La Serena (Chile)

La Serena is a city in miniature north of the South American Andean country Chile. It has 211 275 inhabitants (as of 2012). Her charm is identified by the colonial ( listed building ), but the city is perceived as a kind of oasis in the desert. The agglomeration of La Serena Coquimbo is the fourth - largest in the country.


La Serena is located on the Pacific Ocean, about 470 kilometers north of Santiago, near the town of Coquimbo is located. To the east lies the Valle del Elqui. It is made of Río Elqui and is the most northerly wine -growing region of Chile.


The temperatures throughout the year at just under 14 ° C. It hardly ever rains. In La Serena already starts the Atacama desert, yet there are often clouds.


The first town, who founded the Spaniards in the Region of Coquimbo, La Serena was. It is the second oldest city in Chile. Juan Bohon she founded on November 15, 1543 as a seaport for the connection between Santiago de Chile and Lima, Peru. The city was destroyed again on July 22, 1549 by attacks of the natives. Francisco de Aguirre founded on August 26, 1549 again practically and named it San Bartolomé de La Serena. On May 4, 1552 Spanish king Charles V granted the city officially named La Serena.

The city had frequent attacks of English pirates as Bartholomew Sharp in 1680 and Edward Davis in 1686 exposed. In 1700 it was developed into a fortress against pirate attacks. 1801 and 1847, the city was hit by severe earthquakes.

By 1920 the city was large iron ore finds an important port.


La Serena is a popular tourist destination. The city is located on the Panamerican Highway.


Heart of the city is the Plaza de Armas with its cathedral and other churches. There are small markets and cozy shopping streets. The city has several museums to offer.

There are several beaches with white sand.

A day trip to Isla de Damas offers itself, as well as excursions into the valleys of the region.

Highly recommended is also a side trip to the nearby Valle del Elqui, location of several major international space observatories, where supposedly the clearest night starry sky of the world is watching. But even in the daytime the valley has its charms: The irrigated by the river, existing in lush shades of green vegetation stands in stunning contrast to the semi-arid environment. So you have the feeling to be in a slightly different world, in a real oasis.


Due to the usually very good quality of the night sky in the sparsely populated and benefiting from the desert near air surrounding the town is La Serena home to several large astronomical observation facilities, including the Las Campanas Observatory and the Inter-American Observatory on Cerro Tololo.


La Serena and Coquimbo

Plaza de Armas

Mall Plaza La Serena

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Pepe Aguirre, tango singer
  • Jorge Urrutia Blondel, Chilean composer
  • Bartolomeo Blanche Espejo, Chilean politician and military officer
  • Gabriel González Videla Chilean politician