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Los Vilos is both a Chilean coastal comuna and a coastal city with over 9,000 inhabitants , located in the Province of Choapa, part of the IV Region of Coquimbo. Its main activity is fishing. The city also has a significant amount of tourism, mainly due to its two beaches: La Principal and Las Conchas. It is located at from La Serena and from Santiago.
The city was founded in 1830, and was declared a minor harbor in 1855. As of 2009, the city is still an important harbor.
The name Los Vilos comes from the Mapudungun word vilo which means snake.
Los Vilos has existed as a small informal settlement since 1835, when the government realised that a port was needed in that region to expand the reach of commerce in the country. On January 3, 1855, it was declared a minor port by then president, Manuel Montt and by his Minister of Finance, Jose Maria Berganza, through a supreme decree of the Finance Ministry.
On April of that same year a permission was granted by the government to start the construction of a dock, warehouses and commerce related buildings. On December 1857, it was determined that a town needed to be built so 25 blocks, that used to belong to the Conchali Hacienda, were designed and sold by Hernan Jequier as a public utility. The town was located around the small pre-existing settlement.
The port responded to the need to regulate the commerce in the area, so a customs office, that depended on the Valparaiso custom, was created. The economy of Los Vilos initially depended largely on commerce.
The comuna has a considerable amount of tourism, in both the Los Vilos City, and in the small coastal town of Pichidangui.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Los Vilos