Best of Coquimbo: La Serena & La Recova Market

3.5 hours | La Serena (Coquimbo) | C O W - 2 0 0
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Easy activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

La Serena, "The Serene," boasts gorgeous white sand beaches, a landmark lighthouse, and an atmospheric city center, the tree-lined Plaza del Armas. With lovingly preserved colonial-stoned churches and tranquil streets lined with sun-drenched houses, Chile's second oldest metropolis truly lives up to its name.

This comprehensive tour takes it all in as you sightsee from the pier at Coquimbo driving past Penuelas, a quaint fisherman's cove enlivened by great restaurants, casinos and a horse club and Totoralillo, a small peninsula that is home to two eye-catching white sand beaches. First, visit La Herradura seaside resort where you will learn the legends of pirates and corsairs. Your route into La Serena takes in classic colonial buildings and contemporary hotels, the result of La Serena's resort boom. Passing the old lighthouse, a towering presence on the charming Avenida del Mar, you'll continue down Francisco de Aguirre Avenue to La Serena's Plaza de Armas and its central park.

A virtual time capsule of bygone days, the city was founded in the mid-16th century by Juan Bohon, a Spanish captain and the governor of Santiago. Soon after, silver was discovered in the area, fueling an economic boom that attracted people from all over South America.

The population flourished between the eighth and 15th centuries, settling in the Norte Chico valleys and growing to a population of nearly 30,000 at their peak. The Diaguita formed an agrarian-based society, creating an extensive and highly efficient irrigation system able to sustain a large population. They were known as walking farmers, moving from the coast to the mountains depending on which climate would give them the best agricultural results.

An advanced society that valued art and artisans, they were known for their varied and beautiful pottery and weaving. These artisanal traditions continued despite years of submission, first by the Inca empire and then by the Spaniards.

You can shop for pottery inspired by the Diaguita culture at the historic La Recova Market. This spacious building, which houses 143 artisan stalls spills out onto two inviting plazas. It's the perfect place to feel the pulse of the city and to shop for the perfect souvenir. You'll find everything stone handicrafts, lapis lazuli jewelry, and alpaca wool items to tantalizing treats like sugar-coated papaya.

There is so much more to see with photo stops at La Herradura Beach, one of Chile's most popular seaside resorts and at La Serena University where you can pause at an observation point for panoramic views of La Serena, Coquimbo and the Pacific Ocean. The scenic return drive to the pier in Coquimbo completes this easy and memorable half-day tour.

Special Notes:

Transportation is not air conditioned. Tour space is extremely limited.

Child Price:

12 years & under only

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Departure from pier and driving to Coquimbo downtown

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation
Transport Capacity:
35
Travel time:
00:15

Driving to La Herradura beach & Photo stop there

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation / Walking
Transport Capacity:
35
Travel time:
00:15
Time at site:
00:10
Free time at site:
10
Walking distance:
50
Steps:
5
Wheelchair accessible:
No

Driving to Coastal Avenue & Photo stop there

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation / Walking
Transport Capacity:
35
Travel time:
00:10
Time at site:
00:10
Free time at site:
10

Driving to La Serena downtown

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation
Transport Capacity:
35
Travel time:
00:10

Walking down La Serena downtown

Transport type:
Walking
Transport Capacity:
35
Time at site:
00:25
Free time at site:
15

Visit to the Archaeological Museum

Transport type:
Walking
Transport Capacity:
35
Time at site:
00:20
Free time at site:
20
Inside visit:
Yes
Walking distance:
300
Steps:
8
Wheelchair accessible:
Yes
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes

Driving to La Recova Market

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation
Transport Capacity:
35
Travel time:
00:15

Visit to La Recova Market

Transport type:
Walking
Transport Capacity:
35
Time at site:
00:20
Free time at site:
20
Inside visit:
Yes
Walking distance:
200
Steps:
6
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes

Driving to La Serena University lookout and staying there

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation / Walking
Transport Capacity:
35
Travel time:
00:15
Time at site:
00:10
Free time at site:
10
Walking distance:
250
Steps:
10

Driving back to pier and arrival

Transport type:
Non Air Conditioned Transportation
Transport Capacity:
35
Travel time:
00:15