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La Serena and Elqui Valley: Fact file

Visit Us

When to go

Any rain falls in winter, May - Aug, when it’s cool and there are fewer sunshine hours. There are many Chilean and Argentine tourists visiting La Serena in Jan - Feb.

Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency

Chilean Peso.  Notes can be withdrawn from ATMs in La Serena using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also some money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you exchange US dollars cash.

Time difference

GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar.

Getting there

Fly from Santiago to La Serena (1 hour).

Combines with

San Pedro de Atacama, 1.5 hours by air from La Serena to Calama then 2 hours by road.

Key events

La Pampilla: Coquimbo, 12 km from La Serena, 14 - 21 Sep; Chile’s biggest Independence Day party.

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