Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Santa Cruz and The Incas

When you think of the Incan Empire, you usually think only of Peru, Cusco and Machuu Pichuu. But the Inca's reach stretched thousands of miles into Chile, all the way down to the Maule River. Chile's native, seriously tough Mapuche tribe ensured the Inca's didn't get any further.

Behind Vina Lapostolle's rather fancy little hotel (us$800/night, all inclusive) is a trail that winds up the hill. On clear days there are magnificent views over the Apalta Valley and all the way to the Andes. Unfortunately, yesterday was cold and a little cloudy (this has been the worst Spring ever) but the views were still pretty good.

At the top of the hill there's an unassuming 1 metre high stone wall. You might wonder what a wall is doing at the top of the hill. It seems a pretty odd place to build one.

It turns out that it was built by the Incas and stretches for miles along the crests of the hills. No one seems to know why, though.

To access the trail you need to be doing a tour of the vineyard, staying at the super-exclusive hotel or know someone who works there. The last option is the cheapest.

The Apalta Valley

Lapostolle's fancy winery and hotel.


  1. the incas had a path that crossed the whole empire, for the "chasquis" (messengers) to spread the news and communicate different points of the territory. I guess those walls are part of it, of what is called the 'camino del inca'

  2. That's one hell of a path...crazy Incas :)