Colchagua Museum and Pucon

Pucon Travel Blog

 › entry 59 of 177 › view all entries
The courtyard of the Cardoen Museum in Colchagua.

Had a very long day of driving today, too long really.  We think that the bus company should actually split today´s itinerary into two days because the small bus is not really comfortable - particularly when full - full such a long time sitting.

The highlight of today was visiting the Colchagua Museum created in 1995 by Carlos Cardoso, at one time one of the USA´s most wanted men.  He made a fortune dealing arms and, apparently, stealing plans to a US military helicopter and cannot leave Chile without risking arrest since he brokered an amnesty with the US government.  He has, however, funnelled some of his massive fortune into one of the best museums we´ve seen in South America.  The complex is sited within an old hacienda and even the buildings are lovely, with a large outdoor area which is filled with old agricultural machinery, and even a replica of the Colchagua train station.

Spanish religious silverware, Colchagua Museum.
  The old multi-storey house features a floor of Andean jewels, basically a massive collection of precious metals and gems.  You can also see incredibly preserved fossils, mummies, pre-Colombian items plus anything you can think of from Chile´s history since (and a lot of weaponry from around the world, and don´t forget the big vintage car collection!).  We were amazed at the original documents and items in the museum, not replicas as you see in many other places.  You can view the original proclamation of the first Parliament of Chile, and letters signed by kings and even Pedro de Valdivia, the original Spaniard in Chile.  We only had an hour here, and it really wasn´t enough.  You could quite easily spend almost a day working your way through the collection.
An early tank, Colchagua Museum.
  Audio guides are also available if you want to know more, and that would probably take you a week!  The museum is not expensive, costing CP3,000 (although Pachamama by Bus customers get in for the studen rate of CP1000).  It appears that the Cardoen Foundation is also doing lots of good work in the area still, as we saw many signs announcing their funding for some project or another.

The rest of the day was basically spent sitting on a bus getting a numb bum!  We drove straight down the Pan American Highway, and arrived at Pucon at about 8.30pm.  Went straight to the adventure people as Noel and three others are intending to climb the volcano tomorrow and had to be fitted for their gear.  The volcano is active, and at certain times you can even see the lava bubbling in the crater.  Noel will give an update on that adventure tomorrow, Melissa will be staying at the hostel and hunkering down into the incredibly comfortable beds and snuggly doonas to try and knock her cold on the head.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The courtyard of the Cardoen Museu…
The courtyard of the Cardoen Muse…
Spanish religious silverware, Colc…
Spanish religious silverware, Col…
An early tank, Colchagua Museum.
An early tank, Colchagua Museum.
A small selection of Andean silver…
A small selection of Andean silve…
photo by: Biedjee