Eco-friendly travel guide to La Serena advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in La Serena, Chile.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 3.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$50 - $120
- Budget per day: US$150 - $300
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
La Serena is the most popular city in northern Chile. It is the oldest city in Chile with a population of approx 200000. This is the most famous tourist destination in northern Chile because of its beautiful beaches and it is the home of one of the catholic archdioceses of the Catholic Church. The city is known for its neo-colonial architecture which creates an old vintage vibe and it makes the city more classic and attracts tourists around the globe.
There are a number of things to do and see in this city and you can start with the Elqui valley which is considered as the best location for camping in La Serena. From here you can see the beauty of the city in the clear sky. Fresh air from the mountains will definitely fill you with joy. This city is filled with historic churches, museums, national parks, etc which definitely needs your attention when you are in La Serena, while enjoying the beauty of the city doesn’t forget to follow these guidelines to stay eco friendly.
- Make sure to visit all the local parks of the city, it allows you to stay closer to nature. Parks are the heart of any city so make sure you visit them.
- Eat from local shops and restaurants, it allows the city to grow stronger by maintaining a good economic condition. It will allow you to save a lot as well.
- Try to use less fuel-based vehicles and opt for chargeable cars or bikes. You can even rent a bicycle for your traveling experience in the inner part of the city.
- You should stay in green hotels instead of regular hotels that will help the environment to stay pollution-free. Green hotels help to reduce the amount of waste generation.
- Try to buy all the basic needs of yours from the local shops. Shopping from these small vendors helps the economy of the country to stay stable a lot.
Air Quality and Pollution
La Serena has a cool desert climate with rainfalls in winter. The air quality rate of la Serena is idle to visit at any time of the year. According to the air quality index, there is nothing to be afraid of regarding air pollution, you will not face any problem regarding the quality of the air here. However, carrying a mask and other tools are good to be on the safe side. You can find a sudden change in the temperature at night so if you are prone to cold and cough easily then you should consult your doctor before visiting la Serena.
Respect the Culture
Being the oldest city in the country, la Serena has so many things which need your attention. From the historical monuments to modern architecture, this city is full of surprises for its travelers. La Serena is often called the home of twenty-nine churches. It is also known as the home of one of the catholic archdioceses of the Catholic Church which you should definitely visit when you are in la Serena. The mesmerizing view of the Cruz del Tercer Milenio at night is something you can witness only in La Serena.
It reflects the culture of the city and looks very beautiful. There are many places like this in la Serena which you can visit like museums and parks, as your trip to La Serena is incomplete without it. The Japanese garden is the center of attraction for tourists here with a lot of fun activities. Make sure to visit all these places when you are in la Serena, to know about the culture of the city in depth.
Top 10 Places to Visit
La Serene is one of the best cities in Chile and is a favorite holiday destination for everyone. You would get a feeling of wow after visiting here and never have any complaints. But in order to make your trip more exciting, you have to visit these lovely places.
- Santo Domingo Church- This church is lovely and can give you the best experience of your life. It is because here you will get to know about a nice history of the early ages. Just try it out and see how extraordinary your journey to this wonderful place is.
- Faro Monumental- It is a lighthouse which represents the whole city in a very spectacular form. After visiting here you would want to take a selfie beside it and want to upload it on Facebook. So never miss it because this opportunity might not come again and again.
- Casa Chadwick- Without any doubt, we all can say that this palace is fabulous and tells you a lot about history. And the best thing about it is that it promotes the cultural heritage of the city. Visit here and you will get a very fair knowledge about history and that too in detail.
- Iglesia La Merced- You can come to this church during the evening time and wish for the best thing. It will give you pleasure and make you feel free from all the depressions of your life. Try not to miss it because a place like this is nowhere there in Chile.
- Catedral de La Serena- This place is made in the honor of a famous lady who contributed a lot during the tough days of Chile. The moment you come here then you will get to know a lot about her works. Make a note of this place and mark it as a very important one.
- Plaza de Armas- Believe it or not, but it is true that this place was built during the colonial era. It showcases how the enemies invaded all the regions of this country. You can also say that missing this place is similar to missing a golden chance which you should never do.
- Cerro Grande- From this mountain peak you can see the whole city with a very nice view. In other words, people refer to it as a nice place for a great scenic view. So make a fair attempt of coming here and see how it gives you the real meaning of beauty.
- Enjoy Coquimbo- If you like the games of gambling like blackjack and poker then this is the most suitable place for you. Come here and get a lot of enjoyment after playing those games. And it is guaranteed that you will love it to the fullest.
- La Recova- This is a handicraft market where you will get handmade crafts of various varieties. They are beyond words and are available at a cheaper rate. Instead of having any second thoughts just buy them and they will be your decorative showpiece.
- Mallplaza- Last but not least, is that you can visit this mall and buy some clothes and fashion clothes. They are the best and after trying them you can discover yourself in a very new avatar. And after buying them you would never have any complaints or disappointments.
Now when it is about exploring the city of La Serena then these above places are not enough. You have to come out of them and visit other places like some parks and museums.
- Plaza Nobel Gabriela Mistral- This park is awesome and here you can go for a long walking journey. It would be fun and can easily leave you awestruck as soon as possible. So it is a must-visit place for you and without it your holiday trip is incomplete.
- Japonés Jardin del Corazón Park- You can call it a park cum botanical garden where you will get some wonderful flowers and plants. They are amazing and you would be eager to take their photographs. So carry a camera with you and take their pictures so they remain in your memory.
- Parque Pedro de Valdivia- It is a children's park where your children will get a lot of open spaces to play outdoor games. Bring them over here and play a game of cricket or football with them. You will have a nice memory and you will remember it throughout your life.
- Peñuelas- The water of this beach is clean and clear where you can go for a nice bathing experience. It is certain that you can get a nice thrill which you might have never thought of before. Just go for it and see how interesting and enjoyable it is.
- Playa El Faro- It is not meant for bathing but here you can visit for having a nice evening walk. This way you will get to feel the real power of this beautiful ambiance that is over here. And after doing it you would want to give your positive reviews about this place.
Unfortunately, you would not get any famous landmarks in the city of La Serena. But the museums are there which are its leading example and you should know their names.
- Archaeological Museum of La Serena- There is no question on this thing that here you would get to find the best things about archaeology. These things are mentioned in detail and you have to know them. But if you miss it then you will keep regretting and develop unnecessary frustrations among yourself.
- Museo Histórico Gabriel González Videla- You will notice that this museum is all over the internet and has got a better presence. The reason behind this thing is that it is nice and consists of some great historical artifacts. So you can say that it is more than incredible and gives you the facts which you have read in your history books.
The restaurants in la serene offer the best serene cuisine in the world. You will be able to witness the traditional culture of the city in their dishes, you will be able to get the authentic taste of the Vietnamese dishes here. Dinners and lunches including fruit juices, wines, and coffees that are freshly made are something you should definitely try when you are in la Serena. The varieties of serene cuisine are a mixture of meats and spices which will definitely suit your taste buds. This city has a place for vegan lovers as well. You will be able to get so many restaurants offering vegan foods here. Try to have your meals from local restaurants in the city, it helps the economy of the city to grow and flourish well.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Serene Cuisine is something you should try when you are in la Serena. The flavors of Vietnamese dishes will definitely suit your taste buds. The traditional food of the country is loved by travelers a lot. The kinds of seafood of this city are the main attraction for the travelers as these dishes are made in fusion style which is worth the wait. Most of the traditional restaurants are situated near the beaches which makes your eating experience even more memorable. The prices are very affordable depending on the restaurant you choose. Being an eco-friendly traveler you should have your meals from local restaurants. Here is the list of best restaurants which are famous for their traditional dishes in la Serena.
- Restaurant Bakulic – This is the best place to eat in la Serena if you are looking for simple serene cuisine. You can dine in or take away; this restaurant has all the facilities. It is situated near the beach so that you can enjoy the best fusion dishes in the town while enjoying the cool sea breeze.
- Restaurant Daniela–This place is the best place to eat tasty Chilean foods at a very affordable price. It is famous for its lunch menu and it is situated near the beach area. The service is very good and fast, you will be able to witness the serene culture through their dishes in la Serena. All the traditional serene cuisines are available here from vegan to meat dishes.
Vegetarian and Vegan
If you prefer vegan dishes more than anything then la Serena has options for you as well. There are multiple vegan restaurants in la Serena that offer the best vegan food in the town. Serene Cuisine is a mixture of both vegan and meat dishes so you will not face any problem regarding the food and food quality here. Here are some vegan restaurants you can try in la Serena.
- Rincon Flamenco café – This place is best for vegan lovers. The prices are very affordable and the quality of the food is very satisfying. This is one of the best restaurants rated by travelers in la serene. This place is usually very crowded with locals and travelers. You might have to wait for more than usual to dine out here.
- DESDE LA RAIZ– Potatoes mixed with spices and sauces are the best selling dish of this restaurant. This place has a huge variety of vegan dishes which will definitely satisfy your taste buds. The staff here are very friendly and the atmosphere of the restaurant is calm and soothing. Mark, this restaurant to your must-visit list, when you are in la serene.
Street foods are the culture of the city; you will not be able to learn about the city more than anywhere else. These street stalls in la serene are vast and it is widely spread all over the city. These street food stalls are filled with delicious serene cuisine from vegan to meat dishes. The flavors of the dishes in these street stalls have no comparisons to any of the big restaurants in the city. While having a bite here you can interact with locals and gather information about the city which can later help you to explore the city.
La Serena is a town situated near the seaside, where you will be able to get a variety of hard and soft drinks. You can even get discounts on returning the empty bottles while buying new ones. The city has a variety of cocktails, mocktails, juices, and soft drinks for their travelers. The prices are very reasonable for all types of drinks here. However, buying drinks from the local shops can be very beneficial for the city and it will allow you to fulfill your duty as a responsible traveler. This place is filled with the taste of nature whether it’s an alcoholic drink or soft drink, the exotic flavors will definitely make you buy again and again.
The quality of the water in la Serena is not safe to drink. It is rated by the locals and the travelers that the quality of tap water in la Serena is not safe to consume idly. The water gets disinfected when it is there in the reservoirs of sewage treatment plants but it gets contaminated by the time it reaches the taps, all over the city. You should take the help of the locals and hotel staff to know the condition of the water before consuming it. There are facilities for providing filtered water at every corner of the city. You can refill your bottles from these refill stations or on an urgent basis you can use tap water after boiling it for ten to fifteen minutes.
Organic cafes in la Serena are loved by the travelers and locals a lot, as it allows you to stay healthy and fit throughout your journey. All the ingredients of the foods here are made up of organic products, without any artificial nutrients, pesticides, etc. All the foods here are free of artificial additives. Organic foods are more nutritious as compared to other foods. The prices here are very affordable compared to the other cities in Chile. Here are a few organic cafes in la Serena, you should visit.
- Rincón Flamenco Café
- Ayawasi ‘’Organico & Natural’’
If you are someone who is fond of freshly brewed beer and coffee then you are welcome in la Serena. This city is full of fantastic breweries, a heap of beers, and mocktails. The staffs of these breweries are very friendly, in spite of the language barrier they try to communicate in broken English so that they can serve each of their customers nicely. You are going to love the atmosphere of these breweries and most of them are situated near the beach area so that you can enjoy your freshly brewed coffee or beers near the cool breeze of the sea. Some of the most popular breweries in la Serena are as follows.
- Plan Beer La Serena
- Lagerhaus La Serena
La Serena is famous for its historical churches and national parks. You will be able to witness the outstanding beauty of nature in La Serena; this place is filled with historical art crafts. The building, roads, churches, etc are designed in such a way that it gives a vibe of the ancient era. Being the oldest city in Chile, it is well maintained and with the help of the new technologies, the city is more developed now.
It can be your perfect destination for summers and the city has plenty of things to see and to do that it might take a whole lot of time to explore all the places of la Serena. The traditional food of the city is as old as the city itself, you will be able to get such flavors and varieties of seafood only in La Serena. The traditional dishes are quite healthy which can make you feel that you want to learn the recipes while you are in la Serena.
Yoga and Retreats
You can take a break from your daily chaos and enroll yourself in yoga classes for a few days. It will help you to relieve stress and make you relaxed. Your body needs relaxation from all the traveling chaos you made so far, it will prepare you for your next destination. La Serena is filled with yoga centers with different styles that suit everyone. You can also book online classes which are relatively low prices as compared to the studios but the atmosphere in a perfect well-furnished studio is something different which you will not find anywhere else. You can choose according to your preference.
The accommodation structure of the city is very fascinating. If you want to spend a night in La Serena or if you want to stay here for months, there are different options for all your needs. You definitely need a place to relax and to keep your luggage while you are exploring the city. This city has a variety of hotels, motels, lodges, guesthouses, apartments, etc from five stars to one-star hotels, La Serena has it all.
You can choose from these, according to your budget. If you are traveling alone then you can live in shared guest houses where you can share your room and the rents with the other tourist. It will allow you to save a lot of money which you can utilize on other things. If you are visiting la Serena with your friends and family then you can choose from any of the above-mentioned options.
Green hotels allow you to stay free from pollution and it makes your travel journey even more memorable. These hotels help to reduce the amount of waste generation by providing reusable goods as much as possible. The foods of such a hotel are made of organic products where you will find more vegetables and fewer meat items. These types of hotels are best for an eco-friendly trip; it allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature without harming it. You should always visit places you adore without leaving any traces behind so that the next person can enjoy the beauty of nature as much as you did. Here are some best green hotels in la Serena.
- Hotel club La serena
- Campanario Del Mar
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels and guesthouses are best for the people who want to stay for a longer period of time in La Serena. These hostels and guesthouses will provide you a home-like facility at a very affordable price. These places will allow you to share rooms as well as it helps you to lessen the burden of rent and by doing this you can also get a travel partner to make your trip even easier.
You can easily get food and beverages in these hostels of la Serena and pay the total amount at the end of the month with your rent. There are few hostels and guesthouses in la Serena which will give you the advantage of beautiful sea sceneries. You can take the help of the internet to choose a perfect one for yourself. Here are a few best hostels and guesthouses of la Serena which is very popular among travelers.
- Aji verde hostel la serena
- Penuelas hostel
- Hostel Al arbol
Renting an apartment to stay in La Serena for a longer period of time is the best option for you. You can stay comfortably and you can save money which can later be used for other important things. These apartments in la Serena are very well crafted and designed with a beautiful view of the sea beach. It will give you a very positive vibe; you can relax here from all the places without any disturbance as all the necessary items will be there in the apartment apart from the groceries. You can relax here directly for two to three days without any contact with the outer world. Some of the best apartments in La Serena with sea views are as follows.
- Depto La Serena
- Hotel Club La Serena
- Depatmento Full La Serena
Couchsurfing is a community of travelers that helps other travelers when they are visiting each other’s hometown. It allows you to stay in the house of the people and they will provide you food as well. You can take the help of couch surfing to stay in a house for two to three days as it is not meant for longer stays. By doing these you can learn about the culture of the city and the native language of the people, you can also gather information about the best places to visit. Couch surfing is a modern way of traveling which is loved by travelers all over the world.
La Serena is the land of beaches and beautiful churches and parks. There are plenty of camping sites in la Serena. All the sites are at a beautiful location which allows you to enjoy the beauty and traditional culture of the city. These sites will give you a breathtaking view at night, the cool sea breeze along with the city lights is just something you cannot miss when you are here. All the basic needs or facilities are provided here so you don’t have to worry about packing so many kinds of stuff for camping.
How to Get There
There are a number of flights that run every day for different locations in la serene. The city has all the transportation facilities with flexible ticket prices. You can book the tickets online after comparing and choose from the best options available. The inner part of the city can be explored through public transport. You can rent a private car or motorcycle as well. There are a number of companies providing vehicles on a rental basis; you can search online before choosing a perfect one for yourself.
There are few cities where you can get a direct flight to la Serena. The ticket prices are very reasonable and flexible. You can compare and choose accordingly. La Serena is a city near the beach which makes it a perfect summer holiday destination. It is a crowded place at this time of the year so the prices can fluctuate a lot as compared to the other days of the year. If you are planning to visit la Serena in summer then you should book your hotels beforehand as you might not get an empty room when you reach there. There are several websites available that are linked with the hotels of la Serena, you can book your hotel or lodge from there only.
There are numbers of bus lines in la Serena, you don’t need to wait longer for any bus here as buses leave numerous times a day at every hour here. These bus routes are well connected with all the sight scenes and small areas of the city which will help you to move around the city easily. The ticket prices are very cheap and available at the bus station from where you can directly buy the tickets. Choosing a local transport for your journey will help you to fulfill your duty as an eco-friendly traveler and it gives you the opportunity to save a lot of money.
La Serena has a wide network of roadways and railways, however, the railways are now not fit for the passengers as the two main lines are used to transport iron ore from one place to another. The main mode of traveling here is public buses. It is well connected with all the parts of la Serena some of the bus routes are available that connect the other cities of northern Chile to la Serena directly. People might get the train facilities in the near future but right now you can choose other modes of transport in la Serena to travel the city.
Hitchhiking is getting popular in la Serena as people love to challenge themselves while traveling. It is the most adventurous and thrilling way of traveling, it allows you to make a lot of memories on your way to your desired destination. You just need to find the busiest road from where you can start your journey. The people of La Serena are very cheerful and helpful so you can gather information about the city as well while you are riding. Language can be a problem here but you can communicate in English by breaking the words in such a way that the driver can understand where you want to go.
There are other options available for you in la Serena other than trains and flights. These alternatives are very cheap and popular among the locals as compared to the other means of transport. You can get a car or bike for rent here, through which you can explore the inner part of the city. Apart from these, you can also get a bicycle for rent which will help you to travel the city as well as riding a bicycle to explore the city will keep you fit. So you don’t have to worry about the transportation cost here as the prices are very reasonable and easily available.
Choosing the right mode of transportation is choosing a perfect way of spending your holidays at an unknown destination. You should be aware of the different modes of transportation in the city and the prices so that you can prepare yourself before starting your trip. Flights are the most convenient and easy mode of traveling especially when you are traveling from a different country. And if you are traveling from any other part of Chile then you can use multiple modes of transport to reach here as you need to break your journey to reach la Serena. Here are few basic and simple modes of traveling la Serena.
Walking is the best option to travel in any city as it allows you to know the culture of the city closely and it will also help you to stay fit in an unknown place. Traveling means you will be away from home-cooked meals for a while, you will have to depend on restaurants or local shops of the city for foods you are visiting. It takes a while to adjust to a different food routine which gives birth to several digestion problems. Walking the inner part of the city will allow you to stay fit and it will help you save a lot of money from the fare charges of the rental vehicles.
Renting a bicycle is similar to walking as it needs physical strength to run a bicycle as well. It is not possible to cover long distances by walking only and for those purposes, you can rent a bike here. The rental bikes in la Serena are loaded with features like gear brakes, etc. It will make your journey smoother and faster. These facilities are provided for the safety of the passengers as well. There are proper facilities available for the people who ride a bike or bicycle here as the majority of the population is engaged with bicycles and motorbikes here.
Gases from the vehicles are the major sources of air pollution. The city is already facing problems due to this pollution and if you choose to travel the city through electronic vehicles can be very helpful. It allows you to travel the city without harming nature. The chargeable cars are very eco friendly and easily available in La Serena. You can even get these types of cars from your hotels where you are residing. These cars can be maintained very easily and the refill stations are available all over the city. You can check with your hotel before booking your rooms about these rental car facilities.
Public bus facilities are very smooth here; you don’t have to wait for longer to board a bus in la Serena. There are plenty of buses that leave several times in an hour. The bus routes are well connected with the inner and outer area of the city, in fact, you can plan your whole trip through these buses for transportation in any part of the city. The prices are very genuine which will allow you to save more.
Tram, Train and Subway
There are no proper tram, train, and subway facilities in la Serena. There are projects of starting these facilities here which are still under construction. However, being the oldest city in northern Chile, la Serena has train lines, and previously it was the busiest route for traveling in la Serena later due to the shift in depends, the passenger train was not in service for years and now there are trains for export and import purposes only. Iron ore is the major export and import item in La Serena.
La Serena has several shopping malls situated in different parts of the city. These malls can be your one-stop destination for all the things you need. From the fashion items to the food items these malls have it all. These malls are more tropical looking with all types of stores. These malls have food centers where you will get varieties of traditional foods of La Serena. Few of these malls have fun activity area where you can spend some time with your kids. Some of these malls have beauty parlors, you can use these parlors to get a makeover and match your vibes with Serena culture. These malls have gym facilities where you can work out and stay fit, hence there are multiple shopping malls where you can shop in La Serena.
There are a number of food markets in la Serena as this place is famous for its foods only, among which La Recova is the best food market in La Serena. Here, you will get a variety of foods including traditional foods and international cuisine. This place has a very rich source of seafood so you will get varieties of dishes made of sea animals along with that if you are a vegan then there are shops selling organic foods made of organic products which will definitely suit your taste buds. These markets are fun to watch and roam, you can pass your time here by just chilling and chatting with your loved ones.
The city is famous for its vintage culture and it is considered the treasure trove for antique and vintage goods. If you love to collect antique pieces then you should visit these shops where you will find the old culture of the city in different antique items. These crafted items get sold very quickly so just grab the opportunity of buying a perfect one for yourself. You can even use your bargain skills here to get the item at a very good price.
Second Hand Stores
If you love to collect antique items and at the same time don’t want to spend a lot on them then a second-hand store is best for you. La Serena is filled with these types of stores all over the city among which calle bandera, meicys, orange blue, cero 90, bow, etc are the most popular ones. You will be able to get your hands on vintage pieces of stuff that can be fascinating and unique. These second-hand stores have varieties of options available for their customers, you can get old fashioned clothes and accessories as well which have very ancient vibes. All of these items at a very low price.
Eco-fashion allows you to stay stylish and environmentally friendly at the same time. Eco-fashion clothes and other usable items are made of such materials and methods which are not injurious to the environment. These kinds of stuff are easy to maintain and reusable. La Serena is a city where you will find more of these types of clothes and accessories rather than regular things which can not be reused. You can take a tour of the local shops here selling these types of clothes and accessories and buy something for yourself and for your loved ones.
Instead of throwing clothes and other household items after using them a while, try to recycle them as much as possible. Recycling is very beneficial for the environment and the community. If you are not someone who loves to recycle old stuff then you can donate it to the poor and the needy here. The government has taken several measures here to create awareness among the people about recycling, you can also fulfill your duty as a responsible traveler by taking part in it.
The waste generation of this city has reached up a level where precaution is a must. The government has introduced several plans which are followed by the people living here to control the amount of waste production. You should also take part in such activities and follow the guidelines of the government; this is the best way to fulfill your duty as a responsible traveler.
Work and Study Abroad
La Serena is filled with a wide variety of public and private universities, schools, and lyceums. It will be a great opportunity for you to get yourself enrolled in these colleges as the city has so much to offer. The cost of maintaining a lifestyle here is very low as compared to the other cities in Chile. The city is situated near the coastal area which makes it an even more adorable place to study and work. The salary structure of the city is very fascinating. Hence la Serena can be your dream destination for studying and working as the crime rates of the city are very low.
Exchange students can be a great option for people who can’t afford to study in different universities from any foreign country. You will have to check with the colleges of your home town whether they have a partnership with La Serena university or not. Afterward, your home university will have to nominate your name to get selected at La Serena University.
Au Pair can be a very good option for you to stay in a different location if you are new to the place. This allows you to stay in the homes of the locals in exchange for some household work you will get a place to stay and foods to eat.
Volunteering can be a very good idea if you want to keep your favorite destination clean and pollution-free. Try to volunteer for teaching, cleaning, and other works in La Serena.