Attractions around La Serena
Located 11 km from La Serena and 51 km from Vicuña, Algarrobito is a small town with typical farms and orchards, and a beautiful plaza with an adobe church.
Above the town you will find the cemetery, one of the oldest in Chile.
Embalse La Laguna
This reservoir, with a capacity of 40 million m3, is located 183 km east of La Serena. It is in a marvelous setting.
5 km wide and 3,350 meters above sea level, this reservoir contains the water reserves for the entire Elqui valley.
Located 59 km northwest of La Serena, La Higuera has seen a glorious mining past. It began as a settlement in 1842, and its founding is celebrated by its 3,237 inhabitants every December 22. It is known principally for one of its main natural attractions, the Reserva Nacional Pingüino de Humboldt (Humboldt’s Penguin National Reserve) at Punta de Choros, and other attractions of scientific and cultural interest such as the international astronomical observatories at Cerro La Silla and Cerro las Campanas.
This 1 km-long beach, located 65 km north of La Serena and 33 km from La Higuera, has fine, gray sand and some swell. It is an alternative area for swimming but also offers good conditions for fishing and spear-fishing.
Caleta Los Hornos
Located 36 km northwest of La Serena and 22 km southwest of La Higuera, this is a must for tourists and those just passing through who are looking for seafood-based cuisine or who want to enjoy fishing off the beach. This location has two beaches: Playa Caleta Los Hornos and Playa La Despensa.
The little fishing port here has a pier, dry dock and stalls selling fish boxes.
Playa Caleta Los Hornos
This beach is located 36 km northwest of La Serena and 22 km southwest of La Higuera, at the foot of the village of Los Hornos. The beach is small and somewhat stony, with dark sands and rich marine life. There are some rock formations which create good conditions for breakwater fishing. It is also possible to go out in a boat to fish for jurel, sierra and corvina.
Playa Cruz Grande
This beach is 81 km northwest of La Serena and 28 km from La Higuera. It is a small, stony beach about 300 m long. Conditions are good for swimming and water sports.
Playa La Barranca
Located 114 km northwest of La Serena and 60 km northwest of La Higuera, this beach is at the foot of Punta de Choros and is approximately 250 m long. It is protected from wind and swells, and offers favorable conditions for sport fishing and swimming. Among the fish you can catch here are sole, corvina, canque or pichihuén, cabrilla, rollizo, cabrilla española and cabriaza.
Playa La Despensa
Located 36 km northwest of La Serena and 22 km from La Higuera, this beach is located on the north side of Caleta Los Hornos. It is 2 km long, with soft, yellow sand, rich in marine life and a strong swell. It offers excellent conditions for fishing off the beach, and you can catch corvina, sole and pichihuén.
This beach is not suitable for swimming, but you can enjoy some water sports such as surfing.
Cerro El Tofo
Located 69 km northwest of La Serena and 12 km from La Higuera, this hill rises to 800 m above sea level. It is a historic site for Chilean mining because it had one of the world’s largest open-faced iron deposits, which was closed in 1954.
Located 76 km northwest of La Serena and 24 km from La Higuera, this fishing village features an attractive bay. It was the shipping port for the El Tofo iron mine. The major attraction is its system of collecting water in “fog catchers”, part of the ‘Proyecto Camanchaca’. It also has a stony beach.
Playa Totoralillo Norte
Located 63 km northwest of La Serena and 32 km from La Higuera, this beach has a 2 km-long front with a stony shore. It has rocks and stones at the sides, making it suitable for fishing from the beach or the breakwater.
Punta de Choros
Located 114 km northwest of La Serena and 60 km from La Higuera. It is known for its colonies of bottle-nosed dolphins, chungungos (sea otters) Humboldt penguins, among other marine species. There are also three islands: Gaviotas, Choros and Damas. These last two islands are part of Reserva Nacional Pingüino de Humboldt.
Playa Los Choros
Located 94 km northwest of La Serena and 44 km from La Higuera. The beach is 16 km long, almost straight, and is exposed to south-easterly winds. It is noted for its large areas of stones, its winds and strong swells. This beach is not suitable for swimming.