Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz in the Colchagua Wine Valley in Chile

Santa Cruz in the Colchagua Wine Valley in Chile

Santa Cruz, Chile is a city with 32.387 inhabitants according to the last national survey (source: INE) and an altitude of 538 feet, it is located in the southern shore of the Tinguiririca River within the Colchagua Valley. Santa Cruz  weather throughout the year makes it a real pleasant site to visit, summer season has an average temperature of 12ºC to 29º C and during  winter the temperatures goes from 4º C and 13ºC, the rains go from June to September.

Placed in the Colchagua valley, is today one of the cities who truly embraced the Chilean countryside traditions, showing Chile at its best through the Colchagua Valley Wine Route and other Santa Cruz tours which includes cultural, and gastronomical visits.

From Santiago to Santa Cruz, is a 110 miles distance, the nearest city to Santa Cruz is San Fernando which is only 27 miles away and from which, you can access Santa Cruz, through a paved road. Because of its distance, lodging in one of the Santa Cruz hotels (Chile) is a great alternative to fully enjoy your trip, specially if you take on of the wine tours in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz attractions: Chile traditions town

There are multiple touristic sites to visit within the Santa Cruz area, we highlight the Tinguiririca River with its  metallic bridge,  part of the railroad to the south, installed in 1867 and designed by Lyon and Poisson engineers. With 400 feet of length, it is the largest that has been made entirely in the country.

In the city, before crossing the river, make a left turn to the right by  Pacific Marín street to know the train station, now completely restored, it is  part of the Tren del Vino tour, and is currently a cultural center of Santa Cruz. To its right, at short distance, a factory of artisan restoration of old vehicles exists. Go downtown Santa Cruz and visits its Plaza, with a magnificent carillon that indicates to the passage of time every 15 minutes.

To the North  is the town hall building  which was  the old residence of Nicholas Palacios and is an interesting example of house of patios and the Santa Cruz Plaza Hotel. The hotel  is one of the highlights in  the Sixth Region for its infrastructure and beautiful architecture which preserves the Chilean country style, is equipped with a great hall and convention center destined to social and commercial meetings, which has served in numerous occasions for wine and traditional folk-culture related events.

Walk a block to the west by Av. Errázuriz to visit the Santa Cruz  museum, the Colchagua Museum Is the largest private museum of the country, work of the Colchagüino Carlos Cardoen Cornejo inaugurated in 1995. The visit begins in the Room of Paleontology, with a most interesting display of  amber; it draws resin of fossilized that in its interior has catched insects and vegetables of 45 million years ago.

The  Colchagua museum in Santa Cruz (Chile) is characterized to be organized, displayed and illuminated according to the most advanced museums techniques  of the world. It was installed in one old colonial house that was entirely recycled, reconstructed and extended for its new destiny. The museum exhibits in addition collections to archeaology and pre-Columbian art of Chile, Peru and Colombia, as well as of American history since Conquest (Conquista) until the end of the  XIX century. In the Room Independence (Sala Independencia), they emphasize the act of 1810 of the First Governing body, a plane of Bernardo O’Higgins and the binnacle of the trip of Policarpo Toro in 1888 to incorporate the Eastern Island.

In addition, the Colchagua museum has a sample of different artifacts used by the countryside man, cowboy (huaso) and horse, an important collection of tie cars and vehicles to the old properties colchagüinas and an exhibition – unique in his sort-of old agricultural machineries. To a flank is the Pavilion of Railroads with valuable testimonies of the past, in a building that resembles a train station. In March of the 2005 three pavilions were added, the one of the Automobiles, with cars of beginnings until half-full of century XX; the one of Chilean Paleontology, with emphasis in the archaeological site of San Vicente de Tagua-Tagua has the reconstruction of a mastodon to real size and its hunters, and the pavilion of Jewels of The Andes with a sample of refined pre-Columbian jewels and one varied collection of mapuche silver. It also counts on a permanent exhibition of audio-visual material and a store of souvenirs and local crafts. It is worth a visit of 2 hours, as minimum. The Santa Cruz (Chile) museum is open to visitors  throughout the year from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 18 hours, closed the 25 of December and the 1 of January. The entrance costs $3,000, for elders $2,000 and students $1.000 (Chilean pesos is $610 CLP per dollar).

Santa Cruz Events:

On March: Colchagua Valley-Wine harvest fest-“Fiesta de la Vendimia del Valle de Colchagua”. Featuring handcrafted artifacts by local artisans, gastronomical exhibition and of course, wine.

Variable date: Colchagua Valley Cuisine, traditions and folk tradition fair.-Feria Gastronómica de Costumbres y Raíces del Valle de Colchagua”

Santa Cruz Visiting  sites on the road:

The road from San Fernando to Santa Cruz goes  through vineyards toward the coast. In mile 7.1, it is the locality of Manantiales, turning to the left, cross the railway line and advance by a short stretch until the Casa de la Hacienda Manantiales de Placilla. This old construction of adobe, in badly shape, displays runners roofs and a floor plant shaped as an L. In the front  stands the Church of Rinconada of Manantiales that goes from the early century XX, it is a beautiful building of neo gotthic style, constructed in bricks that probably formed part of the property. Return to the route and advance toward the  coast.

Vineyard located near Santa Cruz ValleyVineyard located near Santa Cruz Valley

In mile 11, go to the town of Placilla. It is conformed by lovely houses placed one next to the other with well cared gardens and hanging plants, the street  finishes  in the Macaya Vineyard, where wines tasting session are available. Visit the Church dedicated to San Francisco de Solano which turn in a peregrination site on October 4th of every year, to celebrate the saint with the traditional blessing of the sweet bread. Know the simple station, declared national monument which exhibits the first constructed section of the railroad San Fernando-Pichilemu. It waits for its rating to be incorporated to the tourist route of the Train of Wine (Tren del Vino).

On the way, you’ll see several vasses of trees and palms, survivors of the numerous parks that long ago conferred a striking distinction to the valley. Reach to the town of Nancagua, in mile 16, populated with only 6,646 inhabitants. Look carefully the typical architecture of continuous facades and ceilings of roofing tiles and the beautiful orange trees placed along the road. It has one old supervisory house which it belonged to Juana Ross de Edwards, – that today is the town hall building with a great park with coniferous and Chilean palms. The park is open to visits is throughout the year, from Monday to Sunday from 9 to 22 hours, and the entrance is free. On its side, stands  the  Nuestra Señora de la Merced Church, with masses in summer Saturday at 20 hours, Sunday at 12 hours; in winter Saturday at 19 hours, Sunday at 12 hours, of imposing large halls.

3 miles of Nancagua heading  south, pass the locality of Puquillay and in the slopes of the hill with the same name, there stands  the  Virgin of Puquillay Sanctuary from where you get a spectacular panoramic view of the surroundings.

The Sanctuary of the Virgin of Puquillay was constructed early  XX century and has a great image of a melted iron Virgin that was raised with the aid of oxen.

Houses of Cunaco (Casas de Cunaco), in mile 21. Next to the station are the supervisory houses, the property was the largest building of the valley. From  road you see the large house, preceded of a Chilean palms avenue is which is the entrance to one of the most beautiful parks in Chile, designed in 1873 by the young Italian landscaper Cánovas, formed in the court of Napoleón III and brought by the proprietor of the property, Carlos Valdés Izquierdo. The large house, in style of Venetian villa, is the work of Milanese Eduardo Provasoli, the same architect of the churches of San Francisco de Castro and Valparaiso,   Andacollo Basilic (Basilica de Andacollo), in addition to the Errázuriz Palace (Palacio Errázuriz) – present Brazilian Embassy  in Santiago. Regretfully is not open for visitors.

In mile 22, it is located the Casa del Fundo San José, used currently  like camping site for scouts.

Road map and Access to Santa Cruz.

By Car: From Santiago, take Carretera 5 sur ( South Highway) toward San Fernando , take San Fernando-Pichilemu detour, until reaching Paniahue.

By Train: Take the “MetroTrén” in “Estación Mapocho” railway station, descend in San Fernando and take a bus on direction to Santa Cruz.

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