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Coquimbo, Chile - English Neighbourhood, Fort, Port & Fish Markets

Chile travel blog by Mark Berman - April 2014   » View Photoset (57 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!

20mins from La Serena

Just 20mins from La Serena I arrived by bus in Coquimbo. Coquimbo has 56kms of coastline and like La Serena is a place to visit in the summertime for all
Chile Photo - A pirate mural at a fruit and vegetable shop in Coquimbo.
A pirate mural at a fruit and vegetable shop in Coquimbo.
beach and water type activities. However, Coquimbo has much to offer in the offpeak season with many sights around the city and I enjoyed walking around and exploring the place. I knew little about Coquimbo when I arrived apart from that it has a fort.

Cheaper Hotels Near English Neighbourhood

I got off the bus in the center and asked about hotels nearby, but they were a little expensive for me. People said I should walk to the English Neighbourhood (Barrio Ingles) to find something cheaper. It took around 15mins to walk there, it's near the port. There is a tourist office in the plaza of the English Neighbourhood and the woman there gave me the name and address of a budget hotel nearby which I walked to.

Sights Around Town

The streets of Coquimbo are interesting, they are built on a large slope heading up the hill to
Chile Photo - Fresh fish come in from the boats in Coquimbo.
Fresh fish come in from the boats in Coquimbo.
the big 93m cross and lookout at the top known as the 'Cruz del III Milenio'. It has a museum, chapel and photo gallery. The roads have staircases at the top ends that lead up to the neighbourhoods and houses, these are very steep and are used as tsunami meeting points. Becoming a common sight on my travels in Chile was the street art and murals I found as I walked around, which I enjoy.

Replica of Koutoubia Mosque

From all around the city you can see standing at the top of a hill, a tower, this is 'La Mezquita' and is a scale replica of Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Around the Plaza

In town the Plaza de Armas has a pair of large bronze faces - I asked a local who they were - poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) and poet / feminist Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957), is who he told me. Across the road is church San Pedro and nearby there is another church called San Luis.

A Commissioned Mural

From the plaza I walked down and around parts of the English Neighbourhood, the cultural house
Chile Photo - Tall woman street mural above a door to a house in Coquimbo.
Tall woman street mural above a door to a house in Coquimbo.
has a big mural on the frontside. In the street beside is the famous mural called 'El Mural' which shows the transition of Coquimbo from its first inhabitants up until now, this is not street art, this is a commissioned work! There's some nice old buildings and architecture as well as some derelict bits and pieces also.

The Fort and Port

Next morning after breakfast at my hotel I walked nearby to see the fort 'Fuerte Coquimbo'. There's not that much to see really. 1 cannon and a few stone walls. But the views of the bay are fantastic from this point, pelicans and birds sit out on the big rock close to shore. I walked back passed the port where there is a ship half-sunken in the water which you can see from the road.

The English Neighbourhood

I went to the plaza of the English Neighbourhood to check it out. In a
Chile Photo - Statue and lamps at the English Neighborhood plaza in Coquimbo.
Statue and lamps at the English Neighborhood plaza in Coquimbo.
way it reminded me of La Boca in Buenos Aires with its various figures on balconies looking down. The central monument of the man with sword is of navy officer Arturo Prat Chacon (1848-1879). There is a vintage car upon a huge pole as well as a person with an umbrella walking up stairs, monuments. The streetlamps make the cityscape even more interesting.

The Waterfront and Fish Market

From here I walked down to the waterfront where the boats are. I looked through the arts and crafts market before coming to the port and fish markets. So much fish, this is what Coquimbo is famous for! A couple of things I unfortunately didn't get to see was the Iglesia de Guayacan, a metal church and the lookout point 'Mirador los Navegantes' with its 360 degree views.

Bus to Santiago 6hrs

Coquimbo is a great place to stop for a night and have a look around. From Coquimbo I took a bus south to Santiago which took just under 6hrs.

     

View all photos in the Coquimbo Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Coquimbo (Chile) to:


Map location: Coquimbo, Chile. Coquimbo has an English neighborhood, a fort, fish markets and graffiti art, it's close to La Serena on the coast!
 A : La Serena - Chile 8 kms 8 kms straight distance | 23mins 23mins by car (10 kms) | 27mins 27mins by bus (10 kms) (10 kms)
 B : Santiago to Mendoza - Chile 325 kms 325 kms straight distance | 4hrs 27mins 4hrs 27mins by car (415 kms) | 5hrs 20mins 5hrs 20mins by bus (415 kms) (415 kms)
 C : Valparaiso - Chile 342 kms 342 kms straight distance | 4hrs 28mins 4hrs 28mins by car (427 kms) | 5hrs 21mins 5hrs 21mins by bus (427 kms) (427 kms)
 D : Santiago - Chile 391 kms 391 kms straight distance | 5hrs 1min 5hrs 1min by car (475 kms) | 6hrs 1min 6hrs 1min by bus (475 kms) (475 kms)
 E : San Juan - Argentina 319 kms 319 kms straight distance | 9hrs 11mins 9hrs 11mins by car (518 kms) | 11hrs 1min 11hrs 1min by bus (518 kms) (518 kms)
 F : Mendoza from Santiago - Argentina 354 kms 354 kms straight distance | 6hrs 7mins 6hrs 7mins by car (521 kms) | 7hrs 20mins 7hrs 20mins by bus (521 kms) (521 kms)
 G : Mendoza - Argentina 400 kms 400 kms straight distance | 8hrs 27mins 8hrs 27mins by car (693 kms) | 10hrs 8mins 10hrs 8mins by bus (693 kms) (693 kms)
 H : Antofagasta - Chile 725 kms 725 kms straight distance | 10hrs 1min 10hrs 1min by car (901 kms) | 12hrs 1min 12hrs 1min by bus (901 kms) (901 kms)
 I : San Pedro de Atacama - Chile 844 kms 844 kms straight distance | 12hrs 34mins 12hrs 34mins by car (1174 kms) | 15hrs 4mins 15hrs 4mins by bus (1174 kms) (1174 kms)
 J : Cafayate - Argentina 682 kms 682 kms straight distance | 16hrs 45mins 16hrs 45mins by car (1279 kms) | 20hrs 6mins 20hrs 6mins by bus (1279 kms) (1279 kms)
 K : Paso de Jama to San Pedro to Calama - Chile 863 kms 863 kms straight distance | 14hrs 16mins 14hrs 16mins by car (1331 kms) | 17hrs 7mins 17hrs 7mins by bus (1331 kms) (1331 kms)
 L : Cordoba - Argentina 690 kms 690 kms straight distance | 15hrs 47mins 15hrs 47mins by car (1347 kms) | 18hrs 56mins 18hrs 56mins by bus (1347 kms) (1347 kms)
 M : Salta to Cafayate - Argentina 756 kms 756 kms straight distance | 18hrs 21mins 18hrs 21mins by car (1387 kms) | 22hrs 1min 22hrs 1min by bus (1387 kms) (1387 kms)
 N : Salta - Argentina 816 kms 816 kms straight distance | 19hrs 19mins 19hrs 19mins by car (1469 kms) | 23hrs 10mins 23hrs 10mins by bus (1469 kms) (1469 kms)
 O : Salta to Paso de Jama (Chile Border) - Argentina 802 kms 802 kms straight distance | 16hrs 43mins 16hrs 43mins by car (1496 kms) | 20hrs 3mins 20hrs 3mins by bus (1496 kms) (1496 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Coquimbo, Chile:

Hostal Nomade, Coquimbo, Chile - Large Photo
Hostal Nomade, Coquimbo, Chile (April 2014 - 1 night) - This hostal is actually a huge old wooden house located near the English neighborhood in Coquimbo. I had a room to myself with very high ceiling and there is wifi. The bathroom was shared, but no others were there anyway. There is breakfast provided. The hostel is run by a nice-friendly woman, the price is good and I would happily stay here again. Recommended.

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