Elqui is a valley 359 miles north of Santiago in Chile. It has been described as a long, green garden in the midst of the arid Andes. Even though parts of the Elqui Valley have been taken over for the cultivation of grapes and other fruits, most of it is still a place of unspoiled nature, blessed with clear blue skies. The valley is a haven for relaxation. People come here for hiking, fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding. Resorts offer yoga, massages, and various forms of therapeutic meditation. If you are planning a visit in February, book your budget hotel in Elqui in advance, because that is when thousands of people from Santiago and other urban centers flock to the valley.
The Elqui Valley is famous for a brandy called pisco. West of Vicuna, the main town in the valley, is Pisco Ruta Norte. This distillery has tours in January and February. The town of Capel, two kilometers east of Vicuna, has a pisco museum. In the town of Pisco Elqui you can visit two distilleries, Tres Erres and Los Nichos. West of Vicuna is an artificial lake called Puclaro which is popular with wind surfers and kite surfers. A Chilean style rodeo is held here every September. In the hamlet of Horcon, six miles from Pisco Elqui, there is a market where visitors can buy herbs, honey, jams, musical instruments and crafts made from quartz, metals and wood. For information on cheap hotels in Elqui check our listings at EasyToBook.com.
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