commune of Chile

Vicuña is the largest town in Valle de Elqui, Northern Chile. There is a tourist information at the NW corner of the Plaza de Armas.

Get inEdit

From La Serena, several buses daily (CLP$2,500) from Terminal de buses (at 06:00, 06:55, 09:20, 11:30, 12:15, 13:00, 14:00, 16:30, 18:30 and 19:30) and colectivos/minibuses (CLP$2,800) at least every hour from the provincial bus station north west of the Japanese Garden. The last colectivos back to La Serena are at around 20:30 from Pisco Elqui and 21:00 from Vicuña. Furthermore, there are also at least two Turbus buses from Vicuña after that, the last one at 22:45, but please re-check.

Get aroundEdit

The town itself is entirely walkable. Tourist information center on Plaza de Armas provides simple map of town.


  • Star gazing. If you came here because you were told the valley offers the most stunning views of the night sky, you will be disappointed. Nowadays, the city produces so much light dust, you will have a hard time finding a spot that is really dark. Even deeper into the Pisco valley, it will be hard to keep up the darkness due to the ever increasing flow of tourists into this region. However, do not be disappointed and kill your sadness with a fine Pisco (coke, sour or pure).
  • 1 Puclaro Dam. Check out this scenic dam between La Serena and Vicuña.


  • 1 Cerro de la Virgen. Climb the small mountain (the one with the antennas on) just north of town for a complete panorama of the surroundings. Mind the sun, and bring some water along.
  • 2 Mamalluca Observatory. It provides tours in Spanish and English. Tours are in the evening and include star observation using big telescope, outside constellation description using laser pointer, taking pictures of the moon and short theoretical PowerPoint. Tours can be booked on the same day at the office: Gabriela Mistral 260. Instead of taking a minibus, you can also hike there and potentially see the night sky after dusk. CLP$4,500 for the tour and CLP$3,000 per person for minibus to observatory.
  • Otherwise, there are several astronomic observatories in the neighbouring mountains.
  • A local Pisco distillery offers tours for CLP$2,000 per person.



  • Tito's (just off the Plaza de Armas). Neat and spacious. Set menu at CLP$2,500.



  • Residencial La Elquina, O'Higgins 65 (from the bus terminal's south side, walk west for three and a half blocks), +56 51 41 13 17, . With friendly managers and homey atmosphere, this place offers a beautiful garden in the back to pitch your tent. Kitchen (small but usable), Wi-Fi, hot water. CLP$5,000/person camping, CLP$25,000 double with private bathroom.

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