Walking into the historic town of Pisco Elqui, stopping at the viewpoints of the famous Luksic Family to appreciate its impressive landscapes of vineyards on the slopes of the pyramidal mountains or knowing the place where pioneers harvest and bacchanals were carried out by indigenous and conquistadores and the first piscos recognized worldwide were born were part of the experiences and views of the cruise passengers who arrived in Coquimbo and visited the Great Elqui Valley.
More than three years had to wait for a group of North American cruise-ship travelers to know in person one of the most recognized cultural and mountain destinations in Chile, the Great Elqui Valley. However, historically due to logistical factors, the Elqui Valley as a destination and offer for cruise-ship excursions had always been promoted until Vicuña, a city where the middle mountain ends and the Elqui mountain range is born, but the pre-Andean Elqui or the ancient Elqui had never been integrated into the cruise offer considering that it was and is the true earthly paradise and the birthplace of the most emblematic cultural treasures of our country: the poetry of Gabriela Mistral, the Chilean wine and pisco and the Diaguitas indigenous pottery that for many specialists, it is hypnotical and healer.
All these creations and advanced human development itself from Precolumbian time to the XX century were always concentrated in Paihuano, a wonderful longitudinal valley with a river and transparent andean spring waters and pyramidal mountains that inspired the creation of one of the most advanced ceramic styles in the Andean and pre-Columbian world, added to the first and most recognized wines along with their aromatic distillates during the colonial times in addition to the emotive childhood and “landscapes of memory” of the first woman Nobel Prize in Latin America Gabriela Mistral.
This is how one of our partners TEMBETA Travel & Culture, Receptive Tour Operator of the Coquimbo Region with extensive experience in Heritage and Cultural Landscapes in the Coquimbo, Atacama, and Aconcagua regions, decide to design and promote a new itinerary with unknown stories and places to reinforce the promotion of this unique experience of contemplation and discovery of this unknown destination and the resources within the Great Elqui Valley for those international travelers and cruise ship excursionists who seek to know the best of Chile and also those places and landscapes rich in scenic beauty, history and emblematic human creations to fall in love with our country.
The Elqui Valley is a must for those who want to show and recommend the most beautiful and inspiring treasures and cultural landscapes of Chile, its wonderful nature of mountains that embrace the desert, and the tropical and Mediterranean agriculture are the reflection of the greatness of its climate and its inhabitants who for centuries have known how to maintain and create true treasures for the humanity, there is no Valley in the world that has given so many creations and cultural emblems of international recognition for a nation.
The Elqui Valley is the backyard of La Serena, capital of the Coquimbo Region just 45 minutes by airplane from Santiago and with numerous tourist attractions from innovate and ancestral Wine and Pisco Routes, wellness tourism, esoterism and healing practices, mountain gastronomy, wind sports, horseback riding and mountain trekking, Literature Tourism and Magical Realism, archaeological and astronomical circuits among others. Its accommodation offer is quite varied and has more than 1000 beds between the two communes that sustained the Elqui Valley: Vicuña and Paihuano. In addition, the Elqui Valley has an international Andean crossing border open from December to April and connects La Serena and Elqui Valley with the region of Cuyo, the city of San Juan and the Northwest of Argentina (Rioja, Catamarca, Tucuman).