La Serena is the capital of the Fourth Region. This city of churches is recognized as the second city of tourism, following Viña del Mar and the second oldest in the country after being founded in 1541 and rebuilt in 1549 by Francisco de Aguirre. This beautiful city is located 480 kms. north of Santiago and it has a population of about 180.000 inhabitants. La Serena has become the place for an ideal escape for those who love tranquility and relaxation.
La Serena has had a boom in recent years due to the exports of fruit, pisco production in the interior valleys, mining, increasing tourism and a variety of offers related to the industry and, why not mention, the installation of major astronomical observatories.
There are several alternatives for sightseeing, starting off with a tour of its 12 beaches, highlighting the lighthouse ” El Faro”, monument for which this area is named after, Cuatros Esquinas, Canto del Agua and Peñuelas among others, a nice walk downtown starting a journey from the Avenue Francisco de Aguirre with its trees and marble sculptures, its many churches, such as, San Francisco and The Cathedral, both national monuments, continuing with its marvelous Archaeological Museum and finishing off at the prestigious Recova, municipal market from the colonial era, standing out for having the best arts and crafts fair in the city. Here, we can appreciate craftsmanship in stone, figures in combarbalita stone, semiprecious jewelry in lapislazuli, ceramics with Diaguita motifs and articles of alpaca wool.
And as for evening entertainment, this city has great places to have fun and spend an incredible night. For starters, on the Avenida del Mar there are countless pubs and first-class restaurants where we can find the widest variety of foods, from fish and seafood to Mexican food to Chinese food. The pastas and grills are also a good option for those who visit this beautiful coastline.
For drinks and dancing, we can find pubs located in front of the beach. Most have live music with local bands playing and also the participation of the famous Andean groups in the country. In the area of Four Corners, we can find the best discos to continue enjoying the evening in La Serena, where most places offer "after hours” as well.
And in Peñuelas, we have the Coquimbo Casino, one of the best in the country and the largest in the north of Chile. Here, we can also enjoy live music, delicious drinks in any of the 3 bars and try our luck at the slot machines, roulette and card games like black jack and draw poker. This complex has recently been re-inaugurated by the highest authorities of the region and the country, including modern salons with over 800 slot machines and 38 table games. “Enjoy”, the owner of the complex, expects to cover a total investment of $ 55 million dollars, including a beautiful 14-story hotel, with similar caracteristics as the one in Viña del Mar.