La Serena attractions

Park in La Serena

Jardín del Corazón

With its trickling brooks, drifting swans and neatly manicured rock gardens, this Japanese garden makes an idyllic escape from the city bustle. Don't miss the greenhouse collection of adorable bonsai trees in diminu…
Museum in La Serena

Museo Histórico Casa Gabriel González Videla

Although richly stocked with general historical artifacts, this two-story museum in an 18th-century mansion concentrates on one of La Serena's best-known (and most controversial) sons. González Videla was Chile's pr…
Museum in La Serena

Museo Arqueológico

Inside a crescent-shaped building with a leafy patio, this museum makes an ambitious attempt to corral Chile's pre-Columbian past. Its highlights include an Atacameña mummy, a hefty 2.5m-high moai (large anthropomor…
Plaza in La Serena

Plaza de Armas

The heart of the colonial center is the palm-filled Plaza de Armas. The picturesque square makes a fine place for a stroll with a bit of people-watching. It's also framed by some of the city's most photogenic buildi…
Area in La Serena

Patio Colonial

Tucked off Balmaceda, this small, picturesque lane is dotted with shops and eateries. The patio in back feels like a secret getaway from the city-center bustle, and makes a fine spot for an alfresco coffee or snack.
Church in La Serena

Iglesia San Francisco

The granddaddy of all La Serena's churches is a colonial marvel, two blocks southeast of the plaza and built in the early 1600s. It's a stone construction, with a tower and fancy baroque facade.
Market in La Serena

Mercado La Recova

La Serena's most vibrant market offers a jumble of dried fruits, rain sticks and artisan jewelry, plus a wide range of Andean wool clothing and crafts. It's a handy spot for gift ideas.
Church in La Serena

Iglesia Santo Domingo

The dainty-looking bell tower of Iglesia Santo Domingo looks as though it should have a twirling ballerina inside. The tower is a later addition, only a century old, though the attractive limestone church dates to 1…
Church in La Serena

Iglesia Catedral

The handsome neoclassical Iglesia Catedral dates from 1844; it also has a sobering museum of religious art.
Notable Building in La Serena


Tribunales was built as a result of González Videla’s Plan Serena.