Talca is the capital of the Maule Region, and is located at about 3 hours south of Santiago. It’s next to the main highway crossing Chile from north to south and most long distance buses stop here. The Maule region houses an impressive range of tourist attractions, both on the coast as in the Andes mountains and Talca is your perfect hub to visit them.
Fantastic is the cheap and gorgeous historical train ride, the Ramal, following the Río Maule from Talca to the pretty coastal city of Constitucíon (3h ride). The Maule Region and Talca are also well-known Chilean wine areas so a bodega visit and wine tasting should be on your list before you head to the natural beauty of the Andes Mountains. You won’t regret visiting the Altos de Lircay and Radal Siete Tazas nature parks with their spectacular landscapes and (multi-day) trekking trails. The road going east towards Malarguë in Argentina (via the Paso Pehuenche) is an awe-inspiring area with the Lago Colbún, the Valley of the Condors, the Tricahuë nature park and the Laguna del Maule. Trekking, horse riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, ascending volcanoes, … it’s all possible here! To relax during your Talca visit you can plan a visit to the Medano and Campanario thermal baths and bird lovers should take their binoculars to the Cienagas del Name wetlands.
The city itself is very lively with lots of shops, the longest boulevard in Chile with many bars & restos and trees, and a good nightlife. You’ll also enjoy the botanical garden, the city view from the Cerro Virgen, the Museo de Las Esculturas and the Villa Cultural Huilquilemu (at 9km).
Tip: The bus company Cata International operates between Talca and Malarguë, situated in the south of Argentina’s Mendoza province, via the Paso Pehuenche, a breathtaking mountain pass without queues at the border!