Colchagua means "the place of small lakes," and the valley that bears this name has a wealth of culture and traditions that make it well worth a visit. Once part of the Incan Empire, it later became a popular spot among Chile's elite. Some of the mansions that they built here are still standing.
Colchagua is one of a series of valleys that transects Chile's central region. Its soils are nourished by the waters of the Tinguiririca River and it is home to two of the region's major cities, San Fernando and Santa Cruz, as well as prominent tourism spots such as Chimbarongo, Lolol and Pichilemu.
Don't miss the chance to explore the renowned Colchagua Wine Route, which covers 17 wineries that produce world-class red and white wines. Most offer tours of their vineyards and cellars as well as wine tastings. The area also boasts hotels, restaurants, shops that carry local food products and handicrafts, trail rides and the "Tren del Vino" (Wine Train).
Local criolla culture and traditions also have attracted the attention of visitors. For example, Chimbarongo is a small village known for its wickerwork, some of which can even be found in stalls off the highway. Lolol, for its part, has been deemed a "Heritage Zone" by Chile's Council of National Monuments thanks to efforts to maintain its beautiful centuries-old colonial architecture.
If you want to visit one of Chile's best surfing beaches, head to Pichilemu, where the Colchagua Valley meets the Pacific. If you prefer to steep yourself further in the history and tradition of this captivating region, drive 40 km east to Santa Cruz, where you can visit the Museo de Colchagua, which houses one of the best cultural heritage collections in Chile.
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