Monumento Arqueológico Valle del Encanto

Norte Chico

An intriguing gallery of pre-Colombian rock art can be found at Monumento Arqueológico Valle del Encanto, a rocky tributary canyon of the Río Limarí 19km west of Ovalle. An array of petroglyphs and pictographs depict dancing stick-men, alien-like figures with antennae and characters sporting spectacular headdresses. The valley rocks are also riddled with holes called tacitas, which were used as mortars to grind ceremonial plants and food.

The figures mostly date to the El Molle culture, which inhabited the area from the 2nd to the 7th century AD. The rock art is best viewed around noon when shadows are fewer, but it can be very hot at that time of day.