CITY TOUR OF LA SERENA AND COQUIMBO
Departure: 10:00 hrs. & 15:00 hrs
(Minimun 3 paxs)
The tour departs from the city center by way of the main square, the Plaza de Armas. La Serena is the second oldest city in Chile after Santiago and it maintains a Spanish neo-colonial style according to the "Plan Serena" which was implemented by legislation unique in Chile, which allowed the city to grow yet keep its own style. The heritage of the city includes 30 churches, a romantic avenue of replica classical Italian statues and townhouses dating from the last century together with public buildings according to the Plan Serena.
The first stop is the Archaeological Museum, which gives insight into the early history of the El Molle, Animas and Diaguita cultures and their impact on the settlement of this region with examples of their craftsmanship in their remaining artifacts. An original Moai statue from Easter Island is also impressively on display. The tour visits the picturesque "artesania" market of La Recova , full of typical crafts, papaya products cultivated from the Elqui Valley , jumpers knitted from alpaca wool, ceramics with Diaguita designs, crafts in combarbalita stone and jewelers specially crafted from the lapislazuli semi precious stone which is only found in this region of Chile and the Americas .
There is time for the visitor to enjoy the panoramic view from the hill of the University of La Serena over the city and the bay of Coquimbo affording a splendid opportunity for a photo stop.
As the tour progresses through the residential area of San Joaquin this recent modern sector provides a colorful backdrop with beautiful gardens of hibiscus, bougainvillea and poinsettias amongst many other flowering plants which thrive in this warm climate all year round. The tour continues to the Lighthouse, El Faro, the symbol of La Serena and allows time for a photo stop of the wide sweep of the bay and along the Avenue of the Sea with its beaches, modern hotels, pubs, discos and restaurants, showing how this area has responded to the recent growth in tourism.
The traditional fish market by the Port of Coquimbo is typical of this region, showing the great variety of fish and shellfish, which are available. This colorful scene shows the main industry of the city and its close connection with the ocean. As the tour continues to the beautiful resort of La Herradura in the bay of Guayacan, the history and legends of the pirates who invaded this coast is unveiled.