La Serena in Elqui Province – Chile

The tourist attractions at La Serena are diverse. Thanks to tourism, it has become one of the fastest growing cities in Chile.


The city is situated in the northern area of the country. It is 293 mi (471 km) south of Santiago. You can reach the city by bus from Santiago. The bus companies include Flota Barrios, TurBus and Pullman. There are also flights from Santiago de Chile to La Serena.

What to See

One of the most popular sites here is the Archaeological Museum. There is an observatory close by. If you visit during the spring, you will catch a good view of the desert. After visiting the observatory, you can also drop by the Jardin del Corazon garden.

This is at the west end from the city center. This is a Japanese style garden. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions at La Serena owing to the presence of geese and ducks. You will also see plenty of fish and turtles.

The city is also known for its beautiful beaches. There are several of them at Avenida del Mar. The area around the beaches are very scenic.


Before the city emerged, the area was settled in by the Vilumanque or Viluma, a pre-Hispanic village. The city was established by the Spaniard Pedro de Valdivia. Its purpose was to establish a link between Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile.

Captain Juan Bohon founded the first village and called it Villanueva de La Serena. The date of the foundation was either September 4, 1544 or November 15 or December 30, 1543.

On January 11, 1549, the Indians rose up against the Spaniards and killed them. On August 26, the city was named San Bartolome de La Serena. During the 1700s, the area found itself being attacked by pirates.


The flight from Santiago to La Serena costs 168 USD one way and 305 USD return. The bus fares vary depending on where you come from and which bus company you decide to ride in.

Other Info

Just outside the city is the Elqui Valley. There are several observatories you can use to watch the skies. Another popular attraction is the La Serena Song Festival. This has been steadily growing in popularity.

After visiting the tourist attractions at La Serena, you can drop by the cinema at Mall Plaza. There are also several lovely churches at the old part of the city.