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La Serena, Chile - Tour Of The City & Military Base

Chile travel blog by Mark Berman - April 2014   » View Photoset (68 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
La Serena, the place in Chile to come and enjoy the beaches and coastline in the summer months of January and February. A place to come and relax beside a
Chile Photo - Womans face wall art beside a bridge walkway in La Serena.
Womans face wall art beside a bridge walkway in La Serena.
swimming pool at a nice resort and drink locally produced papaya juice or a Pisco Sour. It all sounds fantastic and I'm sure it is, but I was not here in those summer months when I came to visit La Serena. I was here in mid-April and it was overcast and cloudy and slightly cold. So what was there for me to do then? Well, since La Serena is Chile's second oldest city I planned to explore the historical sights and anything else that I could discover around the place. I arrived here on a flight from Antofagasta in the north and took a shuttle to a hostel in the center.

City Tour and the Military Base

I headed straight for the main square - the
Chile Photo - Purple ape with hat wall art beside the train tracks in La Serena.
Purple ape with hat wall art beside the train tracks in La Serena.
Plaza de Armas, a good place to start I think. Surrounding the plaza are a number of important buildings, there is the Government buildings with its arches and a pair of bronze busts at the front. There is the Justice Palace, the theatre - Teatro Centenario, the museum of regional history and of course there is the cathedral. That was nice but I thought to myself that I would now go a few blocks out from the center and walk a wide circle around the whole city. This is when I started to find some cool graffiti art and things other people miss. I came to a big historical building called the Casa de la Divina Providencia, a college. This is very close to the military base / fortress on the hill at Parque Santa Lucia - Regimiento de Infanteria 21 'Coquimbo'. I was allowed to enter and have a look around. There is a bunch of things to see here including the tank, many cannon, monuments, plazas, a pond, the staircase,
Chile Photo - The Plaza del Periodista in La Serena, park of the journalist.
The Plaza del Periodista in La Serena, park of the journalist.
the castle of course and lastly but not least - great views of the city from the mirador.

Street Art Search

After this I walked a little and found myself in a somewhat dodgy neighborhood. How I got here I am not sure, my eyes saw glimpses of graffii art from a distance I think is how it happened. So here I was around and under a bridge with rubbish all around looking for colorful murals. Crazy really but that's what I like to do. I found some good ones!

More City

I walked back in the general direction of the center, seeing whatever I saw along the way. This included a college with a nice wooden sculpture outside, Plaza Dr. Elias Sepulveda Veloso, a church and more graffiti art and murals. I was now back in the center of town on Avenida Francisco de Aguirre. This street is near
Chile Photo - The great staircase at the fortress of La Serena.
The great staircase at the fortress of La Serena.
the Plaza de Armas and is a 2 sided street with a huge long park in the middle full of artworks and naked statues. There are historical buildings on each side, many trees and bench seats all the way down to the statue of Spanish conquistador Francisco de Aguirre (1507-1581) several hundred meters away. It's a nice part of the city. Across the road from the statue in the direction of the port are the train tracks. I snapped some wall art around there too and found a few busts of important people nearby. That brought me to the end of my day, over 7hrs walking and exploring around La Serena. Next time I will visit during those warmer summer months I reckon! After a 2nd night in La Serena I took a local bus 20mins to nearby Coquimbo.

     

View all photos in the La Serena Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from La Serena (Chile) to:


Map location: La Serena, Chile. Known as a beach resort town in the summer, other things to see and do include the military base/fortress on the hill.
 A : Coquimbo - Chile 8 kms 8 kms straight distance | 24mins 24mins by car (11 kms) | 28mins 28mins by bus (11 kms) (11 kms)
 B : Santiago to Mendoza - Chile 331 kms 331 kms straight distance | 4hrs 32mins 4hrs 32mins by car (420 kms) | 5hrs 26mins 5hrs 26mins by bus (420 kms) (420 kms)
 C : Valparaiso - Chile 350 kms 350 kms straight distance | 4hrs 33mins 4hrs 33mins by car (433 kms) | 5hrs 27mins 5hrs 27mins by bus (433 kms) (433 kms)
 D : Santiago - Chile 398 kms 398 kms straight distance | 5hrs 7mins 5hrs 7mins by car (480 kms) | 6hrs 8mins 6hrs 8mins by bus (480 kms) (480 kms)
 E : San Juan - Argentina 318 kms 318 kms straight distance | 9hrs 10mins 9hrs 10mins by car (516 kms) | 11hrs 11hrs by bus (516 kms) (516 kms)
 F : Mendoza from Santiago - Argentina 358 kms 358 kms straight distance | 6hrs 12mins 6hrs 12mins by car (526 kms) | 7hrs 26mins 7hrs 26mins by bus (526 kms) (526 kms)
 G : Mendoza - Argentina 402 kms 402 kms straight distance | 8hrs 33mins 8hrs 33mins by car (698 kms) | 10hrs 15mins 10hrs 15mins by bus (698 kms) (698 kms)
 H : Antofagasta - Chile 718 kms 718 kms straight distance | 10hrs 10hrs by car (899 kms) | 12hrs 12hrs by bus (899 kms) (899 kms)
 I : San Pedro de Atacama - Chile 836 kms 836 kms straight distance | 12hrs 33mins 12hrs 33mins by car (1172 kms) | 15hrs 3mins 15hrs 3mins by bus (1172 kms) (1172 kms)
 J : Cafayate - Argentina 674 kms 674 kms straight distance | 16hrs 44mins 16hrs 44mins by car (1277 kms) | 20hrs 4mins 20hrs 4mins by bus (1277 kms) (1277 kms)
 K : Paso de Jama to San Pedro to Calama - Chile 854 kms 854 kms straight distance | 14hrs 15mins 14hrs 15mins by car (1329 kms) | 17hrs 6mins 17hrs 6mins by bus (1329 kms) (1329 kms)
 L : Cordoba - Argentina 687 kms 687 kms straight distance | 15hrs 52mins 15hrs 52mins by car (1353 kms) | 19hrs 2mins 19hrs 2mins by bus (1353 kms) (1353 kms)
 M : Salta to Cafayate - Argentina 748 kms 748 kms straight distance | 18hrs 20mins 18hrs 20mins by car (1385 kms) | 22hrs 22hrs by bus (1385 kms) (1385 kms)
 N : Salta - Argentina 807 kms 807 kms straight distance | 19hrs 18mins 19hrs 18mins by car (1467 kms) | 23hrs 9mins 23hrs 9mins by bus (1467 kms) (1467 kms)
 O : Salta to Paso de Jama (Chile Border) - Argentina 793 kms 793 kms straight distance | 16hrs 42mins 16hrs 42mins by car (1494 kms) | 20hrs 2mins 20hrs 2mins by bus (1494 kms) (1494 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 La Serena, Chile:

Hostal El Punto, La Serena, Chile - Large Photo
Hostal El Punto, La Serena, Chile (April 2014 - 2 nights) - This hostel is nice, new, has several bathrooms, tidy dorms, good breakfasts, wifi and is located not too far from the center of town and close to a big supermarket. But don't get too carried away planning an evening meal or shopping for food because the hostel has no real kitchen for cooking in. Just a microwave, kettle, a half-sized fridge and not much to cook with. Conveniently the hostel has its own restaurant where you can buy a meal.

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