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Curicó, which means "black water" in Mapudungún, the native Mapuche language, was founded in 1743. Today this agro-industrial center is the provincial capital and the gateway to the Curicó wine valley. The Plaza de Armas is one of the most attractive in the Central Valley; it is a center of activity year-round, but fills to capacity for the Fiesta de la Vendimia (wine harvest festival)
each March. Most of the wineries are south of the city and easily reached from the Pan-American Highway. Other points of interest are found toward the Andes or on the coast.
An hour's drive from Curicó, the lake is a popular place for water sports such as sailing and water-skiing. The town itself, about 8 km (5 mi...