This time the virtual paths leads to Codpa Valley, our virtual tours, this valley is located 113 km from Arica, and could become the next big destination in northern Chile. It has breathtaking landscapes, archeology, ancient churches and peoples whose geographical location defies logic. Codpa begins to open up to tourism thanks to the first class hotel in the area, allowing more venture into the unknown Altiplano.
Despite its proximity to Arica (113 kilometers) an hour and a half by car along a road in good condition, Codpa Valley still remains off the world. Almost as much as before when he had to get two days to ride from the city. Considered one of the doors to the most unknown of the Chilean Altiplano, Codpa is just opening their eyes to the so-called “special interest tourism,” ie, those trips seeking a new experience away from the masses and, indeed, in through several of the most amazing landscapes on Earth.
A sample of this awakening is the Codpa Valley Lodge Hotel. This is a brand new hotel built on the premises of the old inn Codpa and today stands as the only major alternative accommodation and cuisine in the entire valley, with standard facilities and services. The hotel (the same owners of the Hotel Valle Nevado) is attracting mostly foreign tourists, and has begun to value the natural and historic attractions that had remained hidden for hundreds of years.
Therefore, it is not so outlandish that some are already dreaming of that in ten or twenty years, this place may become the new San Pedro de Atacama. At least it has attractive, especially considering the area that could encompass this tourist route: from Codpa Putre can be reached in the Region of Arica and Parinacota, and even Colchane in the Iquique region, traveling through beautiful little-known highland routes.
Codpa Valley has been, since antiquity, one of the main areas for cultural exchange and trade between the highlands and the northern coastal towns. Especially during the decline of the Tiwanaku empire, a thousand years ago, when indigenous groups Carangas settled here and began to complement their activities with grazing highland agricultural resource production. For that, Codpa “or” stony “in Aymara was the place: despite being in the desert, is a surprisingly green and fertile valley, mild climate, and where there are fruits, vegetables, wine and a very particular called “pintatani” similar to the beer, the locals love it.
Codpa the Spanish arrived in 1580, and with them the iron was evangelizing Catholic doctrine that each of the ancient villages that abound in the area, and whose most notable work was the construction of small and beautiful churches of adobe on each of them , which today is one of the main attractions for visitors. For example, the white church is Codpa, built in 1668, and contains, as almost all the temples of the plateau, samples of religious syncretism that occurred after the settlement: on your altar, you can see using chullos saints (the typical highland wool cap). Apart from the church, cemetery and a small community museum that is next, which displays a Chinchorro mummy found in a valley in the village there is not much more to do. The rest is a small square, a tennis baby, a primary school and police station. However, leaving Codpa are its main attractions. For example, Ofragía petroglyphs, a collection of drawings on the rocks, dated between the years 1000 and 1400 AD, and showing antique hunters and herders with their flames, horseshoes and other mysterious symbols.
From Guañacagua Codpa up, another small village known for its adobe church and bell tower. En route you can see the peculiarities of the region, like the crosses that appear on several hills, and the locals “dress” with flowers and fruits. Or representations of Jose Domingo Carnavalón a doll which each location placed on a mound, with a different face (of wood, stone, cloth), and that February is the symbol of carnival in the area.
Myths and legends abound throughout this region. So, some people say they have seen how the mountains were opened, others talk of encounters with the devil, and repeat the history of Gentiles, a strange breed of dwarf shepherds who lived only at night.
We continue with the route. Since then we Guañacagua Timar, this approximately 28 km from Arica. En route we cross the lunar landscape, desert canyons and huge candelabra cactus stuck on the slopes.
Codpa Valley, Your destiny in chile!