Colchagua Valley

Santiago, Valparaíso & Central Valleys

Thanks to the emergence of the vineyards and wine, this “Tierra Huasa” with Chilean traditions and land has been populated with restaurants, boutique hotels, and a range of activities that will let you enjoy the taste of this land of pleasures.

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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 13 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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Colchagua Museum

This museum boasts finely curated collections that include carriages, jewels, garments, and trains. This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Chile’s colonial era through soldiers’ uniforms, letters, everyday objects, and much more on display. It is well worth a visit.

Traditional villages

It is just a small detour on the road to see colonial houses and villages,and huasos (Chilean cowboys) riding where they live as if time had stood still for years. Here the damages from the February 27th earthquake are still evident, but that does not stop visitors from obseving wonders such as the railway station Placilla, which was declared a national monument, the flowered facade of the houses in Población Village or traditional farms in Marchigue. A must-see is the village of Lolol, whose historic center has been declared a traditional area due to its cobbled streets surrounded by houses of continuous corridors. If you need another good excuse to visit, here we find the Museum of Chilean Crafts, where you can experience the different cultures of Chile.

Los Maitenes Dairy

You simply must stop here to buy their wonderful candies, homemade caramels with milk, exotic jams, and fresh and aged cheeses. But the most interesting fact about this farm is that children can learn about dairy products, see the production process, and play on the farm with animals. Some of visitors’ favorite activities are milking cows, giving bottles of milk to the calves, and finding chicken eggs among the plants. If you give advance notice of your visit, the owner will prepare breakfast or picnics with homemade bread, farm eggs, fruit juices, barbecued meat, and all the delicacies of their dairy.

Astronomical Center Chaman Hill

All visitors are amazed by the power of the six telescopes at the observatory of Santa Cruz Vineyard. Here you can observe the universe guided by experts who teach how to differentiate the celestial bodies didactically, as well as enjoy the largest collection of meteorites and siderite of Chile.

Santa Cruz

Tradition, wine, and culture define this city in the heart of the Colchagua Valley, 191 km from Santiago. Santa Cruz was founded on December 22, 1891, and its history is closely tied to that of the valley in which it is situated. The land here is irrigated by the waters of the Tinguiririca River, which runs north of the city on its way to Lake Rapel. Thanks to these waters, Santa Cruz is a thriving agricultural community that produces fruit, wheat, and corn. It is also the place to taste one of Chile’s most renowned products—wine—which has put this small rural city on the map.

Horseback Riding at the Arrayán Farm

This magnificent property is situated 18 kilometers from Santa Cruz where local breeder, Francisco Rivera, has 60 Chilean, And a lusian and Arabic thoroughbreds and offers horseback riding to Punta del Viento, a hill on his property that offers the best views of Colchagua Valley and its vineyards. Up on the hill you can enjoy a wine and cheese tasting and upon their return tourists are received with a hearty local feast.

Wine Route

This route is known to be among the top ten wine routes in the world. Some of the best Cabernet, Carmenere, Syrah, and Malbec of the country owe their quality to this coastal, temperate climate and special conditions of the terrain.

Visiting the Santa Cruz Vineyards

This vineyard is located on the way to the beautiful village of Lolol and has a very innovative wine tourism package. On top of the traditional wine cellar tours where the production process is demonstrated, there are car and bicycle rides, horseback riding, and trekking. But the most interesting thing to visit here is the indigenous village located on a hill with an excellent view of the valley and the vineyard. From up there you can take a cable car to see replicas of a Mapuche hut, an Aymara shelter, the sun gate of Tiwanaku, and an Ahu from Rapa Nui, along with the Shaman Hill Observatory where astrological tours are made on clear nights.

Viu Manent Vineyard

The tour of the farm can be done in traditional cars that take visitors through the vineyard, the winery, and visitor center where this family business was founded in 1935. The renowned equestrian club is found here (where you can take riding lessons), and a famous restaurant where you can spend a nice afternoon enjoying the Chilean pastries and the best view of the vineyard. You can also take a wine-tasting or simply enjoy a wine tasting and food pairing, horseback riding, and the opportunity to make your own wine.

Montes Vineyard

You can visit the new winery at the Apalta Valley, where you can observeits sophisticated winemaking technology. You can also take a stroll through the vineyard and enjoy a tasting of its fine selection of wines from parcel number 15, Millahue, and Apalta.

Casa Lapostolle Vineyard

In this vineyard you will visit the spectacular wine cellar, a magnificent work of engineering consisting of a 6-storey building nestled on a hillside of the Apalta Valley with a striking design. You can also taste their award-winning wines.

Casa Silva Vineyard

Apart from the traditional tour of the winery and its vineyards, you can also see polo and rodeo exhibitions here at the equestrian club and the medialuna, which is home of the rodeo events. They also offerriding lessons and outingsin old cars on the Angostura Farm to enjoy the beauty of the Colchagua Valley. It has an excellent restaurant located in an old barrel room in the cellar, and specializes in fusions between international cuisine and local flavors.

Montgras Vineyard

The vineyard offers activities that connect the visitor with the vineyard, such as: making your own wine, playing the role of winemaker for a day, mixing varieties and labeling your own wine. Visitors can also learn about the harvest and select grapes at harvest time. Another activity offered is blind wine tasting, which is a proven way of recognizing grape varieties, and`tasting and pairings, where visitors learn to pair wine with food.

Bisquertt Vineyard

A visit to the delicious Q Clay restaurant can be combined with a tour of this beautiful vineyard with its cellars and old barrels. Lunch and dinner can be prepared upon request, along with a wine tasting.

Do not forget to visit……

The Terracotta Embroidery.

Local artisans are the creators of these beautiful and colorful handmade embroideries in an initiative that seeks to recover this ancient tradition. This is located in Lolol Farm km 27 (Santa Cruz to Lolol road).

Emporium Casa Valdés

This emporium has a large variety of gourmet products such as tea and herbal teas, homemade ice cream, cheese empanadas from Huentelauquén, natural ocean salt from the salt flats of Cahuil, olive oil, homemade jams, etc. It is located on the Wine Road, 31.5 km Cunaco.

Emporium Viu Manet Vineyard

This emporium offers an array of handicrafts from Los Andes, ceramics, sculptures, jewelry, and fabrics of wool, alpaca, and vicuña. The objective of this emporium is with to rescue our culture and identity. It is located in Hacienda San Carlos, Wine Road km 35, Cunaco.

Best time to go…

Even though there are optimal conditions to visit year round, the best time to visit is between October and April when the weather is warmer and you can enjoy the time outdoors without any hassle.

During the beginning of March they hold the Harvest Festival in Santa Cruz. You simply cannot miss out on this event that brings together all the vineyards of the valley in a party that is full of typical food, folklore, family activities, and plenty of wine.