Talca with Descabezado Volcano in background
Talca, Chile with Descabezado Volcano in the background


Tourism, Travel, & Information Guide
to the City of Talca in Chile.

Flag of Chile


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Trivia & Quick Points


Facts & Information:

Travel & Tourism:
       City Highlights
       What to Do & See
       Where to Stay
       Getting There & Away
       Getting Around
Chile Travel Guides

Related & Relevant Links

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- Language: Spanish

- Area total: 89.4 sq. mi. (231.5 sq. km)

- Latitude/ Longitude: 35° 26' 0" 71° 40' 0" W

- Elevation: 335 ft (102 m)

- City Calling code: 71

- Time Zone: UTC - 4 (UTC - 3 in summer)

Chile Travel Guides

> Let's Go Chile

> Maule Valley Wineries

> Photos of Talca

> Chile Ministry of Tourism

Related & Relevant Links

> Official Chile website

> Official website of the municipality of Talca

> National Forests and Parks of Chile

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Cesky Krumlov Map
Introduction to Talca:

Talca is the capital city of the province of Talca and is the capital of the Maule Region in Chile. It is also the cultural and educational center of the Maule region. Its economy is founded both on industry and agriculture.

The Maule region is the largest wine region in Chile, with 785 hectares of vineyards, including many hectares of organically grown wine. Talca itself is home to several of these wineries.

The city also has two universities. The Catholic University of Maule, founded in 1991, and the University of Talca, founded in 1981. Research at the University of Talca is focused on agriculture and forestry and includes centers for pear and apple research and viticulture research.

The Pan American Highway runs through Talca. It is also called Ruta 5 in Chile.

Talca coat of arms
Talca coat of arms

Trivia & Quick Points:

  • In Mapudungun, the Mapuche language, 'Talca' (or 'thalca') means thunder or a volcanic eruption.

  • Talca is located about 52 mi (84 km) west/northwest of the Descabezado volcano.

  • Talca is located 157 mi (253 km) south-southwest of Santiago.

  • Talca had a population of 201,142, as of the 2012 census.

  • The city receives most of its rain in the months of May through August, receiving on average, 20.25 inches (51.42 cm) during those four months.

Facts & Information:


The first attempt at founding the city of Talca was in the seventeenth century, when the council of Santiago agreed to establish a garrison of 200 men to guard the passage to Santiago. The effort to found the city continued, when, in 1651, the Augustinians petitioned the governor, don Tomás Marin de Poveda, to found a city at the confluence of the Baeza and Piduco streams, which combine to form the Claro river. Although the governor agreed, the area was deemed inadequate for a city.

Bernardo O'Higgins
Bernardo O'Higgins

Finally, in 1742, José Manso de Velasco was joined by the mayor of Baeza, captains, and others in taking possession of lands donated by the Augustinians to found the city of San Agustin de Talca. They divided the city into two sections: the highland and the lowland. They assigned lots for administrative housing, a central plaza, a jail, and a church.

Families were encouraged to build homes inside the city by imposing a fine for building outside the city limits. Some of the original families to settle in the new city were the Donoso, Silva, Opazo, and Vergara families.

In 1818, Chilean Independence was declared by Bernardo O'Higgins in Talca. The building in which this occurred was the location of the first meeting of the national government and is now a museum.

When the Spanish conquerors arrived in the 16th century, they brought with them grape vines to plant. The region's Mediterranean climate has allowed vineyards to flourish over the centuries.

Talca has suffered damage from several earthquakes since its founding, including the 1928 earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.6, which killed 108 people in Talca and the magnitude 8.8 earthquake in February 2010, which had its epicenter about 70 miles (115 km) southwest of Talca. The 2010 earthquake generated a Pacific-wide tsunami. It killed at least 523 people in the central region of Chile and caused an estimated US$30 billion in damage.


Cueca dance
Dancing the Cueca. Photo: chile.ca

Talca's culture is the culture of the Maule region of Chile. With its wineries, its Mediterranean climate, and its traditions, the region entices travelers throughout the year. Talca celebrates the fruits of Maule, traditional music, art, and dance, and Catholic holidays honoring saints, martyrs, and the Virgin Mary.

In April, Maule's wineries present their finest in Talca's 'El Boulevard del Vino' wine festival.

The Fiesta de la Chilenidad is celebrated in Talca in the third week of September with traditional foods, live folkloric music, and Chile's traditional handkerchief dance, the Cueca.

In mid-November, Talca and the Maule region celebrate Feria del Folclor de Huilquilemu. For four days, Chileans of the Maule region enjoy folkloric music and dancing, handicrafts, traditional food and drink and more.

The Catholic University of Maule presents cultural events, including art exhibitions, music, and dancing throughout the year.

Travel & Tourism:

Statue of the Virgin Mary on Cerro de la Virgen
Statue of the Virgin Mary on Cerro de la Virgen

With its Mediterranean climate, tourists can visit Talca year-round. The rainy season lasts from May through August, but high temperatures are still in the mid-50's to mid-60's Fahrenheit during these months.

Situated in a valley between the coastal mountains and the Andes, short excursions into the foothills offer beautiful views of the city below. Longer excursions offer excellent hiking opportunities.

Highlights & Features of the City and Surroundings:

  • The foothills to the west of Talca are home to Cerro de la Virgen. The statue of the Virgin Mary and a view of the city are the highlights of an excursion to this hill. Picnic tables make this an ideal spot for a lunch-time tour.

  • The Plaza de Armas of Talca offers a relaxing atmosphere, with jacaranda trees, palms, a gazebo, and many benches to enjoy the views and people-watch.

  • The Villa Huilquilemu, located 5 mi. (8 km) outside Talca, is a cultural center that houses a religious art museum and a restaurant in a park-like setting.

  • Parque Nacional Radal Siete Tazas waterfall
    Parque Nacional Radal Siete Tazas waterfall

    The Parque Nacional Radal Siete Tazas to the east of Talca is a national park with seven waterfalls emanating from the Río Claro. Several hiking trails are maintained in this park.

What to Do & See

  • The Museo O'Higginiano is a colonial era building in which the founding father of Chile, Bernardo O'Higgins, lived until age 10. This is also the site in which O'Higgins signed the act declaring Chile's independance in 1818. Today, this museum houses furniture of the era and a fine art museum.

  • Tour wineries of the Maule region. Some wineries invite tourists for tastings and tours of the vineyards. Some offer visitors the opportunity to relax in the gardens, enjoy a meal at the vineyard's restaurant, take a cycling tour of the area, or hike around the vineyard and its surroundings. The Balduzzi winery offers tours in English, some with meals or cheese, and arranges aerial tours of the region.

    Plaza de Armas
    Plaza de Armas
  • The Maule region around Talca offers a wide variety of opportunities for boating and watersports. Covered motorboats take tourists on boat trips on the Río Claro. Canoers enjoy the scenic views along the Río Claro and lower Río Maule. Whitewater kayakers find heart-pumping Class III to Class V+ sections of the Río Maule on the way to Colbún lake and beyond. Colbún lake is another hot spot for boating and other watersports.

  • About 32 mi. (51 km) to the east-southeast of Talca between the Río Claro and Río Lircay, in the San Clemente commune, is Vilches. The Parque Gil de Vilches, with its rich vegetation, abundant wildlife, and important archeological discoveries, such as the Piedras Tacitas (granite rocks with cavities made by ancient inhabitants of the region), attracts hikers from around the world.

Where to Stay

Information on where to stay in Talca is coming soon...

Talca city center
Talca city center

Getting There & Away

  • By Air:
    Fly into Santiago, Chile. With a rental car, Talca can be reached via Ruta 5, part of the PanAmerican Highway. This is a toll road with frequent tolls.

  • By Train:
    Trains go into Talca from the north and south. Express trains to Talca are available in Santiago.

  • By Bus
    Two major bus companies, Pullman and Tur-Bus offer services from the Santiago airport to Talca. Buses are also available from Talca to destinations around Chile, with frequent service.

Getting Around

For those who prefer not to rent a car, it is possible to travel around Talca in buses or colectivos (multi-passenger taxis).

TRAVEL to Talca!

Use Santiago as your destination city and compare the travel services.

Start your Valle del Maule Ruta del Vino winery tour at the Villa Cultural de Huilquilemu
Casa Donoso
Tour the wineries of the Maule region. Sample wines from ancient vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Carignan.

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Talca coat of arms

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