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Talca is a city of 220,000 people (2017) in Central Chile. It is the capital of Talca Province and of Maule Region. Talca personifies the Chilean characteristics of being isolated, insular and very local. Most travellers from Santiago to the south pass right through and have no experience of Talca, a busy medium-sized city with cars, taxis, buses, bicycles and horse-drawn carts in the streets.


O'Higgins Museum

The city is an important economic center, with agricultural (wheat) and manufacturing activities, as well as wine production. Common crops are vegetables, fruit trees and cereals, in the rural sectors of the commune. However, it is the vineyards that acquire special importance, being the Maule Valley, whose head is Talca, the area with the highest wine production in the country with about 45% of the total.

Livestock activity (mainly pigs and poultry) is important since important industries are based on it. Mining, represented by the El Chivato (gold) deposit, is almost inactive today. It is also the location of the Universidad de Talca and the Catholic University of Maule, among others.

Talca is the main industrial center of the region and the Central Valley. It houses industries that deal with the processing of agricultural resources in the adjacent area. Outstanding items are the paper, wood, plastics and metallurgy industry; canning, milling, food and beverage industry, andcmeat and sausage processing.

It was partially destroyed by the 1928 Talca earthquake, and was rebuilt. The earthquake of February 2010 destroyed most of the old buildings in the region, including many of historical-heritage value, affecting residential areas and infrastructure.


Winters are cold with frequent rains and fogs, frosts are also frequent from mid-autumn to early spring, reaching below 0 °C in most winters. Summers are generally hot and dry, with highs that frequently exceed 30 °C, but with cool lows, slightly exceeding 10 °C.

Get in[edit]

Public Services Building

By car[edit]

Talca is accessible by the main highway of Chile, the Ruta 5, a modern and well-maintained toll road with a 120 km/h speed limit which is part of the Panamerican Highway system. Getting in to the city from the highway involves many unmarked turns that leave you feeling that the city is not interested in visitors.

Regional paved roads lead westward to Talca from the Pacific Ocean. To the west, the San Clemente road is paved to within 80 km of the Argentine border at the rugged Paso Pehuenche which is open for about 2 months of the year, otherwise closed and impassible because of snow.

By bus[edit]

Bus service to Talca is frequent from in all four directions.

  • [dead link] Venta Pasajes. Buses from Santiago's Borja station every 3 hr, and the trip takes 3 hr. 5,800–8,200 pesos.
  • Tepual. Buses from Santiago's Borja station twice daily, 3 hr 20 min. 8,200 pesos.

By train[edit]

There is train service north and south with a special.

  • 1 Tren Central (Railway Station). 3 hr 6 min, twice daily. 8,200 pesos coach, 21,700 pesos preferential class. Estación Talca (Q5400061) on Wikidata Estación Talca on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]

Map of Talca

By colectivo[edit]

Small black cars that run routes through the city, their cost are 450-600 pesos for a ride. They are quicker and more comfortable.

There are 36 lines of colectivos:

  • 1,2,3,13,14,19,20,23,24,25,34,2A: Southwest - downtown - Northwest
  • 18,22,15,16,28,30,31: Southwest - downtown - Northeast
  • 4,6,9,10,21,27,27A,29,32,33: Northwest - downtown - Northeast (or Northwest)
  • 15,16: Southwest - downtown - Northeast
  • 15A: Colín, Maule - downtown - Northeast
  • 5,7,8,12: Southeast - downtown - Northeast

By bus[edit]

Buses (called micros) go to all parts of town for 400 pesos (130 pesos students).

There are 12 lines of micros:

  • 1,2,4,6: Ex-Matadero, Sotratal S.A.
  • 3,3B,5,7: Abate Molina
  • A,B,C,D: Taxutal
Ramal Talca - Constitución Rail System

By train[edit]

A special and rustic train (ramal) that makes the trip to the coast at Constitución.

  • Regional Talca-Constitución. (Q6103954) on Wikidata
  • 2 Constitution-Talca Ramal. Constitution-Talca Ramal (Q24716650) on Wikidata Ramal Talca-Constitución on Wikipedia


  • Colin–Pichamán: 1,200 pesos
  • Forel–Maquehua: 1,800 pesos
  • Constitución: 2,100 pesos


  • Maquehua–Curtiduría: 1,200 pesos
  • Corinto–Colín: 1,800 pesos
  • Talca: 2,100 pesos


Talca Cathedral

Talca has many historical buildings:

  • 1 Intendencia Regional (Antigua Intendencia Región del Maule), 1 Oriente w/ 1 Norte (In front of Central Square Park (Plaza de Armas)). Built in the last years of 19th century, declared a National Monument in 2001. In 2010, after the Great Earthquake, was seriously damaged and remains closed. Here, until 2010, was settled the Regional Intendance (regional government) and the Regional Council (regional assembly). Edificio de la Intendencia de la Región del Maule (Q16559130) on Wikidata
  • 2 Edificio de los Servicios Públicos (Public Services Building), 1 Oriente 1150 (In front of Central Square Park, Plaza de Armas). Built in the 1930s, next to Regional Intendance, was seat of the Apellation Court. Now, in this place resides the Internal Taxes Service (SII), the Tourism Office, the General Treasury of the Republic, the Post Office, and many other public offices. Declared a National Monument in 2008. Edificio de los Servicios Públicos de Talca (Q42898878) on Wikidata
  • 3 Museo O' Higginiano y de Bellas Artes de Talca (O'Higgins' and Arts Museum), 1 Norte w/ 2 Oriente. In this house Bernardo O'Higgins signed the Independence Act in 1818. Declared National Monument in 1971. Museo O'Higginiano y de Bellas Artes de Talca (Q30341211) on Wikidata
  • 4 Museo de Huilquilemu (Villa Cultural Huilquilemu Hernán Correa de la Cerda). Colonial-style house on the road to San Clemente, 10 km (16 mi) away. It haves a prolific collection of fine and popular art, archeological treasures and other exhibitions. Was declared National Monument in 1986 and belongs to the Catholic University of Maule. (Q86280850) on Wikidata
  • Escuelas Concentradas (Conjoined Schools), Square: 1 Sur between 3 and 4 Oriente. Declared a National Monument in 2013 in order to avoid the demolition after the 2010 earthquake. In front of Cienfuegos Park. In this building were the Primary Schools for Boys (Carlos Salinas school) and Girls (José Balmaceda school). Escuelas Concentradas de Talca (Q109311517) on Wikidata
  • 5 Cathedral Church, 1 Norte w/ 1 Poniente C. Silva Henríquez. St. Augustine Cathedral, Talca (Q21164976) on Wikidata St. Augustine Cathedral, Talca on Wikipedia
  • 6 Abate Molina Lyceum, 4 Norte btwn. 5 and 6 Oriente. Abate Molina Lyceum (Q16590864) on Wikidata
  • 7 Public Prosecutor building (former Talca Bank), Calle 1 Sur 790. Banco de Talca (Q5718148) on Wikidata Banco de Talca on Wikipedia

Other important buildings are:

  • Railway Station (11 Oriente S. Allende, in front of La Loba square and 2 Sur Ms. Larraín)
  • Regional Center of Provision (4 Norte w/ 11 Oriente)

In general, the Central Square Park and 1 Sur street concentrates many old buildings of great value.

Public Prosecutor building


  • Wine Route – Circuit through the vineyards of the Maule Valley, which is centered in the city of Talca. It is a highly demanded tourist walk, especially by visitors from abroad.
  • Chancho Costumbrista Festival – Also known as the "We are Dead Pig Festival", it is a gastronomic exhibition promoted by the Municipality during two days in August. It is held in the Plaza de Armas, where stands are exhibited with pork products, prepared by many chefs in different positions. This festival evokes one of the customs of the Chilean countryside, which is the slaughter of the pig, and the family and social rite that summons around it for the manufacture of by-products that will feed the people of the countryside during the winter.


To the east an area of vast hiking opportunities exist. Get more information from CONAF website and the local office in Talca center. Some highlights:

  • 1 Descabezado Grande (3,953 m). To the east of Talca the Region del Maule offers vast hiking opportunities exist with Volcano Descabezado being one of the more popular destinations. Descabezado Grande (Q1200515) on Wikidata Descabezado Grande on Wikipedia
  • 2 Radal Siete Tazas National Park. Radal Siete Tazas National Park (Q2900289) on Wikidata Radal Siete Tazas National Park on Wikipedia
  • 3 Altos de Lircay National Reserve. Altos de Lircay National Reserve (Q4736971) on Wikidata Altos de Lircay National Reserve on Wikipedia
  • 4 Lengua de Vulcano. A former volcanic lava flow that started in Banco de Talca—solid meanwhile.
  • 5 Laguna La Invernada. Laguna de la Invernada (Q23642385) on Wikidata
  • 6 Cerro Azul. Cerro Azul (Q1055787) on Wikidata Cerro Azul (Chile volcano) on Wikipedia
  • 7 Cerro Puerta del Calabozo. Cerro Puerta del Calabozo (Q22466428) on Wikidata


Central Market
  • 1 Mercado Central (Central Market), Square: 1 Sur - 5 Oriente - 1 Norte - 4 Oriente. Inaugurated in 1890, declared National Monument in 1998, was until 2010 the principal market of typical and popular products. With the Great Earthquake, remains closed due to several damages, except in a narrow part.




  • 1 EcoHotel, Av. Alameda Bernardo O´Higgins 1198, +56 71 234-2000, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Relaxed hotel in a great location. 2 km from Talca train station. Outdoor pool.
  • 2 Hotel Capelli Express, 0 Oriente #1131, +56 71 298-0973. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Standard hotel. Breakfast included.
  • 3 Hotel Plaza Cienfuegos, C. 1 Sur 1026, 3461667, +56 71 222-4000. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. City center. Free breakfast.
  • 4 Lodge Casa Chueca, Viña Andrea s/n - Sector Alto Lircay - Casilla 143, 3460000, +56 99 419-0625. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. On the outskirts of town.

Go next[edit]

  • Constitución – Take the rustic train west to the coast and then down the tranquil sea side with laid back surfer towns like Pelluhue and Cobquecura, and everything in between.

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