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In 1814, the hills around Rancagua were the site of a battle in the War of Independence known as the Desastre de Rancagua (Disaster of Rancagua). Chilean independence fighters, including Bernardo O'Higgins, held off the powerful Spanish army for two days before being captured. In the resulting blaze, much of the town was destroyed.
Despite its historical significance and current importance as a regional commercial center, it has relatively little to offer in terms of tourism. If you find yourself in town, do, by all means, visit the historic area around the central Plaza or take in a rodeo in the national Medialuna, or rodeo arena, but otherwise skip the city and head straight for one of the more interesting attractions outside of town such as a copper mine, a hot springs, a nature reserve, or a winery.
Rancagua at a Glance
- Iglesia de la Merced
- Mina El Teniente and Sewell
- Plaza de los Héroes
- Reserva Nacional Río los Cipreses
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