The Mysticism of the Elqui Valley
The route along the Elqui River to the beaches of La Serena crosses about 140 km between hills planted with vineyards and villages that have combined agriculture and tourism for years. Elqui Valley is one of the most visited destinations in Chile, which you can not miss if you are a nature lover and you are looking for a different rest experience traveling through wonderful landscapes in motorhome. Entering 62 km east of La Serena on a paved road, you arrive in Vicuña, a quiet city, famous because the poet and Nobel Prize for Literature, Gabriela Mistral, was born here. From here you can continue traveling towards the interior of the valley until you reach Monte Grande, the town where Gabriela Mistral spent her childhood and where her school, house and tomb is still.
As there are so many alternatives to get to know this place, a good way to start is by visiting the pisco manufacturing plants. There you can know the whole manufacturing process of this grape distillate, making tastings and tours. You will love villages like Algarrobillo, El Tambo, Peralillo, El Molle and San Isidro; Quiet, surrounded by vineyards or fruit trees, with adobe architecture and beautiful churches. In Vicuña and Pisco Elqui, you can find very good restaurants and “chopped” where to eat from kid’s roasts to organic food. You can ask the locals for recommendations, especially if they are jams, empanadas, kneaded bread and delicacies.
In the different corners of the Elqui Valley, many people who try to have a life closer to nature and away from the hustle and bustle of cities have settled down, because this place was supposedly a source of healing energies. To complete this trip for the senses, visit the Mamalluca astronomical observatory, the air purity of the Elqui Valley allows a spectacular observation of the stars.