Fray Jorge and Enchanted Valley Tour / Lapis lazuli / Archaeology in the Coquimbo Region 

Vineyard and Enchanted Valley Tour / Pichasca Tour  / Winery and The Paloma Dam / Home Page





















Foto ©municipalidaddeovalle


Ovalle is the capital of the Limari Province and the city where the leading producers of vegetables and fruits come from  the surrounding rural villages to market their goods. In Ovalle  there is an Archaeological Museum with examples of Diaguita ceramics and pottery.  This fertile open valley was  settled long ago by the indigenous cultures of El Molle, Animas and Diaguita.  The Limari valley which takes its name from the river which runs through the valley, is rich in archaeological  evidence of past times from the remains of a petrified forest at the Pichasca National Monument, situated 53 kilometres to the northeast of Ovalle, to the Enchanted Valley, located 19 kilometres southwest of Ovalle. 






This valley has been excavated to show that groups of hunter gatherers have inhabited this area for almost 4000 years, now as an open air museum of scientific and cultural interest it has many examples of pictographs, petroglyphs and `piedras tacitas`or stone cups.

Foto ©municipalidaddeovalle





This whole valley is of important agricultural significance as together with the Elqui and Choapa valleys  they represent rich fertile transversal valleys running across the coastal mountains of semi arid desert scrubland.  The key to their high production yield is the integrated irrigation system of  the Paloma, Recoleta and Cogoti dams and canals which compensates for the low rainfall  and by the "drip irrigation system" allows economic and efficient use of water conservation.  A rich tapestry of crops covers the valley, especially the green carpets of grapes grown in impressive vineyards both for the early table grapes for export and for wine.





The only commercial vineyard, Vineyard Tabali, in the Fourth Region produces, the unique coupages, blends of Wine stocks as Viognier, Sangiovese and Carmenere. Simultaneously, you will observe the vines and the natural surrounding  with its flowers, diverse agriculture, small crops and fruit. Also a lot of varieties of grapes used to make The pisco. It is also in this region that the only mine for the extraction of the semi precious stone, lapis lazuli, is found.  There are only two countries in the world, Afghanistan and Chile where this stone is extracted.  Beautiful exclusive gifts and exquisite jewellery  are made from this stone which can only be mined in the summer months because of the high altitude and inaccessibility most of the year.  The other unusual  stone is the `combarbalita` stone mined in the Region and sculpted into beautiful gifts which are unique to this area.










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