Once the vast northern desert starts to end, the landscape becomes filled with white-sand beaches and fertile valleys emerging under clear blue skies. Welcome to the Small North, a place full of wonders, and the perfect setting for astronomical observation. Due to a most priviliged climate, the Atacama and Coquimbo Regions shine with an awe-inspiring natural beauty.

Description

Located on the north side of the Small North, on the limit of the second and third regions, Pan de Azúcar National Park stands out for giving shelter to a rare colony of Humbolt penguins. To the south, there's the city of Chañaral, and a copper mine to the east, El Salvador. 

Down the coastline, there's Caldera, the most important mining port of the third region. Nearby, is Bahia Inglesa, a famous Caribbean-style resort with white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Along the Andean Range in the third region, 90 miles away from Copiapó, is the Nevado de Tres Cruces National Park, with many lagoons that serve as haven to numerous bird species. This park, as well as Pan de Azúcar and Llanos de Challe on the coast, are the only protected areas in Atacama region. Also, at the country border next to Argentina, there's Ojos del Salado, the tallest active volcano in the world.

As the climate turns milder to the south, cities and their population increase. In La Serena, capital city of the fourth region, it is possible to visit the mystical Elqui Valley, or the villages of Pisco Elqui and Vicuña, homeland of "pisco" and birthplace of poet Gabriela Mistral, respectively.

The blue skies allow the establishment of the most important groups of astronomical observatories in the southern hemisphere: Las Campanas, La Silla, Comunal Cerro Mamalluca, El Tololo, Cerro Morado, and the European Southern Observatory.

On the coast, near Ovalle, there's the famous Fray Jorge National Park, a unique reserve that has tree species only found in southern forests but that are allowed to grow here because of the "camanchaca", or coastal fog. Other protected areas in the region are the National Reserve Las Chinchillas, and the Talinay National Park.

Los Vilos and Pichidangui are small resorts, as well, easy to get to and with comfortable tourist facilities.

  • La Serena

    La Serena is an important tourist centre of the IV ° Region. Through its famous beaches such as Puerto Velero, Guanaqueros, Tongoy…

  • Elqui Valley

    The Elqui Valley is one of the most visited places in Coquimbo. Its vineyards, flora and fauna, the production of pisco and starry…

  • Bosques de Fray Jorge National Park

    Bosque Fray Jorge National Park is a world biosphere reserve by having a Valdivian forest in a coastal desert area. A natural phenomenon…

  • Coquimbo

    Coquimbo is a port city located in the IV ° Region of Chile. It is characterized by being surrounded by beaches such as Tongoy, Las…

  • Pingüino de Humboldt National Reserve

    The biggest attractions of the Humboldt Penguin national reserve is to visit the crystalline beaches of Isla Damas and Punta de Choros,…

  • Pisco Elqui

    Pisco Elqui is a small town nestled in a hill. It retains its old architecture which can be seen in the houses and the chapel of our…

Highlights in Astronomic Northern & Beaches