The city was founded in the XVIth century by Spaniard Juan Bohón but was soon destroyed by natives. In 1549, another Spanish conqueror, Francisco de Aguirre, refounded the city on the left bank of the Elqui River, slightly apart from the Pacific Ocean.
In the mid XXth century, Gabriel González Videla, a native of La Serena who had been elected as President of Chile, changed the aspect of the city with many new government buildings and schools.

Now, La Serena, together with twin harbour city of Coquimbo, is the fastest groing urban area in Chile and attracts Chilean and foreigners alike with its mild climate, its beautiful beaches and what maight be the best quality of life in the country.