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Long before the Spanish  conquest the natural port of Coquimbo was in use.  It was secured for the Spanish in 1550 by Pedro de Valdivia but it was not until 1850 that the city of Coquimbo was officially established.  During the 1840`s increased mining activity made Coquimbo the export centre of the Region`s  booming gold and copper industries.  This also brought many Europeans, especially the British, to the area which has English style architecture, an English graveyard and a steel church designed by the famous French architect Gustav Eiffel. The land is full of mystery and stories about








the pirates and corsairs who explored and plundered the coast, especially Francis Drake, Sharp, Davies and others, giving rise to the legend of buried treasure near the Herradura (horseshoe) bay.  Iron ore is exported from the bay and a Sailors` Monument affords a panoramic view across the bay, port and along the coast.








The Port of Coquimbo benefits from  the natural protection of the bay and provides ideal mooring in "quiet waters" which is the original meaning of Coquimbo. Today the port is important for the export of fruit, especially the early table grapes, copper, fish flour and tinned fish, it imports wheat, maize, sugar and industrial  products. Since 1994 the luxury cruise ships from the United States and Europe have begun to make this a port of call in order to enjoy the Pacific Coast of South America and the attractions of the Region.  INGSERVTUR attends the cruise ships as the local representative for Shore Excursions and Sight Seeing for Cruise passengers.

Rising impressively above the city of Coquimbo is the recently constructed Cross of the Third Millennium, this Christian symbol is a celebration of the new millennium and will attract many visitors to view the extensive panorama from the top of its 91 meter high  structure.








The coloured glass panel  contains 2000 pieces of glass representing the two thousand years of Christianity, the twelve pillars represent the twelve Apostles.





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