NOTE: The following places are closed until further notice, due to earthquake damage: Cathedral, Museo de Lircunlauta, Hacienda Los Lingues.
Capital of the province of Colchagua since 1840, San Fernando sits 339m above sea level. The area produces large amounts of fruit and it is possible to purchase delicious produce from various vendors - the cherries are especially good. It is also ripe with delicious wine and a plethora of traditional vineyards.
Buses run from the terminal at the corner of Avenida Manso de Velasco and Rancagua.
Once in San Fernando, seek out Hotel Marcano (Manuel Rodriguez 968, Tel: 72-714759) or for a more basic room with a TV and phone head toward nearby Hotel Espa├▒a (Manuel Rodriguez 959, Tel: 72-711098). Nearby Hotel Casa Silva (Hijuela Norte, Tel: 72-913091, Fax: 56-72-717491, URL: www.casasilva.cl) caters to a more exclusive crowd - evidenced by the polo pitch on its grounds.
After checking into the hotel, walk a few blocks to Manuel Rodriguez 815 to grab a sandwich or drink at Caf├ę Roma or a fill up on a pollo asado at Club Social (Manuel Rodriguez 787).
A long, leisurely walk along the narrow streets is one of the highlights of this town set in the hilly Central Valley. Manuel Rodriguez is littered with shops and snack bars. The Neo-Gothic Iglesia de San Francisco also shows off its 32-meter high tower. San Fernando has a second Gothic church called the Capilla San Juan de Dios on the corner of Negrete and Avenida Manso de Velasco. Visit the Museo Casa Patronal de Lircunlauta at the corner of Jimenez and Avenida Manso de Velasco to see an art or photo exhibition (CH$200, Tuesday - Friday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., 3-7 p.m., Saturday - Sunday 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 4-6 p.m.). Or, if you need a bit more excitement arrange a trip to the rapids with Mundo Aventura Rafting located at Manuel Rodriguez 430. (Tel: 72-721733). Another highlight is the often-visited Termas del Flaco, though the thermal baths are actually 107km east of San Fernando.