Star Gazing and Soul Searching in Chile’s Elqui Valley

Do you ever feel like you don’t have time to notice and appreciate the sublime details in the world? That beautiful moments slip through your open hands so fast, and you just wish you could hold on to them a little longer?

Perhaps the only solution to this frantic sensation is to step outside of time for a moment, to view everything from another vantage point, while simply breathing and existing. In a calm and relaxed state of being, one can learn to flow like water through life, sailing past obstacles and content with the opportunity to be experiencing the journey.

A place for peace

Some New Age devotees say Chile’s Elqui Valley is one of the best locations in the world to seek spiritual peace and true satisfaction. According to this belief, the earth contains geographical areas with particularly powerful magnetic energy, similar to the seven chakras – or energetic centers – in the human body. In the new astrological Age of Aquarius, Svadhisthana, the water chakra, has descended on Elqui.

Regardless of particular religious, philosophical or metaphysical beliefs, Elqui Valley’s unprecedented natural splendor and crystal skies alone can soothe any weary soul.

Escape to Elqui, and seek your own inner harmony and serenity with the following activities.

Connect with Nature

With approximately 300 sunny days per year and wide, open skies, one feels close to the Elqui’s vivid blue atmosphere while trekking the desert canyons and fruitful valleys.

Hiking opportunities abound in the valley, where you can plant your feet on firm ground and walk into the graceful landscape.

Yoga and Meditation

As the nucleus of one of earth’s energy points, Elqui Valley virtually burgeons with centers for yoga and meditation retreats.

Resorts like Refugio El Alma Zen and Spa Cochiguaz provide comfortable lodging, yoga and meditation exercises, and massage treatments.

As an alternative to resorts and organized classes, inhabit a quiet spot in the vast desert for personal contemplation in your own unique manner.

Astronomy

Astronomers love the Elqui’s usually-cloudless skies, and several observatories in the valley, like Mamalluca Observatory near Vicuña, are open to the public.

Magnify the universe through a professional telescope, or look up at the breathtaking night sky and absorb the brilliant southern constellations and Milky Way with your naked eyes.

Vineyards

With an ideal climate for growing grapes, Elqui Valley is filled with photogenic vineyards, harvested for wine and pisco production.

Schedule a winery tour, or simply find a cozy place to imbibe wine and pisco made from Elqui grapes, and taste the valley’s soothing presence in each sip.

How to arrive

The town of La Serena, located 400 km north of Santiago, is the portal to Elqui. Arrive to La Serena by plane, bus or car, then embark to Elqui from there.

Tweet: Escape from life’s hectic twists and turns, and seek peace and harmony in Chile’s serene and splendid Elqui Valley.

By Gretchen Stahlman, written for Chile.Travel
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