Fodor's Expert Review Playa Peñuelas
Stretching along the city’s coastline up until neighboring Coquimbo, this sandy city beach is La Serena’s star attraction and a popular spot for families, surfers, and couples, who come to enjoy the great views over the bay at sunset. Like many city beaches, though, it suffers from mild trash problems in parts and is overrun with tourists during the summer high season. Be sure the beach is marked with a sign that says Playa Apta before swimming, as the high waves and fierce currents often make it a dangerous place for swimmers. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards (summer only); parking (fee); toilets. Best for: sunset; surfing; walking.