Coquimbo nestled in Northern Chile, means “place of calm water”, a happy accident of geography that encouraged its development as an important port. According to legend, the English corsair Sir Francis Drake has buried a considerable treasure in the city. In the early 19th century, Coquimbo was just a small fishing village, but when the railway reached the area joining the copper mines to the sea, the town and population increased dramatically. Today, Coquimbo offers the pleasures of a picturesque seaside promenade, the beautifully restored 19th-century architecture of the English Neighborhood and several fine beaches.

Port: Coquimbo
Experience

Coquimbo

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  • Executive Collection Half Day Van

    PRICE is per vehicle

    This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.

    The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.

    Capacity: 6 guests

    PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.

    Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.

    Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.

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  • Coquimbo and La Serena

    Please note only Non Air-conditioned transportation is available.

    As you drive through downtown Coquimbo, you will pass the Plaza de Armas or main square, where you will see a mix of colonial and modern architecture. Continue on to La Herradura. During a brief stop at this seaside resort, your guide will regale you with legends of pirates and corsairs. Proceeding along the coast, you will see the old lighthouse, symbol of La Serena. Then make your way down the lovely tree-lined Francisco de Aguirre Avenue. You'll stop at the archaeological museum, which houses the most complete collection of pre-colonial artifacts from this region. There is a splendid display of Diaguita pottery as well as an original Moai from Easter Island. A short walk from the museum brings you to La Recova Market, where you will have some free time to browse among handicrafts, pottery, papaya products, semi-precious stones and alpaca wool handicrafts. Your next stop is La Serena University. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city and Coquimbo Bay before returning to the pier.

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  • A Visit to Tabali Winery

    We depart from the pier and drive south on the Pan-American Highway, along the coast and past beautiful

    beaches such as La Herradura, Las Tacas, and Guanaqueros. As we leave the coast behind, we will

    observe the permanent thick fog known as camanchaca, or coastal clouds, above the hillside, a phenomenon that produces moisture in this area. Then,

    going inland to the east, we will see crops of "pepino", here called sweet cucumber - and the raising of cattle.

    We proceed along the 'Road of Grapes and Vineyards,' on our way through a fertile land area and its wide variety of crops.

    We will then arrive at Tabali Vineyard, which is surrounded by gentle rocky slopes in a semi-arid valley of the pre-Andean range that

    stretches from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean. It is located just south of Atacama Desert and only 400 kilometers north of Santiago.

    First, explore the various varieties of grapes grown in the region and learn about the whole process of making Chilean wine. Next, visit the

    cellars, followed by wine tasting and a cocktail before returning to the pier in Coquimbo.

    Please note: The scenic drive to the winery is approximately 11/2 hours.

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  • Journey to Elqui Valley

    Departing from Coquimbo pier, you will head towards Elqui Valley, which has a geographic configuration unique in the world formed by a narrow valley but fertile strip of land in the middle of an Andean mountainous desert that is irrigated by Elqui river, whose water comes down the high mountains. This place has the clearest atmosphere in the world, especially for astronomic purposes. Driving along the valley, you will pass by typical villages such as Algarrobito, El Molle, and El Tambo.

    You will visit a national drink distillery factory (Pisco) where you will learn about the making of Pisco, which is produced and bottled in this region. Pisco is achieved through the distillation of wine produced from different grape varieties; visit the cellars and exhibition room of Pisco, followed by a tasting. The tour continues to the picturesque town of Vicuña, the main town, which is located 60 kilometers from La Serena, the place where Gabriela Mistral (literature Nobel Prize winner) was born. Here, you will have some time to visit the main square, Bauer Tower (old city hall), and Vicuña's church. Afterwards, enjoy refreshments at a local restaurant.

    You will then return to La Serena. Making a stop, you will visit La Recova handicraft market, where you will find papaya products, handicrafts of Combarbalita, and lapis lazuli (semiprecious stones), pottery and ceramics with Diaguita motifs, and alpaca wool articles. Finally, you will have a panoramic view of the city while returning to the pier.

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  • Petroglyphs and Vineyards in the Limari Valley

    We depart from the pier and drive south on the Pan-American Highway, along the coast and past beautiful beaches such as La Herradura, Las Tacas, and Guanaqueros. As we leave the coast behind, we will observe the permanent thick fog known as camanchaca, or coastal clouds, above the hillside, a phenomenon that produces moisture in this area. Then, going inland to the east, we will see crops of "pepino", here called sweet cucumber - and the raising of cattle.

    We will drive towards "Enchantment Valley" traveling on a country road. This valley has great archaeological importance, being

    considered an open-air museum of scientific and cultural interest. The "El Molle Culture" and other groups of hunters inhabited this valley

    from circa 2,000 B.C. until A.D. 600. In this area, it is possible to find an incredible and interesting number of petroglyphs depicting masks,

    heads with antennae, tiaras, sun symbols and snake-like and fish-like shapes deeply engraved in rocks. Also, it is possible to see

    pictographs of lineal drawings, human beings and other figures in natural paint. We will also have the opportunity of seeing the small cup

    stones or Piedras Tacitas.

    Continue along the Road of Grapes and Vineyards towards Tabalí Vineyard. The offer from Viña Tabalí consists of eight different types of wine, each one with its own special and distinctive characteristics. The main characteristic present in its two lines; Reserve and Special Reserve; is that both were prepared "over a slow fire" as a result of a very moderate climate where the maximum and minimum temperatures are not extreme and where there is scanty rainfall. You will have an informative visit of the winery followed by a wine tasting, along with some snacks and refreshments before returning to the ship.

    Please note: Only non air-conditioned transportation is available. The first petroglyphs are approximately 200 meters from where buses stop. Therefore, guests with mobility concerns or difficulty walking will be able to see some petroglyphs. However, This tour includes approximately 1.5 hours of walking - at times on uneven ground and dirt roads, as well as several steps to negotiate. Wheelchair accessible ramps are available at a slightly longer distance.

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  • Journey to Elqui Valley

    Departing from Coquimbo pier, you will head towards Elqui Valley, which has a geographic configuration unique in the world formed by a narrow valley but fertile strip of land in the middle of an Andean mountainous desert that is irrigated by Elqui river, whose water comes down the high mountains. This place has the clearest atmosphere in the world, especially for astronomic purposes. Driving along the valley, you will pass by typical villages such as Algarrobito, El Molle, and El Tambo.

    You will visit a national drink distillery factory (Pisco) where you will learn about the making of Pisco, which is produced and bottled in this region. Pisco is achieved through the distillation of wine produced from different grape varieties; visit the cellars and exhibition room of Pisco, followed by a tasting. The tour continues to the picturesque town of Vicuña, the main town, which is located 60 kilometers from La Serena, the place where Gabriela Mistral (literature Nobel Prize winner) was born. Here, you will have some time to visit the main square, Vicuña's church and view the Bauer Tower (old city hall). Afterwards, enjoy refreshments at a local restaurant.

    You will then return to La Serena. Making a stop, you will visit La Recova handicraft market, where you will find papaya products, handicrafts of Combarbalita, and lapis lazuli (semiprecious stones), pottery and ceramics with Diaguita motifs, and alpaca wool articles. Finally, you will have a panoramic view of the city while returning to the pier.

    Read More
  • Coquimbo and La Serena

    As you drive through downtown Coquimbo, you will pass the Plaza de Armas or main square, where you will see a mix of colonial and modern architecture.

    Continue on to La Herradura. During a brief stop at this seaside resort, your guide will regale you with legends of pirates and corsairs. Proceeding along the coast, you will see the old lighthouse, symbol of La Serena. Then make your way down the lovely tree-lined Francisco de Aguirre Avenue.

    Your next stop is at La Recova Market, where you will have some free time to browse among handicrafts, pottery, papaya products, semi-precious stones and alpaca wool handicrafts. Your next stop is La Serena University and afterwards, you'll enjoy a panoramic view of the city and Coquimbo Bay before returning to the pier.

    Please note: This tour is mostly panoramic with limited optional walking at the stops and during free time. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Only non air-conditioned transportation is available.

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  • Cerro Tololo Observatory & Elqui Valley

    Visit remote Cerro Tololo Observatory in the Elqui Valley and discover some of the astronomical wonders that scientists have observed in the night sky.

    After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a leisurely 90 minute drive deep into the Elqui Valley, a region known for hillside vineyards, pisco distilleries and clear skies that are ideal for stargazing. The secluded valley has been designated the world’s first Dark Sky Sanctuary, which ensures that the quality of its nocturnal environment will be protected.

    Officially, it’s named the Gabriela Mistral Dark Sky Sanctuary, a nod to the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean author whose lyric poetry was inspired by the valley’s haunting landscape.

    The favorable atmospheric conditions and lack of ambient city lights are why so many observatories are located in the Elqui Valley, including the Cerro Tololo Observatory. Founded in 1965 atop two mountains, the observatory compound houses several high-powered telescopes and other astronomical instruments that scan the night skies.

    As you tour Cerro Tololo, the guide will explain how the telescopes operate and perhaps delve into the observatory’s scientific research on the Milky Way Galaxy and Magellanic Clouds. You may also hear a brief and enlightening lecture on basic astronomy.

    Afterwards, you will enjoy a traditional Chilean lunch in the Elqui Valley town of Vicuña, where Mistral was born. Later, you will pause for photos in Vicuña’s historical main plaza before following a picturesque route back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes just under 2 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing that will include some steps, uneven and natural surfaces and to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Due to the high altitude of the observatory, this tour is not recommended for anyone with heart, respiratory conditions or high blood pressure. Comfortable, layered clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat walking shoes are recommended.

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