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About Coquimbo

Legend has it that pirates crossed the Strait of Magellan to Coquimbo's beaches to bury their treasure. But even if you don't find a pot of gold along Chile's northern coastline, you will discover a city with many jewels.

 

Sparkling along a stretch of idyllic white sand are the shallow waters of La Herradura Bay, a favourite beauty spot against the rocky backdrop of Coquimbo's hills.

 

For a lively mix of music, culture and food, it's worth a wander to the beautifully restored 19th-century Barrio Inglés (English Quarter), or to the fishing jetty for some fresh seafood.

 

Those with a head for heights can climb El Vigía hill to The Third Millennium Cross, a staggering monument which dominates the skyline. A surreal mix between a holy pilgrimage site and viewpoint, there's a museum (largely devoted to the late Pope John Paul II), praying rooms and an elevator ride to the top.

 

Shore excursions in Coquimbo

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Coquimbo and La Serena

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 3 hours

Explore the history and main sights of the city and enjoy some essential souvenir shopping.

Embark on a drive through downtown Coquimbo passing the main square, Plaza de Armas, to the nearby resort of La Herradura, in the Bay of Guayacan. During a photo stop, your guide will regale you with legends of the pirates and corsairs such as Sir Francis Drake and others who plundered these Pacific shores taking refuge and hiding their treasure.

Continue along the Coastal Avenue toward La Serena and along the Avenida del Mar with its beaches, modern hotels and restaurants. At the end of the Avenue is the lighthouse, El Faro, a symbol of the city.

Enjoy a brief stop at La Recova Market, full of typical crafts, papaya products, jumpers knitted from alpaca wool, ceramics with the Diaguita designs, combarbalita stone and jewellery especially crafted from the lapis lazuli, a semi precious stone.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 30 minutes of walking over some uneven terrain. Coaches are not air-conditioned.

La Serena and Elqui Valley

Activity mediumMeal includedShopping

Duration: 8 hours

Visit the Elqui Valley, famous for its clear skies, cultivated pastures and vineyards that produce the national liquor.

Embark on a scenic drive, along Coastal Avenue to the city of La Serena. En route you’ll pass Peñuelas fishing town, Coquimbo Casino and a photo stop will be made at the Old Lighthouse. Enjoy a short walk to La Recova handicraft market. Spend some free time browsing the stalls which sell papaya products, handicrafts of lapis lazuli, pottery, ceramics and alpaca wool garments.

Back onboard your coach, you’ll head out to the Elqui Valley, a narrow valley with a fertile strip of land in the middle of the Andean mountain desert. The area has the clearest atmosphere in the world, and is a popular destination for astronomic purposes. Along the route you’ll pass numerous picturesque villages before arriving at the town of Vicuña. The town is famous for being the birthplace of the literary Nobel Prize winner, Gabriela Mistral.

After lunch in a local restaurant, you’ll visit a distillery brewing the national liquor, Pisco. Learn about the production process and visit the cellars and exhibition room, before sampling Pisco for yourself.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Coaches are not air-conditioned. This tour includes a considerable amount of travel. There is approximately 1½ hours of walking over some uneven terrain.

Petroglyphs and Tabali Vineyards

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 5½ hours

Explore the Enchantment Valley and discover the unusual petroglyph markings, before sampling some of the region's fine wines.

Sit back and relax on a panoramic coastal drive along the Pan-American Highway, passing the beautiful beaches of La Herradura, Las Tacas and Guanaqueros. As you leave the coast behind, you may experience the coastal clouds, known as camanchaca.

The scenery then changes to countryside as you drive along country roads towards ‘Enchantment Valley’. The valley is of great archaeological importance, as it is considered an open-air museum of scientific and cultural interest. Throughout the area there are a number of petroglyphs depicting masks, heads with antennae, tiaras, sun symbols and snake and fish-like shapes deeply engraved in the rocks. You can also see pictographs of lineal drawings, humans and other figures in natural paint.

A rural road leads you to the modern Tabalí Winery, Limarí is currently Chile’s northernmost wine-producing region. Enjoy a guided tour through the vineyards and the production process to learn about the dedicated work required to achieve outstanding taste and quality in a variety of fine wines. Then sample the finished product at a wine tasting session.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2 hours of walking over some uneven ground. The journey time is approximately 1½ hours each way.

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