La Rocca is a pub catering to the young traveller or student market. It is housed in a small one-storey building with a central outdoor patio. The atmosphere is always busy, and its popularity with travellers and backpackers means that there are always plenty of people looking to chat and socialise. It is in a great location, just a block away from La Serena’s main drag and right in the centre of town where most of the hotels and hostels are found. A great spot for a chilled evening out.
Club de Jazz
A popular spot with the locals of La Serena, Club de Jazz is in an historic neoclassical home with a beautiful marble staircase as its centrepiece. As its name might suggest, it is a jazz club and hosts live music at weekends. It is located a little further away than the main tourist centre of La Serena, and so is ideal for those looking for a more authentic or historic location for the evening. It also serves food and boasts an extensive wine list. Its focus on slightly more mature local customers makes it a little more sophisticated than the usual tourist joint.
Boicot is a spot popular with young locals, especially due to its huge pitchers of beer. A central courtyard has plenty of tables and seating, which makes it ideal for large groups enjoying a previa before heading out later on in the evening. It also serves basic bar snacks including fries and burgers, and while it is not highly rated for the cleanliness of its toilets, it is a safe bet for somewhere that offers cheap drinks and a social vibe.
Another spot on street Eduardo de la Barra, Tacuba is slightly more low-key and is therefore less of a student bar and more popular with an older demographic. It has a larger offering of food than many other bars in the area which allows for a more relaxed evening with a few drinks, and it offers cocktails as well as the usual beers and wines. The music is mainly rock and pop, with a friendly atmosphere thanks to the tavern-style interior.
Right on the beachfront is El Muelle, a pub which is well-known for its tasty, and also very large, portions of food. It is also open during the day, as well as the evening, and is a great spot to watch the sunset over the beach with a few refreshing cocktails. In the evenings, guests can enjoy a spot of karaoke, or just sit out in the terrace if they are looking for something quieter. It’s hugely popular and is usually full later on in the evening, so turn up early to secure a table.
Kamanga is a pub and nightclub found on La Serena’s beachfront, right at the southern point of the town next to the border with Coquimbo, another town that also has a great nightlife. It offers a number of different events during the week, such as a jazz night, a Mexican night and standard DJ sets. The bar also offers small plates of food, such as sushi, and offers two-for-one deals on drinks every now and again (check their Facebook page for dates).
El Nuevo Peregrino
While El Nuevo Peregrino is more of a restaurant than a bar, it serves a good selection of cocktails and wines, and at weekends stays open late for more of a bar atmosphere. It often hosts live bands (jazz and blues) and offers a more relaxed vibe than many other bars in La Serena. It is in a great location just off the town’s main road, Francisco de Aguirre, but has a less commercial and more homely feel than many other bars and restaurants in the centre. The food is delicious too.