Pirque is a very small vineyard town outside of Santiago, Chile’s capital, and it is about a two hour drive from there. It is a town of 16,000 inhabitants that mostly work in the crop fields or vineyards or are owners of their own “finca”. Many of the people who live here are commuters from Santiago and Valparaiso who want to spends their nights and mornings with pure nature. The cities are getting more and more congested in people and pollutants so many resort to the more suburban areas.
Most activities require outdoor activity work; hiking, trekking, rafting, walking but there are many vineyards and restaurants as well as craft shops and coffee shops with live music. On my time here I got to help out at the choclo fields (corn fields) and it truly makes you appreciate that grilled corn at the BBQ’s, its hard work!! Try it out, most of the farmers will let you work for free of course, or you’ll get paid with some delicious organic corn picked by yourself.
5 things you MUST do:
-Go rafting down the Clarillo river at El Cajon del Maipo
-Eat pastel de choclo (corn cake)
-Drink some organic wine at Concha y Toro winery
-Buy a dreamcatcher made by local artisans; they are to bring good luck because the thread used is blessed by a Chaman out in the valley to send out good vibes.
-Eat an Empanada de Pino at any of the local stands, its a characteristic “snack” out here.
Things to do:
-Visit Pueblo de Artesanos at Parque Vicente; talk a walk down crafts, food and live music
-Visit Cajon Del Maipo; about half an hour drive (you need an SUV because you will be on a dirt road all the time) for a great hike to two waterfalls and a great view of the valley.
-Visit El Morado Natural monument; you can go hiking, trekking or horseback riding
-Take a wine tour out to “Concha y Toro” one of Chile’s most important and renown winery.
Where to stay:
–La Calma de Rita (Shown on pics) $140 USD
–Casa Rai; $20 USD
-El Magnolio; $90 USD
-Mu Hostel $40 USD
Where to eat:
–La Calma de Rita Restaurant; this was the best food I had in all of Chile, make sure you order the rabbit, I am not a big fan of it but it’s amazing in this place!
–Tesoros de Chile; Chilean food about $30-60 USD
–Casa Rai; $30 USD
-Posada El Canelo; you must try Empanadas de Pino and pastel de choclo, characteristic of this town $11 USD
-La Vaquita Echa; known for its famous grill-fish, steak, wild boar, ribs. $12-40 USD
If you are heading out here I recommend renting a car from Santiago or Valparaiso and make sure it’s an SUV so you can drive up to El Cajon del Maipo.