With year-round sunny weather and some of the cleanest, clearest skies in the entire Southern Hemisphere, it's little wonder that travelers come to Chile's Coquimbo Region to be outside. Whether you're lounging on an ocean beach or gazing at a star-filled night sky, you'll experience an arid meeting place of ocean, mountains, and verdant farmland in this 15,668-square-mile region. Here in Chile's Norte Chico, or "Little North," there's no better way to make yourself at home than by savoring the comfort of our Coquimbo Region vacation rentals.
Where is the Coquimbo Region?
Bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and Argentina's San Juan Province to the east, the Coquimbo Region was one of Chile's eight original provinces created in 1826. Now home to approximately 688,000 residents, this section of Northern Chile sits between the Valparaíso Region to the south and the sands of the Atacama Desert to the north. From the regional capital of La Serena, you'll be 269 miles north of the colorful port city of Valparaíso and 294 miles north of bustling downtown Santiago.
No matter if you're driving the Pan-American Highway or riding Chile's north-south railroad, your journey begins in the tranquil oceanfront city of La Serena. A magnet for beach-goers in the peak of summer, Chile's second-oldest city is known and loved for its neocolonial architecture, its tree-lined avenues, and its golden stretch of sandy beach.
La Serena also sits at the mouth of the Elqui Valley, the epicenter of Chilean pisco production and a hub for professional and aspiring astronomers. Head east toward the inland city of Vicuña to find a cluster of world-class observatories that attract guests with their telescopes and tours, including the Observatorio Cerro Mayu 16 miles east, the Observatorio Mamalluca 44 miles east, and the Observatorio Pangue just three miles further.
The working seaport of Coquimbo, which sits on the rocky Península Coquimbo eight miles south of La Serena, is home to a lovely English Quarter and an ever-growing nightlife scene. A bit further south is the agricultural center of Ovalle and the greater Limarí Valley, where you'll find vast tracts of irrigated farmland and treasures made from local stores of lapis lazuli and soapstone.
The southernmost reaches of the Coquimbo Region are marked by the Choapa Valley, where you can visit the Las Chinchillas National Reserve, a 10,450-acre reserve that protects Chile's last colonies of chinchillas from extinction.
Let our Coquimbo Region vacation rentals show you the bounty of Chile's Norte Chico - begin planning your South American adventure today!
Photo Credit: Cristobal Kuhn via Flickr