Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Colchagua Valley?
Colchagua Valley is in the central region of Chile approximately 2-1/2 hours (180 km) south of the capital city of Santiago.
What is the weather like in Colchagua?
The seasons in Chile are the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. The weather is similar to a Mediterranean climate (like California) and is consistently sunny from October through May. The rainy season is from June through August (winter time).
When is the best time to visit Colchagua?
The springtime (late September through mid December) is a nice time to visit since everything is in bloom and March and April is the beginning of autumn and the harvest season is in full gear. The fall is also a great time to enjoy the local wine festivals!
How do I get to Santa Cruz?
Santa Cruz is the main town in Colchagua where most of the wineries and hotels are located and is south of Santiago, Chile’s capital.
The drive from Santiago takes about 2-1/2 hours and if you opt to take a bus from Santiago’s ‘Alamada Bus Terminal’, the drive may take up to 3-1/2
hours depending on the number of stops along the way.
There are 4 bus companies that operate from the Santiago Bus Terminal which travel south to Santa Cruz (Nilahue, Express Santa Cruz, Andimar and Jetsur). Some of the buses are direct (express) and only stop at other bus terminals along the way while other buses may stop along the highway to pickup folks.
Bus tickets from Santiago are $4,000-5,000 CLP per person (each way) and the bus will take you to the Santa Cruz Bus Terminal unless you ask the conductor to let you off along the way.
From Santiago, take Ruta 5 to Ruta 90 (which intersects at the city of San Fernando)
Take the Ruta 90 exit toward Santa Cruz (estimated time to Rt 90 is 1-1/2 hours)
Follow Ruta 90 and the main entrance into Santa Cruz will be on your left.
(You will know that you are getting close once you pass the Viu Manent winery on the left hand side which has a large white wall.
**This route has tolls so be sure to bring small bills and change with you.
What is Colchagua Wine Tours Cancellation Policy?
– Cancellations occurring 15 days prior to your scheduled pickup date will be eligible for a full refund.
– Cancellations occurring within 14 days prior to your scheduled pickup date will be eligible for a full credit usable anytime.
– All cancellations must be provided in writing.
– All refunds are processed within 15 business days.
Do hotels, restaurants and businesses accept US Dollars?
Hotels, restaurants and businesses accept major credit cards. Some of the hotels may accept US Dollars but it is best to travel with Chilean Pesos. If you bring US bills, they need to be crisp and without folds and tears so that they can be exchanged without any problems. Taxis, colectivos and city buses only accept Chilean pesos.
How much should I tip?
The Spanish word for “tip” is ‘propina’ and tipping is completely discretionary. We recommend as a baseline tipping drivers between $5,000 CLP – $10,000 CLP, tipping tour guides at the wineries between $2,000 – $3,000 CLP. Restaurants will automatically add a 10% tip to the bill.
Can I arrange to ship wine from Chile?
We do not recommend shipping wine from Chile and most of the wineries do not offer this service.
The shipping is expensive and Chile has a 19% sales tax built into the cost of wine + an additional 20% liquor tax. We recommend to our clients to purchase Chilean wine in their country because it will be less expensive and you may be able to find older vintages than they can purchase here at the wineries.
Is there a dress code at the wineries and restaurants?
The wineries are located in the country and have a very casual dress code. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and shoes. Some of the wineries require walking up and down stairs during the tours so women should wear flats or comfortable heels.
How should I pack?
We recommend bringing sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and a hat since the UV is very strong in Chile. Also, since Colchagua is a valley, the days can be hot and evenings cool so wearing layers is ideal. Packing a jacket or fleece is a good idea too. Some of the wineries can be cold.
Are there ATM’s in Santa Cruz and places to exchange cash?
There are several banks in Santa Cruz with ATM’s. There aren’t any exchange counters in town. Santiago has exchange counters at the airport in the center of town.
Are the tours in English?
Most of our drivers do not speak fluent English. The wine tours are offered in English and Spanish and sometimes Portuguese.
Do you handle all of the reservations?
As part of our transportation service, we will book all of the wine tours, restaurants and activities.