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Straddling the banks of the Río Claro, Talca is not only Maule's most important industrial center; it is also one of the most appealing towns in the Central Valley. It was founded in 1692 and intelligently designed on a regimented grid pattern divided into quadrants—poniente means west and oriente east; sur means south and norte north—centered around the pretty Plaza
de Armas. Be sure to take some time to check out its native and exotic trees.
Curicó, which means "black water" in Mapudungún, the native Mapuche language, was founded in 1743. Today this agro-industrial center is the...