Coquimbo is a city of 257,000 people (2017) in Northern Chile. Coquimbo sits on a peninsula, triangular in shape; the old sector of the city is to the east of it, on an extension of land, long and narrow in a north-south direction, at about 10 m above sea level. The bay allows the port to be protected from the swell of the open sea, which can be seen at the northern end of it.
At first glance, it looks to be a jumble of concrete on a peninsula, but Coquimbo is an active industrial and fishing port and reportedly has a growing nightlife scene in its English Quarter.
The temperatures of summer range from 17 °C to 26 °C rarely reaching almost 30 °C. In winter, the maximum temperature ranges between 12 °and 16 °C, while the minimum drops to 4 °C and sometimes is around 0 °C. The moisture perceptible to people is relatively high.
The cloudiness can vary between totally clear days to abundant low altitude cloudy, accompanied by drizzles and sometimes by dense fogs. It is very frequent that it dawns cloudy and clears towards noon. On some occasions the cloudy ones last several days, with rains that only develop in the winter season.
- 1 Cruz Del Tercer Milenio, Tte Merino 32, ☏ . Daily 09:30-18:00. This 83-m-high concrete cross looms over the city. It has an observation deck for 360-degree views even of La Serena but also of the poor barrios of Lookout Hill immediately below.
- 2 Fuerte de Coquimbo or Castillo del Carmen (Fuerte Lambert), Camino Al Fuerte 20. Daily 09:00-20:00. Remains of military fort that was used for defense against the war with Spain in 1865 and then against Peru during the War of the Pacific in the 1870s. Today, aside from the historical significance, you can look out to view an isle with pelicans and sea lions.
- 3 Centro Cultural Mohamed VI, Independencia 171. This mosque seems a bit surreal placed on a hill in the city center in a country that is predominantly Catholic and has relatively few followers of Islam.
- 4 . Another lookout, but this one over the Bahia Herradura de Guayacan (Bay of Guayacan) on the south side of Coquimbo.
- 5 Mirador De La Herradura. While La Serena may have the monopoly on beaches, here is a beach nonetheless, on the Bay of Guayacan.
The coastal edge of Coquimbo is privileged by its extensive beaches and bays with soft sand. Its spas, La Herradura, Totoralillo, Las Tacas, Morrillos, Playa Blanca, Puerto Velero, Guanaqueros and Tongoy, offer sun, white sands, crystalline warm waters, and spa services.
The retail trade is mainly concentrated in Aldunate street, where the main stores ( La Elegant , Johnson , La Polar , Abcdin ) are located along with shopping malls and offices, near Aldunate street, in Varela avenue is also the center Mall Vivo de Coquimbo with the Paris , Hites, Ripley and H&M stores as well as Cine Hoyts ; in turn, you can find the Arauco Premium Outlet Coquimbo on Avenida La Cantera.
- 1 Caleta de Coquimbo. Daily 08ː00-18ː00. Where the fishmongers do their business. Prepare for some potentially strong smells.
- 2 Mall VIVO Coquimbo, Varela 1524. Daily 09ː30-20ː30. Mall with food court and theater.
Coquimbo has made a name for itself with its lively nightlife/bar scene in the English Quarter largely along Aldunate.
- 1 BlueMoon Chile, Sierra con, Juan Melgarejo 502. W-M 13:00-23:00, closed Tu. People let their hair down here with live music, neon lights, and smooth drinks.
- 2 Restobar Lodoncito, Aldunate 805. F Sa 18:00-03:00ish, M-Th 18:00-02:00ish, closed Su. Has quite an English pub feel to go with the English Quarter in which it is located.
- 3 El Viejo Bar Ingles, Aldunate 669, ☏ . F Sa 11:00-05:00. Food and drinks in a convivial setting with tables.
- 1 Hostel Del Puerto, near corner of Aldunate and Carmilo Henriquez, ☏ . This is great for those who want to be in a very urban setting, with some pretty cool views from its rooftop. Twin or triple US$43, double US$46.