Colchagua Valley By Bike
It is not necessary to be a millionaire or spend a fortune to enjoy the beauty of the Colchagua Valley; you only need motivation and a bicycle.The Colchagua Valley is the land of wines and traditions of the Chilean countryside. A beautiful valley that stands out for its beautiful vineyards, hotels and spectacular landscapes. It is here where many of the internationally recognized Chilean wines are produced. They are produced in the vineyards of wineries such as Lapostolle, MontGras and Montes, among others.
This incredible destination is traditionally not necessary demands a fortune to enjoy the beauty of the Colchagua Valley; you only need motivation and a bicycle. Here we will review some of the routes you can do at no cost in the city of Santa Cruz, where some of the most beautiful vineyards in the valley are located.
Santa Cruz is a beautiful and small city in the VI Region, where around 30,000 people live. It is one of the main destinations of the region, standing out for its colonial architecture and the production of some of the best Chilean wines in its surrounding vineyards. Romantic surroundings many elegant hotels to stay, and to enjoy it you can just take a bike.
You have here also many economic alternatives for accommodation, like going to Los Corralones camping, the most economical alternative of the commune.
Santa Cruz is a small city and you do not need a vehicle to move within it. However, the routes proposed here that cross the city and take you to the nearby vineyards are approximately 30 kilometers away and a bicycle or other vehicle is required to get there.
Route No. 1 (covers a distance of approximately 30 km and lasts 2 hours. This is a beautiful route where the Chilean countryside mixes with the great vineyards, large colonial style houses are interspersed with small farmers and farmers, a mixture of landscapes and very special colors. The route has a low difficulty, always on paved road and practically without slope, so it becomes a pleasant route that can be taken with tranquility. Much of the way is well marked in Google Maps, so a cell phone is enough to get your bearings (there is a good signal throughout the route).
The tour begins at Plaza de Santa Cruz, advances through 21 de Mayo Street, then Bernardo O'Higgins Street and continues along Rafael Casanova Avenue towards the town of Isla de Yaquil. The road to this town advances towards the north passing through numerous vineyards, small farms and houses where chickens, goats and other animals enjoy the pure air of the Chilean countryside. It is a quiet area, and the route advances along a road with little traffic, ideal to enjoy the landscape and relax. When arriving at Isla de Yaquil, take the detour to Peralillo, NOT to Rincon de Yaquil. The road advances through the countryside, beginning to appear the first vineyards until you reach the MontGras Vineyard, one of the highlights of the route.
MontGras is one of the main vineyards in the area. One can enter (at no cost) to admire the beautiful colonial-style building surrounded by endless vineyards. In addition to tours of the vineyard and its wineries, wine tastings can be made. After visiting MontGras, the road continues along Route I-710, crosses Route-90 and continues along Route I-352, passing the Siegel Winery vineyards. After crossing the Estero Chimbarongo, the road continues south passing through more vineyards and countryside, making a transition to a more urbanized area. The road continues to the south, reaching the section of Route 90 (yellow on the map). Route 90 is in this section just a narrow street without berm and with high traffic flow, so you have to walk along the sidewalk with your bike. You have to be very careful with pedestrians and exits from houses and plots. You have to go slowly through this section to avoid accidents. This section ends in the detour to Santa Cruz, which must be taken and continues straight to the square, closing the circuit.
Route No. 2 Like Route No. 1, covers a distance of approximately 30 km (round trip) and lasts 2 hours. This is a spectacular route that goes into the beautiful Apalta Valley, located in the center of the Colchagua Valley. This area has the ideal conditions for the production of premium wines, producing the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Carmenere. Here you will find some of the most beautiful vineyards in the area, offering simply spectacular landscapes. The route has a low difficulty, on paved road and practically without slope as the previous route.
The tour begins at Plaza Santa Cruz, advancing along the Federico Errazuriz avenue straight to the intersection of Route 90, where you must turn right. The section on Route 90 has a wide berm through which you can cycle without problems. Continue until you reach the entrance to Valle de Apalta (indicated as C. de Apalta in the signs), where you take Route I-350 that goes into the valley. Almost the entire route moves along this route so it is very difficult to get lost. The road advances next to endless vineyards, which in autumn turns a deep red. The first vineyard to appear is Lapostolle, an exclusive place that can only be entered with a reservation.
Shortly after the entrance to the Las Ninas winery appears, one of the highlights of the route. The latter is much more accessible than Lapostolle, offering tastings of wines, which also includes access to the rest of the vineyard and its bicycle and trekking trails.
Then the road passes next to the Montes Winery vineyard, one of the most beautiful in the entire valley. You can enter with your bike to observe the beautiful entrance to the building of visits and the vineyards that surrounds it. If you have a budget, you can do wine tastings or take some of the tour offered by the vineyard. The road continues along Route I-350, passing through the town of San Jose de Apalta and the Casa Patronal Vina Las Ninas. When you reach the end of Route I-350 you have to turn left, advancing along a beautiful road flanked by vineyards and country houses. The road ends at the entrance to the Neyen vineyard, from this winery you have to return.