Vichuquen lake is located 18 meters above the sea level and is a 40 squared kms (24.8 miles) lake, with intense warm blue waters, surrounded by pine forests. Its name -from a mapuche origin- is related to its shape. A road borders the lake by both shores, but the high and the pine forests make difficult to sight the water, the conditions require a 4×4 vehicle on winter (see category F on our Car rental)
By these roads you will be able to access summer houses that are built all over the shores and can not be seen either. The main activities are nautical sports: aquatic skiing, sailing and windsurf. There are a lot of boats.
Vichuquén Lake has complete tourism equipment. And events and recreational activities are organized for people from different ages. In the south west shore – at Las Vacas beach – there is a nautical school and at Aquelarre area you will find Vichuquen’s Marine, as well as its marine. There are a hotel, restaurant, supermarket and boats and horses rental.
Vichuquen’s lake life is quite hermetic, because it is based in relationships from house to house, all of them with their own dock and related by the water. The main kind of social life centers at Las brujas del lago Lodge House – at the north shore and at Aquelarre and its good lodging houses, in the souh shore.
Surrounding Vichuquén Lake is a must, perfect for doing it in the afternoon and clock wise. It is about 47 kms (29.2 miles) long.
To visit Vichuquén town , from Llico to Aquelarre – in the south shore are 15 km (9.3 miles) and another 6 km (3.7 miles) to get to Vichuquén. Vichuquén has 531 inhabitants and is 20 meters above sea level. It was declared typical zone in 1990. It originated in groups of natives who used lands from the coast even before the Incas arrived. These people established in here a mitimae (colony) with a population brought from Atacama, who related to the natives with their culture and techniques.
Vichuquen keeps its original distribution, in which you can find the typical distribution from a “native village”, with a long commercial street (Incan Influence) and a Spanish grid imposed by López Sanchez in 1771, Both traces are framed by old houses, built between 1840 and 1888, with covered external corridors, which conform long continue galenas. An attractive structure is an old wheat store, from the XVIII century.
Visit the village by walking to see its buildings and handcraft which is sold in the area. Don’t miss Vichuquen’s Historic Museum located in front of the City Hall at Manuel Rodriguez Street. It was inaugurated in 1990 by Carlos Cardoen Foundation (Fundación Carlos Cardoen). It shows the history of the village and the rest of the region. It goes from the Pre History and Inca control – period from which it shows the three thousand years remains of a woman from Totorilla, founded in the lake from the same name; also from the Conquest , the Colony and the Independence, with documents and books from the parish, rescued from a fire of the old church. This museum also organizes temporal exhibitions brought from Colchagua museum. It deserves to be visited. Visits can be done from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 to 13:30 and from 15:30 to 18:30.
Torca Lagoon Nacional Reserve
Created in 1985, Torca Lagoon Nacional Reserve protects an area of 604 hectares divided into three areas: Torca Lagoon (Laguna Torca) – surrounded by Scirpus californicus and cattail – it protects a group of more than 106 bird species among which the most remarkable are black necked swans, White-faced Ibis, coscoroba swans greeves and white lipped peccary. In here you will find the Environmental Information Centre with panels about archeology, bird species and erosion and reforestation process at the reserve. There is also a 380 meters pathway over the scrubland to observe the birds. It is advisable to carry prismatics. Navigation, fishing and hunting is prohibited. Do not disturb the birds.
The second area is Llico’s Forest (Bosque de LLico) which began being planted in 1912 with exotic species – mainly eucalyptus – to hold dune invasion. Management office is located in this area, with a pathway which enters into the forest in a 30 minutes trekking. There are places for camping and picnic.
The third area is Cerrillos Island (Isla Cerrillos) – from Vichuquén lake – which has a 2 hectares surface covered by sclerophyllous forest. Visits can be done every day, from December to February from 9:00 to 20:30: from March to November from 9 to 17. It has a camping.
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