La Serena is a cheerful place, a mix of chic seafront and artistic old town, surrounded by a mystical and remote area of stunning scenery that climbs east into the Andes.
Clear night skies
Famed for having the clearest skies in the Southern Hemisphere, this blissfully tranquil area houses a large number of observatories such as Tololo and Mamalluca, and attracts spiritualists as well as astronomers due to its reputedly unusual magnetic quality.
The Elqui Valley
Tiny and impossibly picturesque villages — Montegrande, Vicuña, Pisco Elqui — dot the valley’s cultivated slopes and it is in these that Nobel Prize winner Gabriela Mistral lived and taught.
This is also the heart of pisco grape growing country and a visit just wouldn’t be complete without a distillery visit and tasting.