A splendid resort city surrounded by natural wonder
On the edge of two distinct and diverse worlds, the seaside city of Coquimbo and nearby La Serena lie sandwiched between Chile’s fertile central valley and the arid Atacama Desert—and they’re everything you could wish for from a day in port. Whether you’re an avid history buff, a voracious foodie, or an active outdoor adventurer, you can do it all (or just a little, you are on vacation) with Azamara Club Cruises®.
In Coquimbo, local lore is all about pirate legends. Swashbuckling seafarers like Henry Drake plundered the coast in search of gold and riches, some of which are still rumored to be buried close by. For treasures you can take home yourself, head to Calle Aldunate to shop for fine ceramics emblazoned with patterns of pre-Columbian Diaguita culture. Fresh seafood is on almost every menu around here. Terminal Requero (the local fish market) is the best place to get your fill of the catch of the day and meet warm and welcoming locals.
A short drive from port is the country’s second-oldest city, La Serena. This colonial city is a popular summer holiday destination for Chileans, and it’s easy to see why with a tour along Avienda del Mar. Not one, not two, but twelve golden beaches stretch along the city’s coast, perfect for sport fishing or simply soaking up the sun. Set out from Plaza de Armas and explore engaging museums and lively markets, or venture a little further outside of the city to the Elqui Valley, where rugged mountain ranges form a breathtaking backdrop for rolling vineyards.
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Explore Ancient Cultures
Explore Ancient Cultures
Chile’s pre-Columbian past is on full display at the Museo Arqueológico (Archaeological Museum) in La Serena. Over 12,000 pieces of history are housed in this restored Colonial home, but the standouts are an Atacameña mummy, and an impressive moai statue from Easter Island standing over eight feet tall.
The heartbeat of La Serena is at Le Recova market in the center of the city. This artisan marketplace was founded in 1795 and over 100 vendors can be found under its gleaming white arches. Shop for the brilliant semi-precious stone lapis lazuli, copper and silver jewelry, Diaguita ceramics, and alpaca wool.
Estancia San Guillermo
Discover the Elqui Valley
Pisco sour anyone? This verdant valley is the center of pisco brandy production, due to the importation of Spanish grape vines in the 16th century. Tour a vineyard, or take your excursion up a notch with a hike through the hilly terrain for views that won’t disappoint.