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The Central Valley Travel Guide

  • Photo: MARCELODLT / Shutterstock

Plan Your The Central Valley Vacation

The Central Valley is Chile's heartland. The combination of rich soils, long, warm, and dry summers offset by cold and rainy winters, and abundant supplies of Andean meltwater for irrigation, makes this ideal farm land. It is also the perfect place to grow wine grapes, and as such, wine has been a very big deal in much of the Central Valley for four centuries.

Top Reasons To Go

  1. Wine tasting The Central Valley is the heart of Chile's wine country. Vineyards for both table and wine grapes abound and are pretty hard to miss—in fact, the Pan-American Highway runs through some of the longest continuous vineyards in the world.
  2. Rowdy rodeos The Central Valley is also home to the huaso, a cousin of the Argentine gaucho. Huasos, in their typical flat-topped, wide-brimmed hats, are a common sight around Rancagua, where they flock to the national Medialuna (rodeo arena) for their favorite sport.
  3. Scenic train rides Chile's train service has dwindled over the years—like everywhere else, it seems—but a special treat for train lovers remains in the Central Valley. The Wine Train is a restored steam engine that dates to 1907 accompanied by wood-paneled passenger cars from the 1920s. It runs between San Fernando and Santa Cruz.

When To Go

When to Go

Timing your visit to the Central Valley really depends on what you want to do there. January and February are peak summer vacation months in Chi...

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