Coquimbo is a port city, commune and capital of the Elqui Province, located on the Pan-American Highway, in the Coquimbo Region of Chile. Coquimbo lies in a valley 10 km (6 mi) south of La Serena, with which it forms Greater La Serena with more than 400,000 inhabitants. The commune spans an area around the harbor of 1,429.3 km2 (552 sq mi).
The natural harbor in Coquimbo was taken over by Pedro de Valdivia from Spain in 1550. The gold and copper industry in the region led to the city's importance as a port around 1840 and many Europeans especially from England settled in Coquimbo. In May 5, 1867, it was recognized as a town.