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.
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 Notes can be withdrawn from ATMs in La Serena using a UK credit or debit card.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.
GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar.
Fly from Santiago to La Serena (1 hour).
San Pedro de Atacama, 1.5 hours by air from La Serena to Calama then 2 hours by road.
La Pampilla: Coquimbo, 12 km from La Serena, 14 - 21 Sep; Chile’s biggest Independence Day party.