The CAJÓN DEL MAIPO is a beautiful river valley carved out of the Andes by the Río Maipo. Served by a good paved road and punctuated by a string of hamlets offering tourist facilities, it’s one of the most popular weekend escapes from the capital. The potential for outdoor adventures is enormous, with organized hiking, rafting and mountain biking trips all on offer.

Start at the mouth of the cajón, just 25km southeast of Santiago, at Las Vizcachas. Here the scenery is lush and gentle, and as you climb into the valley you’ll pass vineyards, orchards, roadside stalls selling locally produced fruit, and signs advertising home-made küchen, miel (honey), pan amasado (fresh oven-baked bread) and chicha (cider).

Note that there are no banks or ATMs in the valley, so bring cash.

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