Top things to do

Cocktail Bar in La Serena


This stylish, upscale pisco bar serves more than 40 varieties, including rare types you won't find elsewhere. You can enjoy it straight or in beautifully made cocktails like the Sangre del Elqui with horchata (a ric…
Asian in La Serena


Tucked away in a residential neighborhood 1.5km south of the plaza, Lemongrass has a loyal local following for its delicious pan-Asian cooking – a rarity in these parts. Grab a table on the small front terrace and f…
Chilean in La Serena

El Guatón

One of La Serena's best restaurants, El Guatón has a covered courtyard with beautifully tiled floors and an aesthetic of rustic elegance – a fine setting for grilled meats and seafood, plus traditional hits like pas…
Cafe in La Serena

Lighthouse Coffee

This hip, art-filled cafe serves the best coffee in town. Linger over Chemex brews and V-60 pour-overs whipped up by friendly baristas. If you're craving something sweet, cast your eye over the strawberry-topped che…
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…
Italian in La Serena

La Terrazza

This polished, high-ceilinged space is a great spot for pizzas, panini, gnocchi and other Italian fare; or you can stop in for an afternoon pick-me-up (cappuccinos, wines by the glass). The prime place to be is on t…
Italian in La Serena

La Mia Pizza

Out on La Serena's oceanfront, La Mia Pizza has a solid reputation among locals for its excellent Italian fare (pizzas, pastas), plus top-notch seafood. It's a classy spot with big windows and a deck overlooking the…
Vegetarian in La Serena


A short walk from the plaza, this little vegetarian oasis serves some fantastic set lunches, delicious fresh juices and innovative sandwiches and salads in a shady garden setting or laid-back dining room.
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…