Olmue in Chile

Olmue in Chile

The visit to the city of Olmué is a trip to a place with excellent climate, a summer center for the population of the coast. It’s a circuit of 42.2 miles round trip on a paved road from Concón. It’s ideal to go stopping at the swimming pools in the area. The route is recommended almost all year -except during Winter – especially when the coast is overcastted.


Exit Concón using the route to Quillota bordering the oil refinery. At mile 10.5 you will see a crossing on the right with a sign indicating to Limache. Take it and, at mile 14.2, you will hit the local road from Limache to Quillota. Turn right and, a bit further, the road will go up to a cross a pass, where the hills divide the Limache and Quillota valleys. Underneath this pass runs the train across the San Pedro “tunal” (place where cactus pears grow) . At mile 16.7 is the Las Tórtolas ranch (fundo Las Tórtolas), with a nice hotel and a restaurant with French and German cuisine. At mile 17.3 you will arrive to San Francisco de Limache, which means boulder of willows. It’s a quite rural city, described along Limache and the Lliulliu dam.

Continue straight on Av. Palmira Romano Norte, after a curve, at its end, stay on the left going on Av. Eastman towards Olmué, which means tasting. This city has a population of 10,379, from which half is rural. A road through the valley takes you in 4.3 miles into small town with one square. These lands were donated to the natives Picunches in 1612 by its owner, Mariana de Osorio. Later, they were measured and adjudicated in 1781. The name comes from the old Gulmué ranch -that derivates from “huilmo”-, which is a native plant. Today is an active town council and its lands are divided in plots dedicated to fruit growing.

Olmué has many houses with ample gardens and swimming pools, where families from Viña del Mar and Valparaíso spend their summers. It’s a place with an intense summer activity, offering the following facilities: Scala de Milán hotel, with excellent swimming pools; the Copihue hotel; Parador de Betty restaurant; the Paraíso tourist complex, the lodging house La Siesta and the tourist complexes La Campana and Rosa Agustina, the latter one is located in the area of Lo Narváez. Plus, horse trips are offered at the Manuel Montt square and excursions by ground to the La Campana National Park (Parque Nacional La Campana). There’s also an aerodrome, in which instruction and popular flights are offered each weekend. Also trips in small planes, aerostatic globes, classic biplanes with uncovered cabin and gliders are offered. The cost per flight in a globe for 2 persons costs US$ 290. The round trip Santiago-Olmué-Santiago costs US$ 60. You must reserve 5 days in advance by contacting the Olmué Aerodrome. There’s also parachuting available.

Lastly, Olmué is popularly known for its Huaso Festival (Festival del Huaso), of folkloric music, held since 1968, at the end of January at the El Patagual Park (Parque El Patagual).

Nevertheless, the biggest and most simple attraction of the Olmué area is to travel along the road surrounded by country states, where you can buy fresh fruit, homemade jams, “chicha” (sweet grape wine) from the area -that has won important prizes -, ceramic, wicker and sisal.

Among the main activities and events held in Quilpué, during January is the famous Huaso Festival (the huaso is the Chilean cowboy), a folkloric festival that takes place in the El Patagual Park. There´s also the Huaso Food Festival, held at the El Parador de Betty restaurant.

During February the Procession of Baby Jesus of Las Palmas (Procesión del Niño Dios de Las Palmas) takes place, with a festivity and Chinese dances. Also, there´s the Quebradeño Carnival (Carnaval de Quebradeño), in the Alvarado Gore.

In September takes place the Official Rodeo, in the “medialuna” (crescent-shaped arena) of Olímpica villa. And during the entire year there are the Camperas Festivities, Threshing, Chilean Races and rodeos, held in different areas of the commune.

The Devout of Baby Jesus of Las Palmas (Beata del Niño Dios de Las Palmas), a religious festivity with religious pilgrimages and Chinese dances, is celebrated in Olmué on December 26.

From Olmué you could extend your trip to the surrounding areas. To go back to Viña, you have three options: go back by the same road, take the Main Artery (Camino Troncal) or the South Artery Highway (Autopista Troncal Sur). The Main Artery (Troncal) road goes back crossing the lodging-cities of Peñablanca, Villa Alemana and Quilpué. These cities were originated from the construction of the railroad, at the beginning of the XX century. Groups of country houses appeared along the station that, when the area got more developed, formed altogether a big conurbation. This is a form of urban growth, typical of the way that Valparaíso has extended, generating new nearby centers like Viña del Mar, Reñaca and Concón, on the coast, or Placilla and Curauma, on the way to Santiago.

In the area of Villa Alemana there are resting places, agrotourisim and restaurants like the house lodging Valle Verde with lodges, restaurant, swimming pools, sport areas and games for children. The Valle Dorado hotel has lodges, games for children, heated swimming pools, sport areas; at the El Rincón Ranch horse riding can be done to the hills; in Rancho Los Molles, on the way to Lo Orozco, there are typical plates and folkloric music.

In Quilpué there’s the Zoological Park of Quilpué (Parque Zoológico de Quilpué), located in the old El Carmen ranch. It has more than 130 species of Chilean and world fauna and 11.11 acres of pure vegetation. It’s the only zoo in the V Region and the second most important in Chile. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm. The admission ticket is $1,200 for adults, $500 for children and seniors, and from Tuesday to Friday the student fee is $300.

The South Artery Highway is a leased highway with double lanes and of high velocity that in 13 miles connects the town of Peñablanca with the city of Viña del Mar. It has junctions to Quilpué, Villa Alemana and other secondary exits; it crosses an impressive viaduct of 203 feet of altitude and 4 bridges. It’s the faster option, since the entire stretch does not take more than 10 minutes. Toll is charged: motorcycles $100, cars $500, with trailer $700, buses and trucks of 2 axes $800, buses and trucks of more than 2 axes $1,500.

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