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Elqui valley & surroundings, Coquimbo region, Chile

Elqui valley & surroundings

Its one of the three valleys that run through the Region of Coquimbo, birthplace of the Chilean poet Gabriel Mistral, a place with astronomical observatories, producer of the best pisco (typical alcoholic beverage) to name a few of the attractions of the Elqui valley.

Pisco Elqui is situated at about 1.300 m above sea level, surrounded by vineyards and the magnificent mountain range of the Precordillera of the Andes. A, climate wise, paradise (300 sunny days a year) as well as kind and friendly inhabitants make this village an ideal place to recover from stress, tension and contamination.

To enter into it, is to experience, firsthand, the stark contrasts, blue skies, and various tones of the mountains; fresh, pure air, huge prairies with vineyards and papaya plantations. Additionally, it is also know for its natural magnetic vibrations, which has made this a place of interest for tourists who wish to practice yoga, relax or meditate; live naturally and take advantage of this almost perceptible energy.

Also, because of its incredibly clear skies, many travelers visit the observatories at Tololo and Mamalluca.

Another attractive feature is the warm climate, sun, fertile soil, sharp peaks and raging rivers.

Pisco Elqui by the numbers:

Pico Elqui by the numbers:
  • Population (2022):
    • 500 inhabitants
  • Location:
    • Lat, Long: (-30.0999996 -70.5333312)
    • GPS Coordinates: -30°05'60.00" S, -70°31'59.99" W
    • +/- 572 km (355.4 mi) north of Santiago
  • Elevation:
    • 1,249 m (4097 ft 9")
  • Timezone:
    • CLT – Chile Standard Time (Current offset: UTC -4 hrs)


Weather forecasts:
The weather:

Pisco Elqui has a dry desert climate. In summer, temperatures average are between 26°C and 30°C. The winter is short, since the end of June until the end of August, and is well warm with an average temperature of 15°C.
According to the Holdridge life zones system of bioclimatic classification Pisco Elqui is situated in or near the boreal desert biome.
Total annual Precipitation averages 107.5 mm which equates to 107.5 Litres/m².

Weather forecasts:
Historical values:


There are about a dozen observatories in northern Chile’s Elqui Valley region that cater to astrotourists (once known simply as stargazers). An oasis in an otherwise arid landscape, the roughly 90-mile-long valley stretches from the Pacific Ocean eastward into the Andean foothills. Its geography, with the cloud-blocking Andes to the east and the bone-dry Atacama Desert to the north, produces exceptionally clear conditions, optimal for stargazing.

Starting in the 1960s, a string of major international research telescopes were built here to take advantage of that, including Cerro Tololo, La Silla and Gemini South, and in 2014 work began on the planet’s most powerful space camera. Within five years, an estimated 70 percent of the world’s astronomical infrastructure will be in Chile, much of it in the Elqui Valley.


Pisco is a colorless or yellowish-to-amber colored brandy produced in winemaking regions of Peru and Chile.
Made by distilling grape wine into a high-proof spirit, it was developed by 16th century Spanish settlers as an alternative to orujo, a pomace brandy that was being imported from Spain.
It had the advantages of being produced from abundant domestically grown fruit and reducing the volume of alcoholic beverages transported to remote locations.

Chilean pisco

A selection of Chilean piscos Chilean Pisco must be made in the country’s two official D.O. (Denomination of Origin) regions—Atacama and Coquimbo—established in 1931 by the government. Most of it is produced with a "boutique" type of distillate made by the Aguirre family among other producers. Others types are produced with double distillation in copper and other materials.

During the adaptation of many vineyards to pisco production, the most widespread grape was used as raw material, namely the Muscat, with some vineyards preferring the Torontel and Pedro Jiménez varieties. As is the case with Peru, regulations for pisco designations have been enacted in Chile, including the following classifications:

  • Pisco Corriente o Tradicional, 30% to 35% (60 to 70 proof).
  • Pisco Especial, 35% to 40% (70 to 80 proof).
  • Pisco Reservado, 40% (80 proof).
  • Gran Pisco, 43% or more (86 or more proof).

Regulation for pisco producing in Chile is quite high. Chilean distilleries are required to grow their own grapes and are grouped into two categories based in aromatic expressiveness: Muscat types (Pink Muscat, Muscat of Alexandria) are very fragrant, while Pedro Jiménez, Moscatel de Asturia and Torontel are more subtle.

The Special and Reserve variations are very similar in flavor and color, both being subtly sweet and of a clear birch to transparent color. The flavor is much stronger than regular pisco with aromatic refreshing tones.

The Great pisco has a commanding odor and a dark yellow color, it is not as sweet as the other varieties, yet it carries a strong woody flavor the others lack.[citation needed] The yellowish to amber color in Chilean pisco is due to the wood aging process, with the darker colors being a sign that they have been aged longer. Not all Chilean pisco is tinged, and the more mass-marketed brands can be clear.

Description above is from the Wikipedia article Pisco, licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.
Places to stay:
Astro farm "Hacienda Los Andes", Rio Hurtado, Chile

Hacienda Los Andes, with it's private observatory, is located in Chile's IV. Region - the Norte Chico - in the valley of the Hurtado River, away from the tourist routes and surrounded by pure wilderness and the beautiful Andes.


Rent a Car:

Category A
City cars for rent in Chile
Kia Morning or similar city car
1000cc gasoline engine, 2 doors, manual shift, and radio. This car is for a maximum of 2 persons, and is only rented in Santiago. You may seat four people inside this vehicle, but then you will much almost nothing of inside space left for your bags
Rate by: Price in USD:
Day $ 49
Week $ 320
Month $ 1.150
Category BHatchbacks  for rent in Chile
Suzuki Swift or similar subcompact car.
This 1200cc gasoline engine hatchback car category comes equipped with 4 doors, manual shift, two airbags, power assisted steering, air conditioning, and radio. Good vehicle for 2 persons and for driving mainly on asphalt roads.
Rate by: Price in USD:
Day $ 59
Week $ 354
Month $ 1.350
Category C
Sedans  for rent in Chile
Nissan Versa, or similar compact sedan.
This 1600cc gasoline engine car category with trunk comes equipped with manual shift, air conditioning, power assisted steering, airbags, ABS brakes,door locks, and radio. (Ideal car up to four persons). A vehicle that can get you almost anywhere in Chile. It's also pretty economical. In this category we can also offer you an automatic transmission at an extra charge.
Rate by: Price in USD:
Day $ 78
Week $ 468
Month $ 1.590
Category D
Roomy sedans  for rent in Chile
Chevrolet Cruze or similar
Fully equipped roomy sedan with a 1800cc to 2000cc gasoline engine and with automatic transmission. This car category comes with ABS brakes, airbags, doors lock, power and rear view mirrors, and radio.brakes
Rate by: Price in USD:
Day $ 118
Week $ 708
Month $ 2.350
Category E
Vans  for rent in Chile
Could be a Kia Grand Carnival, or similar luxury fully equipped VAN with 7 or 8 seats and automatic transmission. This VAN comes equipped with air bags, electric windows, doors lock, and ABS brakes as well.
Rate by: Price in USD:
Day $ 175
Week $ 1.050
Month $ 3.090
Category F
Pickup trucks (4x2)  for rent in Chile
Double cabin, four doors pickup truck with simple traction (4x2)
This vehicle comes equipped with manual transmission, power assisted steering, air conditioning, and radio (good vehicle for driving on bad roads due to its high clearance, therefore ideal for Atacama desert and Patagonia)
Rate by: Price in USD:
Day $ 99
Week $ 594
Month $ 1.730
Category G
Pickup trucks (4x4) for rent in Chile
Double cabin (four doors) pickup truck with double traction (4x4)
Comes equipped with manual transmission, power assisted steering, air conditioning, and radio (excellent alternative for off road driving due to its high clearance and four wheel drive option. Excellent for Atacama desert or Patagonia and other off road places)
Rate by: Price in USD:
Day $ 145
Week $ 870
Month $ 2.500
Category H
Small Jeeps  for rent in Chile
Suzuki Vitara 1.600cc, 4x4, 3 doors jeep
Comes equipped with manual transmission, power assisted steering, air condition, and a radio with a CD player (Good vehicle for maximum 3 persons that like off road fun driving).
Rate by: Price in USD:
Day $ 89
Week $ 490
Month $ 1.730
Category I
SUVs  for rent in Chile
SUV 4x4 (Toyota 4 Runner or similar).
Fully equipped, automatic transmission. The best car to rent in Chile, because it provides luxury, high clearance, and four wheel drive…all in one vehicle. This vehicle category obviously has ABS brakes, air bags, and everything that a full equipped car should have.
Rate by: Price in USD:
Day $ 175
Week $ 1.050
Month $ 3.090

Orly hotel Santiago, Chile