The journey that makes the Elqui river up to the beaches of La Serena spans some 140 km between hills planted with vineyards and peoples who for years have combined agriculture with tourism. The Elqui Valley is one of the most visited destinations of Chile, which you cannot miss if you are a nature lover and are looking for a relaxing experience and a different way of traveling through marvelous landscapes in a motorhome. Adentrándote 62 km to the east of La Serena by a paved road, you arrive to Vicuña, a quiet city, famous because here was born the poet and Nobel Prize in literature, Gabriela Mistral. From here you can continue on toward the interior of the valley until you reach Monte Grande, the village in which Gabriela Mistral spent his childhood and where it is still her school, home and her grave.
As there are so many options to get to know this place, a good way to start is by visiting processing plants of pisco. There you can see the entire process of manufacture of this distillate of grapes, doing tastings and tours. You will love villages like Algarrobillo, El Tambo, Peralillo, El Molle and San Isidro; quiet, surrounded by vineyards and fruit trees, with adobe architecture and beautiful churches. In Vicuña and Pisco Elqui, you can find very good restaurants and “picadas” where to eat from roasted kid up to organic food. You can ask for recommendations to the locals, especially if it is a question of jams, empanadas, kneading bread and other typical foods.
In the different corners of the Elqui Valley have been installed to live many people who try to have a life closer to nature and away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, due to the fact that this place was allegedly source of healing energies. To complete this journey to the senses, visit the Mamalluca Astronomical Observatory, the purity of the air of Elqui Valley allows a spectacular observation of the stars.