Destination guide: La Serena, Chile
La Serena is one of the most visited beach resorts in Chile, especially during the summer, when the beaches and great climate of the central-northern zone captivate both Chilean and foreign tourists. Its inhabitants have also made sure they have preserved its colonial architecture, especially in the historic center, keeping the spirit of the city alive. They have also known how to recount the stories and legends of the privateers and pirates who came to its coast in search of treasure.
Fly with LAN and visit the cathedral, the Lighthouse, the Japanese Park, the Recova, the Elqui Valley and many other interesting places near La Serena.
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La Serena - Practical Information
Nationals of the US, Canada, Australia and the EU do not need a visa to visit Chile. Passports are obligatory and are essential for cashing traveler's checks, checking into hotels and other routine activities.
The Chilean government collects a US$132/56/132 'reciprocity' fee from arriving US/Australian/Canadian citizens in response to these governments imposing a similar fee on Chilean citizens applying for visas. The payment applies only to tourists arriving by air in Santiago and is valid for the life of the passport. Payment must be made in cash; exact change necessary. It is advisable to carry your passport: Chile's police can demand identification at any moment, and many hotels require you to show it upon check-in.
If your passport is lost or stolen, notify the police, ask them for a police statement, and notify your consulate as soon as possible.
Shops in Chile open by 10am, Government offices and businesses open from 9am to 6pm. Banks are open 9am to 2pm weekdays. Tourist offices stay open long hours daily in summer, but have abbreviated hours in the off-season. In many provincial cities and towns restaurants and services are closed on Sunday. Museums are often closed Monday. Restaurant hours vary widely, but most places are open from noon till 11pm. Many restaurants do not open for breakfast and quite a few close for the lull between lunch and dinner.
Weights & Measures
Check the website for Chilean customs (www.aduana.cl) if you're concerned about what and how much you can take in and out of the country.
There are no restrictions on import and export of local and foreign currency. Duty-free allowances include purchases of up to US$500. Travelers should consult the Chilean Customs website information for foreigners at www.aduana.cl/prontus_aduana_eng/site/edic/base/port/foreign_travelers.html (in English) for information on allowances.
European plug with two circular metal pins