Chile La Serena and Elqui Valley
Southernmost Patagonia is a wilderness of jagged fjords and towering glaciers, where the frostbitten Andes finally crumble into the sea.
La Serena is Chile’s second-oldest city and a very pleasant university town. Following the discovery of silver nearby in the 19th century the town’s prosperity saw the building of fine churches and mansions. It was given a colonial-style facelift in the 1940s and is now a resort town popular among local holidaymakers, who flock to its beaches and nearby attractions. The Elqui valley is a gorgeous oasis with orchards and vineyards set in a cleft in the mountains. Because of the dry climate the sky here is particularly clear and there are two astronomical observatories open to visitors.
Where to go when - our guide to La Serena and Elqui Valley
The weather in La Serena and Elqui Valley is wide and varied
The old university town of La Serena and the fertile oasis of the Elqui valley are renowned for their natural beauty and the unrivalled pisco produced in this region. A visit between October - March is the perfect time to see the lush landscapes in their full glory, with January and February receiving the most visitors. During these months there may be some short bursts of rain, but these are infrequent and most days remain clear and dry - perfect conditions for stargazing at the high-tech Mamalluca observatory. From May - August temperatures cool down and the days grow shorter. However, the pisco distilleries- or pisquerias - of the Elqui valley generally remain open for tours and pisco tasting year-round.View our La Serena and Elqui Valley weather guide
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