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Elqui Valley

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Valle del Elqui – An Oasis for the Senses

The Elqui River runs some 140 km to the beaches of La Serena, passing through hills laden with vineyards and towns that have made blending agriculture and tourism a local tradition. This is Valle del Elqui (Elqui Valley), one of the country's most popular tourist destinations and the perfect destination for those looking to connect with nature and enjoy a different kind of vacation experience.

Take a paved road east from La Serena (62 km) to the tranquil city of Vicuña, which is best known as the birthplace of Nobel Prize-winning poet Gabriela Mistral. From here, you can venture further into the valley and visit Monte Grande, the town where Mistral spent her childhood. It is still home to her school, her home and her gravesite.

There are many ways to experience this destination, and a visit to the pisco plants is a good place to start. Tours offer a great opportunity to learn about the production process, taste this grape distillate and shop.

Towns like Algarobillo, El Tambo, Peralillo, El Molle and San Isidro offer a relaxed atmosphere, plenty of vineyards and orchards, adobe architecture and beautiful churches.

If you're a fan of adventure sports, try the local trekking routes, horseback riding excursions and paths for bike and Jeep tours.

Vicuña and Pisco Elqui are surrounded by vineyards and have excellent restaurants and "picadas" (small local restuarants) which serve everything from roasted goat to organic cuisine. Ask the locals for recommendations, especially when it comes to marmalades, empanadas, pan amasado (kneaded bread) and manjar.

Valle del Elqui has attracted a number of people who are looking to live far from the hectic pace of city life. Given that this place is a source of healing energies, it's easy to find accommodations that offer alternative therapies, including reiki, meditation and massages. The beautiful landscapes of the nearby Cochiguaz Valley are home to a center that focuses on mysticism and alternative therapies.

To complete this journey of the senses, visit the Mamalluca Astronomy Center. The pure Valle del Elqui air allows for some spectacular stargazing opportunities.


Featured Destinations


bLa Serena
cFray Jorge National Park


fElqui Valley
GLimarí Valley


Getting There

avionBy Plane

From Santiago, there are daily flights to the La Florida Aerodrome in La Serena (1h).


busBy Bus

Buses depart from:
- Terminal Los Héroes: Located on Tucapel Jiménez and Alameda near the Los Héroes Metro Station. A number of bus lines offer service to the northern part of the country. Telephone: (562) 420-0099
- Terminal San Borja (formerly Terminal Norte): Located at San Borja and Alameda near the Estación Central train station. Bus companies offer service to northern Chile and within the Metropolitan Region. Telephone: (562) 776-0645
Bus service to Monte Patria, Pisco Elqui and Vicuña is available from Coquimbo and La Serena.

autoBy Car

From Santiago, take Route 5 north to Coquimbo (458 km) and La Serena (470 km). From La Serena, take Route 41 east to Vicuña (62 km). The road to Pisco Elqui is paved.




Horseback Excursions Visiting the Pisco Plants UFO Sightings
A number of tourism companies offer lengthy horseback excursions in the valley. The tour cycles begin at 10:00 am and end at 10:00 pm (Monday to Friday). Just head to the plant that interests you. Groups are organized and tours start as people arrive. This is a very interesting destination for UFO enthusiasts. More sightings are reported here than nearly anywhere else in Chile.


Travellers and their experience in The Valle del Elqui


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