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Valle del Encanto - Trekking Ovalle - Chile

To call the Valle del Encanto an unconventional archaeological museum would be an understatement. Although this national monument (19 kilometers west of Ovalle) has some of the most important petroglyphs, pictographs and piedras tacitas in Chile, some dating back more than 4,000 years, its artifacts are scattered across a desert valley more than five kilometers wide.


Pictographs and petroglyphs carved into stone depict strange masked faces, hunted animals and even beings that appear to be extra-terrestrial. The mysterious piedras tacitas (smooth, flat rocks with patterned holes carved into them) have been the recent topic of anthropological discussion. Some scientists believe they were used to prepare food and hallucinogenic powders and others believe they were astronomical maps, filled with water at night to reflect light from the stars.


There are many good places in the park to camp or picnic. Many visitors choose to spend a few days hiking and exploring. Stop by the office at the park entrance to get advice on what sites to visit and at what times. The position of the sun greatly changes what pieces are visible, but just before midday is generally a good time to come to see the small collection of encased artifacts that park workers have proudly placed on display.

Ovalle, Chile


Price Description: Summer: Monday-Sunday 8:15-20:00

Winter: Monday-Sunday 8:15-19:00


Adults- $0.55 (CLP 300), Children- $0.20 (CLP 100)

Relative price: Very cheap

Open Hours from:Summer and Winter: Monday - Sunday 8:15 a.m.

Open Hours to:Summer: Monday - Sunday 8:00 p.m., Winter- 7:00 p.m.

Travel Skills: intermediate/somewhat difficult.

Termas de Socos, Barraza

Currencies accepted
Chilean Peso

Contact Information:

By Lauren Yero
I am a recent liberal arts graduate who travels as a compulsion. I have lived in several regions of the US as well as briefly abroad in England and...
07 Jul 2009

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