Visit The Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs

Coquimbo Day Trip To Explore The Limari Valley In Chile

Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

We Visited The Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs

On our day in Coquimbo, Chile we visited the Enchanted Valley for wine tasting and petroglyphs. We headed towards Ovalle in the province of Limari. Along the way we learned much about this part of Chile.

There were many options for day trips from Coquimbo but we decided to head inland. Our first stop was at the Tabali Winery for wine tasting. From there we moved to the Enchanted Valley (or “Valle del Encanto”) National Historic Monument. As we walked through this fascinating site we saw an interesting variety of petroglyphs and more.

Arriving In Coquimbo in Chile

When we docked in Coquimbo in Chile on our cruise around South America with Oceania Cruises, the fog hung over the hills that surrounded the port. We soon learned that this fog created some unique opportunities in this area. But luckily, the fog lifted quickly and we got a great day for a day trip to the Limari Valley.

Coquimbo Harbour.jpg

From the ship we got a view of some of the local attractions that Coquimbo offered. Perched high on the hills we saw the Cross of the Third Millennium. On another high point, was the Mosque of Coquimbo. We were amused when we spotted the stairs that zigzagged up the hill.

Coquimbo Town Cross of the Third Millennium - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs.jpg

Coquimbo Town Mosque of Coquimbo.jpg

Coquimbo Town Stairs - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs.jpg

On our bus trip through Coquimbo and into the countryside, we kept our eyes peeled. We were amazed at the colourful street art murals we found on the buildings and walls. The topics were varied and colourful. We recognized local sights. And on a tour for wine tasting and petroglyphs we even found street art reflected this!

Coquimbo Street Art - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs.jpg

Coquimbo Street Art - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs.jpg

Coquimbo Street Art - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs.jpg

Coquimbo Street Art - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs.jpg

Coquimbo Street Art.jpg

We enjoyed the small glimpse we got of Coquimbo before we headed to the Enchanted Valley.

Heading To The Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs

When we left Coquimbo, we travelled along the Pan-American Highway. We first travelled on this highway from the most southerly point on our visit to Ushuaia in Argentina. It was the longest highway in the world as it went all the way to Alaska. Along the coast of Chile as we got higher we saw long stretches of beach and resorts.

Pan Pacific Highway.jpg

Pan Pacific Highway.jpg

The bus turned onto the highway that went inland towards Ovalle in the province of Limari. Off in the distance above the clouds we saw more of the low lying camanchaca (or coastal clouds). While the land was very arid, this fog produced significant moisture in the area. We saw the farms that were sustained by this water.

Limari Valley.jpg

Limari Valley - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs.jpg

Limari Valley.jpg

Along the way we saw signs that farming and processing was done in the area. We passed a large olive oil factory and a pisquera which made the Pisco liquor used in the Pisco Sour drinks we enjoyed on our visit to Casablanca for a horse show. We saw the most interesting domes in the fields and wondered if these were unique AirBnb rentals in this area.

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As we drove inland we left the fog behind, the sun came out and the heat set in. The ground turned more desert-like.

Limari Valley.jpg

We knew we were close to the winery when vineyards appeared in the fields. It was an interesting drive from Coquimbo to the Limari Valley. But we were excited to start our experience in the Enchanted Valley for wine tasting and petroglyphs.

Visiting The Tabali Winery

We got our first wine tasting in Chile when we visited the Casa Del Bosque Winery in Casblanca. So we were excited to try some more great wine.

The bus parked high above the Tabali Winery and we got a great view of the large facility shaded in the valley. After we walked down, we looked around the grounds.

Tabali Winery - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

Tabali Winery.jpg

Our guide walked us around the winery production facility. We found it interesting that so much of the process including the aging barrels were kept in this outdoor environment. We saw old French oak barrels and the large stainless steel barrels used to produce Chardonnay.

Tabali Winery Process - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

Tabali Winery Process - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

Tabali Winery Process.jpg

From the upper level we descended into the cellars. A fascinating large mural covered one wall. It was painted by a famous local artist and showed life at another time. One of the sections of the murals showed the petroglyphs we saw later on this tour.

Tabali Winery Mural.jpg

Tabali Winery Mural - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

Tabali Winery Mural - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

We moved into the Sala de Barricas for our wine tasting at Tabali Winery.

Wine Tasting At The Tabali Winery

Buried deep in the cellar, the wine tasting room was one of the most interesting we ever visited. We sat down for two wine tastings. A snack plate accompanied the wine and let us try the wines with different flavours.

Tabali Wine Tasting.jpg

The conditions in the Limari Valley favoured the production of concentrated wines with high natural acidity. Our first tasting was a 2019 Sauvignon Blanc. We found its citrus taste was tamed by the cheese pairing. By contrast, we found that the 2017 Syrah perked up and became more acidic with the cheese.

Tabali Wine Tasting - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

Tabali Wine Tasting - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

After the wine tasting, we headed back upstairs. There was a small store for those that wanted to take some of the wines home. As we wandered around, we also found a private tasting room on this level.

Tabali Wine Store.jpg

Tabali Wine Store Tasting Room - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

Our guide rounded us up and we headed back up the hill to the bus for our next stop.

Walking Around The Enchanted Valley National Historic Monument

It was a short drive on the Tabali property to the Enchanted Valley National Historic Monument. The area was discovered in 1946 and declared a National Historic Monument of Chile in 1972. This was a protected area because of the petroglyphs and other traces of the Molle indigenous culture which were found here. It was a vast open-air museum.

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs.jpg

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

The bus took us down the hill and we walked for about an hour on the lower levels. It was a much larger site than what we saw with many more petroglyphs. But large groups like ours were not allowed in all areas. The other areas had interesting names like the “Santuary”, the “Extraterrestrial” and “Illumined”. To see these interesting spots we needed to return with a guide.

As we headed into the site, we saw the high altitude vegetation. Cinnamon, myrtle and olive trees grew above the ferns.

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs.jpg

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs.jpg

Fascinated With The Piedras Tacitas And Petroglyphs

The first spot we came to had about 20 Piedras Tacitas. These were large rocks with groups of deep circular indentations. These pre-Columbian features were thought to be used to grind corn. Or possibly for ceremonies. We sadly missed the area that had holes big enough to hold 2 people!

Enchanted Valley Piedras Tacita.jpg

Enchanted Valley Piedras Tacita.jpg

Enchanted Valley Piedras Tacita - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

From here we wandered further into the site. The area contained over 30 petroglyphs. Our guide moved us from one to the next. In some places there were signs or numbers that marked the petroglyphs. They depicted masks, tiaras, sun symbols and snake-like and fish-like shapes deeply engraved in rocks.

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs.jpg

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs.jpg

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs.jpg

There was even a petroglyph that looked like visitors from outer space. Our guide said he and other members of his family had seen extraterrestrial visitors. We wondered if there was something in the air that made everyone high.

Enchanted Valley Petroglyphs - Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs From Coquimbo Chile.jpg

With a brief introduction to the treasures at the Enchanted Valley, we headed back to the bus. This was a site that surely needed more time.

A Great Coquimbo Day Trip In The Enchanted Valley For Wine Tasting And Petroglyphs

We had an interesting day trip to the Enchanted Valley for wine tasting and petroglyphs. We had our first discovery of Chilean wine when we visited Casablanca the previous day. The Tabali Winery we visited this day provided another treat for our palate.

The Piedras Tacitas and petroglyphs were fascinating to see when we visited the Enchanted Valley National Historic Monument. But a small group tour would provide a much broader view of the sight.

Our stop in Coquimbo was our last day in Chile. From there we headed to Peru. We had lots of interesting things planned for our stops in Peru. But little did we know that this was our last stop before the pandemic brought us to a halt!

Have you done a Coquimbo day trip to the Enchanted Valley for wine tasting and petroglyphs? Or did you do something else from Coquimbo?

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84 Comments

  1. Never been to chile and can’t say there has even been an anything that’s attracted me
    To go but after reading you blog I have been proven wrong … and to do some wine tasting in Tabali winery is definitely something I could enjoy

    • I am glad to have convinced you that there is a lot of interesting things to see and do in Chile. We were fascinated on our visit to Chile and will definitely be back.

  2. Wow! I had no idea there were a lot of street art in the area. We’d love to visit and do some wine tasting. It’s nice that you were able to walk through the winery production facility at the Tabali Winery.

    • Our stop in Coquimbo was a lovely discover for us. Next time we will spend more time in town. But it was lovely to get both wine tasting and a view of the petroglyphs.

  3. The vineyards against the desert floor creates such an amazing contrast. Having the wine tasting room in the cellar at Tabali Winery adds a touch of elegance. I haven’t heard of Coquimbo but I love those zig zag stairs! And that mural on the roof is so unique.

  4. What an interesting day, to see many interesting things and also taste wine. I love Coquimbo, it reminds me of the colourful and full of street art Valparaiso. I like that their paired the wine with an empanada, that is such a Chile thing to do 🙂 The petroglyphs looks very interesting as well, I didn’t see anything like it before. Who knows, maybe indeed those symbols represent visitors from outer space haha

    • Our visit to Coquimbo sure offered a lot of different things to see. One day we will spend more time in the city. But we sure were happy we got wine tasting and maybe a view at a former UFO site 🙂

  5. Wine tasting and spending time checking out street art and murals have been two of our favorite things to do during our Europe trips. Visiting Chile and South America on the whole has always been in our thoughts but are yet to be there. Our desire grows with the feel that I got here and reading the historical importance of the locations. The Petroglyphs would be interesting to explore in person..

  6. I would love to visit the petroglyphes in the Valle del Concanto. As we do travel a lot in Central Asia, we visited some petroglyph sites over there. And I would love to compare them to the petroglyphes in South America.

    • It was interesting to get a guided tour of the petroglyphs. But we were sad we saw such a small part of this massive site. So interesting to get some insight into the meaning. And to wonder about the petroglyph that looked like a UFO!

  7. I’d like to go to Enchanted Valley and try some of their wines. Tabali wines look delicious, and I love that they’re paired with delectable appetizers. It’s quite exciting to see so many wooden and stainless barrels at the winery’s manufacturing plant. The area’s meaningful petroglyphs are really wonderful!

  8. We get a lot of Chilenean wine here – but I think that it’s always different to experience it on the spot, especially during a tasting. I did a wine tour in St Emilion in France and it was really fascinating. You learn to appreciate the products more when you see what a long and complicated process it is to get high quality. Also, the prices don’t hurt so much anymore 😉

    • We often try to do wine tasting when we travel. And when we like a wine, we buy it from the vineyard as often we can never find it again. A fun stop on this visit to the Enchanted Valley.

  9. Wine and petroglyphs are a unique combination but clearly make for a memorable trip! I will definitely need to keep this in mind for the next trip I plan. I love experiencing history and culture wherever I go!

  10. Great article! As Italian, I really love wine and it looks like you enjoy it a lot while in Chile. I will surely save this article for my next travel!

  11. This would be an excursion that I would take. Wine they say ? It is interesting how they store some of the wine barrels outdoors. We would never be able to do that here in Canada.

    • I agree that it is very interesting to see wine making practices in the different spots we visit. And to learn more about new wines and varietals.

  12. This looks like an amazing trip! I love the beautiful colors in Coquimbo – I think that would be my favorite thing to see. I’ve never been wine tasting, but it looks like a ton of fun!

  13. Oh wow! This is awesome. As a history-buff and wine lover, this is just too perfect for me. The Enchanted Valley National Historic Monument is just perfect. I’m fascinated by the petroglyphs and I’m all the more amused by the explanation that the guide gave about extra terrestrials!

    • A visit to the Enchanted Valley is definitely a perfect treat for a wine and history lover. We too were amused that the guide said they had seen extra terrestrials!

  14. I agree that the wine tasting room looks different from other wineries you’ve been to. I wonder whether they have visitors every day since the location looks like a bit far. And I like they combined the wine tasting with a petroglyph tour so visitors have a bit of information of the first settler in the area.

  15. I have not been to Chile yet but your adventures in the enchanted valley makes me want to plan a trip here soon. I really like those zig zag stairs in Coquimbo and reminded me of the twisty road – the Lombard street in San Francisco! The murals and street art here look so beautiful. There are some talented artists there. It is interesting that the tours offered both wine tasting and petrogyph viewing. 🙂

    • One day was surely note enough to really see all of Coquimbo and head out into the Enchanted Valley. But it was a great taste of why we need to go back!

  16. My husband and I would love this trip. He loves wines and I am fascinated by history. The Enchanted Valley in Chile may well be our first foray into South America, the only continent we gave nit visited.

  17. I add Enchanted Valley Wine Tasting and Coquimbo to my bucket list as we plan to revisit Chile. I had no time for wine tasting during my first visit, as we had only one week. Tabali Winery seems a great place. Also, Petroglyphs in the area are exciting.

    • After having visited Chile once, I can see why you would want to go back. We had so many interesting experiences like our day trip from Coquimbo to the Enchanted Valley. But one day was often not enough.

  18. How ironic that you passed the place that made the pisco. I’m a BIG fan of pisco sours (and wine tastings, too, ha!). I love the combination of tasting with the petroglyphs. Sometimes you take a chance with booking tours, but I think you picked the perfect one. History and wine…a great combo!

    • This day trip absolutely offered us a fun and tasty mix of activities. Always interesting to learn more about the history and traditions of an area when we visit.

  19. I love Chilean Merlot so I can say that I would definitely love to do a day of wine tastings in Chile. Lovely pictures. I hope to make it to Chile one day and wine tastings are on the list.

  20. I’ve not been to Chile yet but I do love wine tasting anywhere so when I do go, this sounds like the perfect place to visit. The petroglyphs look just fascinating too. What a great combination for a day trip.

  21. What a great day! First of all Chilean wines are awesome, and often underrated. This winery looks just lovely. I always enjoy petroglyphs too…a wonderful window into ancient people’s lives. Great post!

    • It was great to have a few wine tasting trips on this visit to Chile. We would definitely go back to the petroglyphs and see more. Our tour only got us a very small section.

  22. Loved this quote: Our guide said he and other members of his family had seen extraterrestrial visitors. We wondered if there was something in the air that made everyone high.

    Maybe if you visit after the wine tasting…

    • It was indeed interesting to tour the petroglyphs with a local. We were not sure if the story was for entertainment or enlightenment. But fun in any case!

  23. What a fascinating stop in Coquimbo. I’d love to visit the Enchanted Valley for wine tasting and seeing those petroglyphs. I don’t know a lot about Chilean wine and have only tried a few of the less expensive ones at the grocery store. Would love to learn more about it.

    • We do always love to go wine tasting in local areas. Sadly we often find favourites that we can never find at home. But still a great learning experience.

  24. I loved Valle del Encanto and the petroglyphs. I came across a snake while I was touring the site which sort of spooked me but the petroglyphs and the piedras tacitas were interesting.

  25. What a great article! first of all I didn’t know about this location in Chile! thanks for putting it on my radar! Also I heard a lot of good reviews of Chilean wines but never really give it a try! I feel inspired to try right now!

    • I am happy to inspire you to try some Chilean wines. We got a good sample of some different varietals and did discover some new favourites. I hope you find one you love too!

  26. Chile and Argentina are high on my list specifically for wine tasting, this was right up my alley! It’s cool you can check out petroglyphs too, I don’t realize Chile had so many of those!

  27. We always love visiting places that offer opportunities for wine tastings, and I love that this area has such historical significance with all of the signs of earlier life; one of my favorite things to do while traveling is to learn the history of where I’m visiting. I also really enjoy being outside and exploring open-air museums; I had never heard of those until my visit to Stockholm. This trip sounds like it’d be right down my alley :). Thanks for sharing! Xx Sara

    • We were so glad we learned a bit about the history in the Enchanted Valley in Chile. It would be great to see more of the massive petroglyph site.

  28. Wine tasting in the Enchanted Valley in Chile sounds wonderful! The terrain near the wineries reminds me a lot of the terrain near the wineries in Arizona. Thanks for sharing!

  29. The Enchanted Valley looks like an incredible landscape to explore!! I visited Chile for a couple days while I was in Peru and Bolivia, but didn’t spend too much time there and would love to visit again! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  30. What a fun adventure across Coquimbo, Chile! I am personally fascinated with seeing Petroglyphs as we have found some in Wyoming, and tons in Moab, Utah. So for some reason I love seeing the art even if it looks like aliens, haha. So that would have been a highlight for me.
    I think it is so cool that you rode along the Pan-Am Highway. I know you did it too in Argentina but I think too often it gets lost amid all the other famous roads & Highways in America despite it being the Grand Daddy of them All.
    So my big question is, could I send Darcee out to Tabali to drink wine but get dropped off at the Pisquera to “Test” out all the Pisco??

  31. Your posts make me want to go back to South America! The settings for your wine tastings look so elegant. And I got a good laugh at your reaction to your guide telling you that he and all his family have seen extraterrestrials. Haha!

  32. It seems you have had a thrilling day trip. I love doing wine tasting on my trips and yours sounds just fabulous. Thanks for detailed description and nice pictures!

  33. I’ve wanted to visit Chile ever since my sister lived there. I’d love to see all of the different street art you mentioned. I had never thought of cruising here but you’ve really made me consider that as an option.

  34. Coquimbo is a great find for me…. murals looks so animated.
    Tabali winery would be a must visit for me if and when i visit chile. Your wine tasting trip looks fabulous. I am yet to do a wine tasting trip and you have certainly have refreshed my travel goal.

    Cheers,
    Himanshu

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