Chile

Adventures in Valle del Elqui, the Pisco Capital of Chile

Kirra McGowin is a student at University of Colorado Boulder and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Valparaíso, Chile.

Colorful houses in Vicuña

Colorful houses in Vicuña

A few weeks ago some friends and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Valle del Elqui. We were told by many people that this area is a must-see, as one of Chile’s largest producers of pisco, it was a no-brainer to go and visit some Piscquerías!

Hostel Dog, Pisco Elqui

Hostel Dog, Pisco Elqui

What I didn’t expect was just how beautiful the area was.

Puerta, Pisco Elqui

Puerta, Pisco Elqui

After speaking to locals, we were able to find some pretty great hikes in the two towns we visited: Vicuña and Pisco Elqui. There were some nice little gems we saw along the way to the trailheads.

Mountainside, Pisco Elqui

Mountainside, Pisco Elqui

Since it is winter here the mountains were covered in snow and it was just amazing!

Daniel Mtnside, Pisco Elqui

Daniel Mountainside, Pisco Elqui

We were humbled while in the presence of the giant snowy montañas in Pisco Elqui

Montañas, Pisco ElquiThis area is also know for some of the clearest skies in the world.

Sunset Mountains

Sunset Mountains

Sunset

Sunset

Purple Twilight

Purple Twilight

We stayed for a bit on the mountainside after the sun went down to see this for ourselves.

Nighttime

Nighttime

Estrellas

Estrellas

I have to say seeing the milky way perfectly was an amazing thing. It was also fun to mess around with the exposure on my camera.

Valle del Elqui is a definite must-see if you are ever in Chile.

Did you know that you can study and participate in service-learning at the same time in Valparaíso? Explore your Study + Service-Learning options here.