Coquimbo - Photos: Marcelo Sola
apital of the province of Elqui, Coquimbo lies only 12 kilometers South of La Serena and 462 kilometers to the North of the City of Santiago. This is one of the summer destinations par excellence due to its long coastline, whose beaches are suitable for bathing, nautical sports and recreational activities.
Situated 87 m.a.s.l., its climate is semiarid, typical of the steppe. It features moderate temperatures ranging between 15 and 25° C along the year, as a result of the influence of the Pacific Ocean, although in the summer, it usually reaches peaks of 34° C.
The main accesses to Coquimbo by land are Route 5 North and Route CH 41, which connects the city with the Valley of Elqui and the Argentinian border, through the Agua Negra mountain pass. Its deep port welcomes a large amount of tourist cruises whose passengers visit the main attractions of the city and its surroundings.
Its economy is based on activities related with mining, agriculture and, especially, fishing.
As regards tourism, Coquimbo is famous for the stories of the pirates that attacked the region during the XVIth and XVIIth centuries. In the core of the city stands one of the highest symbols in South America, as far as Christian culture is concerned: the famous Cross of the Third Millennium. In turn, the Mohammed VI cultural center and mosque offers an approach to the Islamic culture, making outstanding contrast with the surrounding buildings.
Whoever visits Coquimbo must tour around the streets of the Barrio Inglés
(English neighborhood), where all the cultural activities and the main restaurants in the area are concentrated. The must-visit points in the city include: the fishing port, the Pampilla area, Fort Coquimbo and the Domo area, where the vestiges of the Ánimas culture are displayed.
Lovers of navigation may go on amusing rides off the city shores, where birdwatching and sea fauna observation are enjoyed.
On the southern shore, Coquimbo is blessed with long beaches and bays of soft sand. La Herradura, Totoralillo, Las Tacas, Morrillos, Playa Blanca, Puerto Velero and Tongoy are the most outstanding bathing resorts, which invite visitors to sunbathe and enjoy the white sands, the temperate crystal-clear waters and the first-class service.
Coquimbo, from coast to coast, a great city waiting to be discovered.