Top ChoiceMine in Copiapó

Mina San José

In 2010, 33 miners were trapped more than 700m underground after a devastating collapse within the mountain where they'd been working. Following a Herculean effort – which pulled resources from a number of...

Top ChoiceInternational in Vicuña

Chivato Negro

Two blocks east of the plaza, Chivato Negro has a bohemian, vintage vibe with a spacious patio hidden in back. There's a wide-ranging menu of sandwiches, pizzas and regional dishes (like grilled trout), plus a...

Top ChoiceChilean in Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar

Club Social Chañaral

A surprising find in the small town of Chañaral, this exceptional restaurant serves excellent fish (try the pejegallo with capers and beurre blanc) as well as grilled sirloin steaks and budget-friendly lunch...

Top ChoiceChilean in Vallenar

Nativo

On a leafy block a 10-minute walk east of the plaza, this bohemian bar and eatery has earthy decor of wood and adobe, snacks, and pizzas with unusual toppings like goat's cheese and charqui (jerky). Excellent...

Top ChoiceCafe in Caldera

Cafe Museo

Head to this cute little cafe with old posters and newspaper clips, adjacent to Casa Tornini, for its delicious cakes, sandwiches and real espressos on wooden tables inside and a couple more on the sidewalk.

National Park in Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar

Pan de Azúcar

The cold Humboldt Current flows up the desert coastline, bringing with it its peppy namesake penguin and abundant marine life. The worthwhile 44,000-hectare Pan de Azúcar includes white-sand beaches, sheltered...

Island in Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar

Isla Pan de Azúcar

The subtriangular-shaped Isla Pan de Azúcar lies a tantalizingly short distance offshore, its base often shrouded by camanchaca (thick fog) at twilight. It is home to about 2000 Humboldt penguins, as well as...

Museum in Copiapó

Museo Regional de Atacama

This catch-all museum provides an overview of the region's natural and human history, its mineral wealth, and key events that have shaped history over the centuries. Among the wide-ranging displays, you'll find...

Archaeological Site in Valle del Encanto

Monumento Arqueológico Valle del Encanto

An intriguing gallery of pre-Colombian rock art can be found at Monumento Arqueológico Valle del Encanto, a rocky tributary canyon of the Río Limarí 19km west of Ovalle. An array of petroglyphs and pictographs...

Museum in Ovalle

Museo de Limari

Housed in the right flank of the old train-station building, this museum houses dramatically lit ceramics, most of which are Diaguita, dating from around AD 1000 to AD 1500. The museum touches on key facets of...

Winery in Limarí Valley

Tabalí

Tabalí is a great little winery that's making waves in the Limarí Valley. Located at 1600m and planted on a mix of soils (alluvial, transitional, granitic), the vineyards here produce a one-of-a-kind wine that is...

Chilean in Elqui Valley

El Bosque Horcón

An enchanted setting for a meal, El Bosque ('the forest') lives up to its name with outdoor tables surrounded by greenery beside a gurgling river — indeed you'll have to cross a footbridge over the Rio Claro to...

Brewery in Vicuña

Cervecería Guayacan

Cervecería Guayacan

You won't get far in the Elqui Valley without someone offering you a Guayacan, and if you're even vaguely interested in beer, you should accept. This little craft brewery's reputation is growing fast, and brief...

Nature Reserve in Reserva Nacional Pingüino de Humboldt

Reserva Nacional Pingüino de Humboldt

This aquatic reserve, encompassing some 888 hectares and several islands is home to some 68 species of land vertebrates, including sea lions, with bottle-nosed dolphins and the occasional whale (humpback and...

Cocktail Bar in La Serena

Moscatel

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...

Asian in La Serena

Lemongrass

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...

Wildlife Reserve in Parque Nacional Llanos de Challe

Parque Nacional Llanos de Challe

This 45,000-hectare desert park north of Huasco is a great place to escape the crowds. Several well-marked trails take in a bit of the desert flora (and with luck, you might see guanacos). The beaches here are...

Museum in Vicuña

Museo Gabriela Mistral

Museo Gabriela Mistral

The town's landmark Museo Gabriela Mistral, between Riquelme and Baquedano, celebrates one of Chile's most famous literary figures. Gabriela Mistral was born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga in 1889 in Vicuña. The museum...

Chilean in Vicuña

Delicias del Sol

Don't miss lunch at this restaurant 5km southeast of Vicuña, where a group of women discovered a groundbreaking way to cook with sunrays instead of hard-to-find firewood. It's the best of Villaseca's...

Vegetarian in Vicuña

Govinda's

In an airy upstairs space across from the plaza, Govinda's serves up delicious and hearty vegetarian fare, with a menu that changes daily. Spaghetti with vegetables, flavor-packed paella and juicy veggie burgers...