Elqui Valley and surroundings
The Elqui Valley is home to many astronomical observatories, owing to the region’s clear skies. It is also home to a 600-meter-long dam, the Puclaro, which confines the Elqui River and produces a reservoir of some seven kilometers in length.
Pisco Elqui is a village in the commune of Paihuano, Elqui Province, Coquimbo Region. It is located in the Elqui Valley, 107 km east from La Serena, at about 1,300 meters above sea level.
We started our trip early as it is far away from Coquimbo. Our first stop was Vicuña, the hometown of Gabriela Mistral, one of the Poetry Novel of Chile. We walk around the central square, and some near attractions like Vicuña´s Church, some museums and the artisanal market in the square where we bought some souvenirs and local fruits like Copao and figs.
Then we visited Gabriela Mistral’s house, a lovely cultural center. It’s like a museum where you can see a replica of her room and more.
Following, we head to Montegrande looking for a place to have lunch, but we didn’t find the right place for us, so we visit a little school-museum were Mistral used to teach.
The weather was scorching when we stopped and walked around the central square someone told us to visit this free and magical ice melt pool where we head of and cool down.
After that, we continue our journey driving to Pisco Elqui. In the road up we found a very impressive lookout, which portraits Elqui Valley view.
After that, we kept going up the mountains to Pisco Elqui town, arriving, we had lunch in a friendly and quiet place under the trees. Then we walked around. We visit the central square which again was full of artisans selling many kinds of things, from necklaces to honey. We also enter to the impressive Señora del Rosario Church at the square.
On our way back we stopped at the Puclaro dam. It was crazy windy up there, and it had a magnificent view of the valley and mountains surrounding. On one side of the place, we found some a sculpture that made a sound with the blowing wind.