500 kms to the north of Santiago, La Serena is one of Chile’s oldest cities. Built in a colonial style and full of little churches, the centre of the city has a historic feel that much of Chile does not. There is also a huge sweeping beach, and the bay waters are relatively calm for the Pacific. La Serena is geared up for tourism, so there are some fantastic little hostels available for next to nothing. The food is also fantastic, and a trip to the local fish market should not be missed!
La Serena has an airport, but you can take the very comfortable six hour bus trip from Santiago if you’re feeling ecologically inclined. Much of the trip follows the coastal road, so you get fantastic views of both the coastal mountain range and the Pacific, and it gives you a real taste of rural Chile.
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