One of Chile’s top beach destinations, it’s hard to resist La Serena’s coastal charm and Heritage-listed national parks. Walk down La Serena’s tree-shaded avenues through picturesque plazas to discover historic churches and museums.
Things to do in La Serena
Explore La Serena’s past in one of the 29 historic churches around the city. Admire the beautiful ceiling paintings in the interior of Cathedral La Serena, see the Iglesia Santo Domingo and its unique bell tower or discover 17th-century history at Iglesia San Francisco, the city’s oldest church.
Gabriel González Videla Historical Museum is La Serena’s main history museum, named after a former Chilean president. You’ll find fascinating artefacts and modern art housed in an 18th-century mansion where Gonzalez Videla once lived.
For an outdoor adventure, head to Bosque de Fray Jorge National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with wet forest in the middle of the Atacama Desert. Head to Punta de Choros to see dolphins, sea lions and penguins on a scenic boat tour to one of the islands in Humboldt Penguin National Park.
Want to see the stars? Drive one hour to the Observatorio Turistico Collowara. Designed to educate visitors about astronomy, it offers guided tours that let you learn about the stars and peer up at the sky through telescopes.
Getting around La Serena
You can fly into La Florida Airport, a 15-minute drive from La Serena, while long-distance buses travel from Santiago de Chile in eight hours. When in La Serena, the best way to get around is by bus and taxi.