Mystical Cochiguaz / Vicuņa and  Elqui Valley / Tour of the Elqui Valley /

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This is a day of relaxation and revitalization in the mystical Valley of Cochiguaz, a beautiful valley which is known as the new geo-magnetic centre of the Earth. Beginning early in the morning the tour leaves La Serena to enjoy the scenic drive through the Elqui Valley. The Elqui Valley is a narrow strip of very fertile land covered with plantations of papayas and chirimoyas and vineyards. In stark contrast, this fertile land is surrounded on both sides by mountains of desert like dryness and thorny cacti.





foto ©david leiva








The first stop is at the  pisco factory near to Vicuna, where the Chilean national drink ´pisco` is distilled from the sweet grapes which grow in the Elqui Valley.

Learning  about the process of making pisco with a tour of  the distillery is followed by the opportunity to taste some of the most popular varieties of this aromatic grape brandy in the distillery's tasting room.










Continuing up into the interior of the Andes to the village of Montegrande time is allowed to visit the small house which once served the town as its post office, school and also as the teachers' lodging. In this house, Nobel Prize-winning poetess Gabriela Mistral lived as a child, nearby is her tomb.  A traditional Chilean lunch is enjoyed at one of the local restaurants, where  there is time to relax and enjoy the tranquillity of Montegrande before heading out to the Valley of Cochiguaz. After lunch, the tour follows the twists and turns of the River Cochiguaz up the valley to the village of the same name.













According to both Hindu and Buddhist tradition, this valley has attracted many esoteric communities. These communities offer the following spiritual services for visitors, harmonization of personal energy, guided meditation, discussion about the use of cosmic energy to ease physical and psychological stress and cure illnesses. These mystics allow a visit to the Stone of the Guanaco, a boulder in the centre of the valley which is covered in ancient ceremonial petroglyphs, learning more about the spiritual significance of the Stone, possibly with guided meditation.
Finally, the tour returns back along the valleys to La Serena in the early evening.






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