traveling, for example, the Plaza de Armas, the place where the city was recast in 1549 by order of Pedro de Valdivia, after an indigenous uprising destroyed that first attempt.
La Serena, Chile
The city offers three complementary tourist routes, which are well worth it. One is the Ruta de los Miradores, to enjoy great views over the city and the sea - such as the Santa Lucía viewpoint, the Cerro Grande and the Colina el Pino Campus, at the University of La Serena. The other is the surprising Route of the Parks, with beautiful green spaces among which the Japanese Park and the Pedro de Valdivia Park stand out, with a mini zoo, children's play area, trails and picnic area.