Coquimbo Travel Guide

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Coquimbo Overview

Coquimbo is one of the largest port cities in Chile and the capital of the Elqui Province located in the IV Region. Coquimbo lies just a few kilometers south of La Serena, with which it forms a large metropolitan area.

The natural harbor in Coquimbo was taken over by Pedro de Valdivia from Spain in 1550. The gold and copper industry in the region led to the city's importance as a port around 1840 and many Europeans especially from England settled in Coquimbo. In 1867, it was recognized as a town. It is currently undergoing a process of urban renewal initiated by its mayor, which is leading to the emergence of a vivid, trendy nightlife and an active art and music scene.

The city itself, a gritty industrial and shipping center, is growing quickly, registering a 32.8% growth rate from 1992 to 2002. Tourism has started to develop recently. It is an access point for popular beach towns to the south, such as Guanaqueros and Tongoy. The port is still important for shipping, especially fruit and copper from mines in the region. Wine is also grown in the region.

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Being nearly 500 years old, La Serena is the second oldest city in Chile. It has served as a stopping point for both naval and overland travelers for centuries. It is a melting pot of cultu…
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