Torres del Paine National Park

"Talca, Paris and London"

City of Talca, Chile.
Image: TVMaulinos.com
  Talca is the capital city of the Maule Region in central Chile. It is located 255 km. south of Santiago on Route 5. It has a population of just over 220,000 inhabitants and is located in one of Chile's agricultural regions par excellence.

Talca and its surroundings are a destination that offer multiple tourist attractions, where history, culture, nature and tradition are combined, which will make the visitor live a unique and unforgettable experience. The natives of Talca value their city so much that among them, half seriously and half jokingly, the saying "Talca, Paris and London" is common. There are different versions about the origin of this phrase, but all of them highlight the city's relevance in Chilean history.

In this post we will tell you some of the reasons why Talca and the Maule Region are a good place for tourism. Read on and discover all that this city has to offer.

Climate

The climate is temperate, with an average annual temperature of 14.8 °C. In summer, which extends from December to March, temperatures can exceed 30 °C. and in winter, from June to September, temperatures can drop exceptionally low to 0 °C. Depending on the year, rainfall can reach just over 800 mm.


How to get there

To get to Talca there are several transportation options. By Bus: One of them is to take a bus from Santiago, which takes about three and a half hours with an approximate price of 10 dollars. The main stations in Santiago are Terminal Sur, Terminal San Borja, Terminal Alameda and Terminal Los Heroes.
 
High-speed train: Santiago-Talca high-speed train departing from "Estacion Central" in Santiago, with six daily frequencies (three in each direction). This service began operating in March 2024, in a modernization stage of EFE (Empresa de Ferrocarriles del Estado). This train - presented as the fastest and most modern in South America - has a capacity of 236 passengers seated in high standard cars. The service has only one intermediate stop -Rancagua- and a travel time of two hours and 43 minutes, which will be reduced as infrastructure works are completed. 

Tourist attractions in Talca: 

The downtown area  

Here you can visit the historical and cultural heritage of the city, such as the Plaza de Armas (main square), the Cathedral, the University of Talca Botanical Garden, Patio Rugendas, a cultural and gastronomic space one block away from the Plaza de Armas, with a variety of restaurants, cafes, bookshops, souvenir stores and live music some weekends.  

Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas is the place where the city was refounded in 1742, by order of Governor Manso de Velasco. It is the nerve and commercial center of the commune, surrounded by historic buildings and monuments. In 1967, a monolith was installed in honor of the founding of the Villa de San Agustín de Talca, the original name of the city.

Catholic Cathedral of Talca

Image: chile-iglesias-catolicas.blogspot.com
The Cathedral is a Catholic church located in front of the Plaza de Armas. It is the seat of the bishop of the Diocese of Talca and was built between 1939 and 1954 by the architect Ramón Venegas. Its style is neoclassical and it has an imposing tower that stands out in the urban landscape. The cathedral was erected in the same place where the old parish chapel was located, founded by the priest Antonio de Molina y Cabellos in the 18th century. 

The 2010 earthquake caused structural damage to the church, including its masonry walls and reinforced concrete arches, which were at risk of collapse. Restoration work was completed in 2012, which strengthened the walls with reinforced concrete and replaced the wooden roof structure. The cathedral is a place of worship, history and art that is worth visiting.
Address: 711, 1 Norte st.

Calle 5 Oriente 

This street is famous for being the place where the Act of Independence of Chile was signed in 1818. You can visit the colonial houses that preserve the atmosphere of the time and the O'Higginiano and Fine Arts Museum.

Alameda Bernardo O'Higgins  

It is the main pedestrian promenade of the city, where you can walk under the shade of native, natural trees, admire the sculptures and fountains, area for sports and exercise machines, resting places, playground.

Corazón de María Church

Corazón de María is a Catholic temple of Gothic style located in the center of Talca, in front of the square known as "el pentágono". It was founded in 1942, during a period of great economic boom when numerous public and private constructions were built. 

Since then, the building has suffered several damages from earthquakes, especially the one in 2010 that destroyed its bell tower. It is currently under restoration to recover its beauty and historical heritage.
Address: 1416, 2 Sur st. 
 

O'Higginiano and Fine Arts Museum

O'Higginiano and Fine Arts Museum
Image: patrimonio.bienes.cl
 Created in 1945 by a law that gave it the name of Bernardo O'Higgins, the hero of national independence who lived in Talca. The museum was installed in a colonial house of neoclassical style, which was restored by the Council of National Monuments. 

The gallery has collections of Chilean paintings, sculpture, Mapuche silverware, manuscripts, weapons and numismatics, among others. There are also cultural and educational activities for the community.

Address: 875, 1 Norte St.
Phone: +56 712735101
Open: Tuesday to Friday. 10.00 AM - 1.00 PM / 3.00 - 5.30 PM.
Saturday. 10.00 AM - 1.45 PM

Universidad de Talca Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden of the Universidad de Talca is a natural space that houses more than 300 species of native and exotic plants, distributed over 12 hectares. The park aims to conserve, research and educate about plant biodiversity, as well as provide a place for recreation and leisure for the university community and the general public. 

There are trails, ponds, greenhouses, a Japanese garden, and a botanical museum, among other attractions. The place is open to the public from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 17:00 hours, and on weekends and holidays, from 10:00 to 18:00 hours.

Address: n/n Lircay Ave., Talca
Phone: 71 220 0263

Río Claro and Cerro La Virgen

Río Claro is an important watercourse and tourist attraction in the Maule Region where visitors can carry out various adventure activities such as fishing, rafting, kayaking or canoeing, in addition to enjoying nature and local food.

Cerro La Virgen, an iconic place in Talca, offering a panoramic view of the city and a space for recreation and faith. At its summit, there is a giant image of the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of the Chilean Army, and a small altar for religious celebrations. The hill also has trails for trekking, mountain biking and green areas with games and barbecues. It is a tourist attraction that combines nature, culture and history.   

Talca Train Station 

The Estación de Trenes de Talca is a historical and cultural monument that represents the railroad connection between the center and the south of the country, as well as the architectural beauty and heritage of the city. It is one of the most important stops on the railroad from Santiago to the south and the starting point of the branch line connecting it with the resort town of Constitución.

It is also the point of departure of special tours that will take you directly to the Maule Valley, a wine-making area with several vineyards open to tourism.
 
Address: 1000, 11 Oriente st.

Radal Siete Tazas National Park

Protected natural area located in the commune of Molina, Curicó Province, Maule Region. It was created on March 27, 2008, and protects fauna species such as the Puma, Güiñas, Colocolo cats, the Pudú, or the Black Woodpecker.

The National Reserve is famous for having unique rock formations such as the so-called Siete Tazas (Seven Cups), which are natural pools dug by the Claro River and the Salto de la Leona, a 50-meter high waterfall. There are trails through the deciduous forest and the high Andean steppe, where you can see coigües, oaks, and mountain cypresses. The park can be visited by previous reservation at pasesparques.cl

Phone: +56 712224461 
Emails:  talca.oirs@conaf.cl 
parque.radalsietetazas@conaf.cl

Maule Valley Wine Routes

Apart from its natural attractions, Talca stands out for its wine production. The winemaking activity in this part of the country dates back to the 18th century, when the first vineyards were founded in the area. Today, Talca has several wine routes that allow visitors to learn about the local history, culture and gastronomy.

The tours called Ruta del Vino del Valle del Maule are a way to learn about and enjoy the wine culture of this region of Chile. These tours offer the opportunity to visit different vineyards, wineries and museums related to wine, as well as to taste its products and learn about its history and production. In addition, you can appreciate the natural landscape and the typical gastronomy of the valley, which is characterized by its diversity and quality.

La Ruta de Condorito

La Ruta de Condorito (Little Condor Route) is a tourist circuit that travels through the places that inspired the famous Chilean cartoonist Pepo to create the world of Condorito, the character of a famous Chilean comic strip that became the most beloved condor in Latin America.

It covers the towns of Pelarco, Pencahue, San Rafael and Talca. On this tour you can visit the house where Pepo was born, the museum dedicated to his work, Chiquihue hill where Condorito was born, the Cal y Canto bridge where he married Yayita, and many other emblematic places that appear in the comics.

In addition, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area, with its green landscapes, rivers and lagoons, native flora and fauna, and the local typical gastronomy. The Condorito Route is a unique experience for lovers of popular culture and adventure, which will make you laugh and get excited with the adventures of this funny character and his friends.

Reserva Nacional Altos de Lircay

Altos de Lircay National Reserve is one of Chile's protected wildlife areas, located in the Maule Region, Talca province, municipality of San Clemente. It was created in 1996 covering an area of 12,163 hectares. Its main attraction are the mountainous landscape, with native forests of oak, coigües and ñirres, and a great variety of fauna, such as the Pudú, Puma and Loica. 

The reserve features several hiking trails for nature lovers, such as the Laguna del Alto, the Enladrillado and the Mirador del Valle. To visit the reserve you must enter through the platform pasesparques.cl and respect the rules and recommendations of CONAF.

Tourism in Constitución

Beach in Constitución, Chile.
Image: Francisco Saavedra
The city and commune of Constitución stand out for its rock formations, tourist and forestry activity. It is located in the coastal area of the region, 110 km. driving from Talca, at the mouth of the Maule River. According to the 2017 census Constitución had a population of 46,081 inhabitants, with an area of 1,343 km². Its climate is temperate Mediterranean, with winter rains and dry summers. 

The city was founded in 1794 by Governor Ambrosio O'Higgins with the name Nueva Bilbao, in honor of his hometown. In 1828, it changed its name to Constitución, in commemoration of the promulgation of Chile's first Constitution. The place has a rich history and culture, which offers its visitors various natural, gastronomic and heritage attractions. Among them are the Piedra de la Iglesia (Church Stone), the Arco de los Enamorados (Arch of Lovers), Cerro de Arena (Sand Hill),  Cuevas de Quivolgo archeological site, the Biblioteca Municipal (Public Library).
 

Comments