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.