Elqui Valley Chile

Elqui Valley
Elqui Valley Chili
Elqui Valley

Elqui River Valley is nicknamed “Enchantment Valley”. After a recent visit, that name seems appropriate. Located in the northern Coquimbo Region, the area forms Chile’s narrowest part – where the Andes Mountains runs closest to the Pacific Ocean.

Coquimbo Region Northern Chile
Pisco Elqui and Extraterrestrial Phenomena

Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and the wine-growing regions of the Napa and Willamette Valleys of California and Oregon, the uniqueness of Elqui Valley was a surprise. It truly has its own peaceful yet mystical and powerful presence. The vibrations make you want to stay, especially in the tiny village of Pisco Elqui.

Puclaro Dam Elqui Valley

Some say “magic becomes reality” in the Elqui Valley, not only because of the natural beauty, moderate weather, and clear skies but also “extraterrestrial and esoteric phenomena”.

Pisco Elqui – httpswww.besttimetovisit.co.uk

The average annual temperature for Pisco Elqui is 70 degrees, and annual rainfall is about 1.5 inches. It’s dry for 349 days a year with an average humidity of 60 percent and an UV-index of 5. Because Elqui Valley has the clearest skies in the southern hemisphere, international organizations built astronomical observatories on Pachón Hills and Tololo.

In the Valley
In the Elqui Valley

During our tour we visited a papaya plantation, ABA Pisquera, Puclaro Dam on Elqui River, the city of Vicuña, and several small villages, including Montegrande, Pisco Elqui, and Paihuano. Climate in the Elqui Valley is sunny almost 300 days a year which makes it a great location to recover from illness and stress. Our group of fifteen enjoyed a day of touring and a delicious lunch. I spent time talking with an Indian couple involved in Chile’s mining industry and an interesting, fun gay couple. All were from Santiago.

Rio Turbio Coquimbo Region Chile


Chile is the astronomy capital of the world and home to 42 percent of the world’s astronomy infrastructure of telescopes.


Paihuano Chile – Chile Travel

Pisco, it’s a brandy produced in wine making regions of Peru and Chile. Pisco production is an art and involves distilling grape wine into a high-proof spirit. The Chilean government regulates the process ensuring high-quality Pisco production. Chileans consume most of the Pisco they produce. Major crops in the Elqui Valley include grapes, raisins, papaya, mandarin, and avocado.

Church Montegrande

Spanish settlers developed Pisco in the 16th century as an alternative to brandy from Spain. Surrounded by vineyards and the Andes, grapes cultivated in the Elqui Valley produce the best Pisco. The small village of Pisco Elqui is about 4,300 ft. above sea level and known for its craft Pisco distilleries. The village is sought out by many and is very special. So far, the village’s beautiful natural surroundings remain relatively unchanged by tourism.

Pachón Observatory

Vicuña and Gabriela Mistral

The main city in Elqui Valley is Vicuña, birthplace of Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. Mistral was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945 and the National Prize for Literature in 1951.

Chilean Poet and Nobel Prize Winner Gabriela Mistra – allpoetry.com


Elqui Valley attractions include the Gabriela Mistral Museum, Cavas del Valle boutique vineyard, the Mamalluca Observatory, and the Cerro Tololo Observatory. You must book observatory visits far in advance, so it was a disappointment not being able to view the sky through high-powered, deep space viewing telescopes.

Tololo Observatory


Considered a “power pole,” Elqui Valley is associated with the UFO phenomena.


Pisco Elqui
Pisco Elqui

Didn’t know that Chile is the astronomy capital of the world and home to 42 percent of the world’s astronomy infrastructure of telescopes. By 2018, it’s estimated to contain 70 percent of global telescopic infrastructure.

Pisco Distillery

“A global scientific endeavor called Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is considered a revolutionary instrument in its scientific concept, engineering design, and organization. It’s composed of sixty-six high-precision antennas working together at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths, with a possible extension in the future.”

National Optical Astronomy Observatory: NOAO
National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)

Our guide told us Bill Gates is involved in developing a new observatory – National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) – and super astronomical project in the Elqui Valley. The project is scheduled to be completed sometime between 2015 and 2016. The day in Elqui Valley was fascinating!

Elqui Valley – piscoelqui.com

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