Surrounded by cacti and grapes – the Elqui valley

On the way north from Santiago we stopped by in the Elqui valley, an arid, almost desert-like, mountainous region, flown through by little but substantially nourishing streams. It’s famous for a couple of things:

  • The enormous wineries that produce Pisco exclusively, a liquor used for Chile’s national drink, the “Pisco Sour”. The contrast of the arid mountains and the green valleys is beautiful and fascinating.
  • The clear skies, ideal for astronomy and star gazing.
  • It’s a melting pot for esoterics and modern hippies, having the strongest magnetic field in the world. That said, we did feel strangely relaxed there.

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