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Los Andes

This Chilean town was founded in 1791 as Santa Rosa de Los Andes by Ambrosio O’Higgins, the father of famous Chilean liberator Bernardo O’Higgins. The city serves as a crossroads for Route 57 from Santiago to Route 60, which runs from Viña del Mar. Much like nearby San Felipe, the microclimate here is conducive to the production of high-quality grapes and tremendous wines. The well-manicured and shaded Plaza del Armas is predictably at the middle of urban life in Los Andes. The Gobernación Provincial, which served as the provincial governor’s residence until 1964, is located on the northern edge of the plaza. Government offices are now located around its central patio.


While checking out the sights in Los Andes, head toward the Museo Arqueológico de Los Andes (Santa Teresa 398, Tel: 034-420115, $2, Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.) for a chance to learn a bit about the local history. Stone tools, pottery and other items are showcased throughout displays. There are some interesting Mapuche artifacts found here as well. Nearby Museo Antiguo Monasterio del Espíritu Santo de Los Andes (Santa Teresa 389) is a popular pilgrimage site for the faithful to honor this icon. Also, the mural A la Hermandad Chileno-Argentina by artist Gregorio de la Fuente can be viewed at the judicial offices found in the former waiting room of the Estación Ferrocarril Transandino.


There are several accommodation options for travelers. Plaza Hotel is a downtown hotel located at Esmeralda 367. Rooms are simple with a TV and phone, and there is a continental breakfast included too. Most major credit cards are accepted. Expect to pay approximately $56 for a single or $64 for a double room. Hotel Olicar, found at Papudo 385, where clean single rooms for approximately $26 per night is a good bet for budget travelers. After securing a place to rest for the evening, head out to one of the town’s restaurants. Fresh spaghetti and other scrumptious Italian meals are served at Círculo Italiano (Esmeralda 246). Other good options are the regional food cooked at El Guatón (Av. Santa Teresa 240) or the fancy La Table de France (Camino Internacional, Km 3, Tel: 34-406319) starts plates off with an delicious la sopa de cebolla.


Other places nearby Los Andes: Portillo and San Felipe.

By Chris Hughes
Traveling South America to give Viva readers the most up-to-date information...
30 Jun 2009

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