The Golden Princess left Valparaiso on March 14 and arrived at the port of Coquimbo, Chile, the next morning. You won’t see a whole lot of Coquimbo because Ursula and I didn’t see a lot of Coquimbo. We had another destination in mind, one that will take up the better part of the next couple of weeks.
Coquimbo is just over 210 straight-line miles/340 kilometers north of Valparaiso. We arrived very early in the morning — before dawn even — so the pictures you see here were taken in the late afternoon after our return from our inland journey that day away from the Golden Princess.
As you can tell from today’s photographs, this is a major port city with a large number of fishing boats.
The city itself, beyond the port, is impressively large and densely populated with an apparently diverse and eclectic population. This next photo may surprise you a bit, considering Chile is predominantly Catholic, but it’s indicative of a tolerant society:
I wish we had the time to explore this impressive structure, as I find many mosques at least as fascinating and picturesque as cathedrals and churches (see: Istanbul in Words and Pictures and Nine Days out of Barcelona — Barcelona, Casablanca, and Rabat). At any rate, you can see more of both the exterior and interior at this site: Discovering the Beautiful Mosque in Coquimbo Chile. The blogger here has some really wonderful photographs of it.
Ursula and I boarded our tour bus and headed northeast along the coast to La Serena, but that was not our ultimate destination this day as you will discover on Wednesday. It was still relatively dark when we stopped at Faro Monumental de La Serena (Lighthouse Monumental of La Serena):