Destination - Chile central - Chillán


Chillan, one of the most picturesque towns in the whole country, lies between two rivers, the Nuble and the Chillán, the name meaning "chair under the sun", or "sitting under the sun" in the Mapudungun language (the main indigenous language of Chile).

The city was founded more than four centuries ago; in fact, Chillán is one of Chile's oldest towns, and several famous celebrities claim it as their place of birth, for instance the former Chilean Independence leader, Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme, and Claudio Arrau, a famous Chilean pianist, to name but two...The town itself is situated 399km south of Santiago.


The cathedral is an architectural work featuring eleven parabolic arcs of varying elevations. Its construction was begun in 1941, after the tragic earthquake of 1939, which resulted in the destruction of the old church. Among other noteworthy works of architecture can be counted the Chapel of San Juan de Dios, where Bernardo O’Higgins was christened, the Monastery of San Francisco, the Siqueiros Monastery, and the Franciscan Museum. All of these constitute the cultural and historic heritage of the city as whole. The Craft and Food markets are also worth a visit, the former being famous nationwide, as it offers a most complete and varied selection of

Chilean handicraft work, whereas the latter provides an opportunity to sample a comprehensive selection of typical gastronomical dishes of the region.

The resort of Termas de Chillán is situated only 80 kilometers from the city. It is an international tourist resort, which prides itself on being one of the foremost winter sports resorts on the planet. It also boasts the longest skiing road in the whole of South America.

In addition to this, the visitor can find a number of volcanic thermal springs for outdoor bathing, together with a luxurious mountain spa nestling in the vicinity of the Gran Hotel Termas de Chillán.

Other tourist attractions include:

  • Quinchamali, a small village in the vicinity of Chillán, famous for its pottery
  • Concepcion, the second largest city in Chile, and an important regional business centre
  • Lota, a town boasting an old undersea coal mine, which is open specifically for tourism

... and last but not least:

  • Salto de Laja, where one can find four spectacular waterfalls, between 20 and 30 meters in height...