The valley is one of the best places in the region (in the world?) to stargaze. On a midnight observatory tour we saw many constellations with the naked eye, as well as star clusters, saturn, and the moon through a telescope! At night the skies seem expansive and the hills are vibrant with shadowy color from the light of the moon. We went on a midnight stroll the next night, and my shadow was perhaps stronger than it is during most days.
Photo taken through the telescope at the Mamalluca Observatory
The Elqui Valley is also known for its pisco. Pisco is a brandy distilled from grapes! Many of your have probably enjoyed a pisco sour or two, just like me. Yet I didn't know until Friday that Pisco is a grape-based liquor. The Valley is one of 5 valleys that produce pisco - in fact there is a law that states that to be marketed as pisco, the grapes have to be grown in this region. There are several very old distilleries that have been making it since the Spanish arrived with grapes!
The region is known for Gabriela Mistral, famous Chilean poet and first Latin American winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
Amazing street art, all over Chile
Aging pisco in the old distillery