Why choose La Serena (Coquimbo)

As daylight carves out the majestic Andes, which shelter the tranquil city of La Serena, also known as Coquimbo, its warm, mild climate welcomes those seeking the true essence of Chile. This destination, drenched in perennial sunshine and graced with sweeping beaches, offers more than just stunning vistas; it's a gateway to experiencing the authentic traditions of the nation. Here, festivities aren't just observed but lived, with locals showcasing dances and crafts passed down through generations. For those intrigued by unique natural phenomena, La Serena is one of the few places on Earth where you can observe both solar and lunar eclipses in their full glory.

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Despite the worldwide fame of destinations like Machu Picchu or the Galapagos, La Serena holds its own with a quietly impressive historical footprint that resonates globally. This area was once a crossroads of indigenous trade long before colonial influences shaped its current architecture and societal norms. While influencers may have you believe they've uncovered all there is to see, La Serena still harbors secrets, like ancient observatories hidden among its modern façades, offering a glimpse into the astronomical wisdom of its native ancestors.

The culinary heaven of La Serena is epitomised by that first bite of pastel de jaiba, a sumptuous crab pie that combines the fresh marine bounty with the robust flavours of Chilean cuisine. This dish, along with others featuring locally sourced ingredients like lucuma and merkén, provides a taste of the region that can't be replicated elsewhere. These exotic flavours are accessible and enjoyable, offering a savoury adventure that doesn't require a daring palate but rather an eagerness to savour each unique and delightful bite.

Cruise lines such as Holland America and Celebrity Cruises frequently sail to this captivating destination, offering excursions that intertwine with the area's vibrant past. Visitors can explore the famed Elqui Valley, known for its pivotal role in the global pisco industry, or visit the homes of Nobel laureates Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, whose works were deeply influenced by the landscapes of this region. These excursions not only highlight the scenic beauty but also the storied lives of figures who have left an indelible mark on both local and international stages.