Ovalle is the gateway to the Limari Valley and is a city located 90 kilometers south east of La Serena. The commune intends to promote its main tourist attractions, such as the Feria Modelo, the Limarí Museum and the Fray Jorge Park.
Ovalle is experiencing significant growth in tourism. After the mayor Claudio Rentería and the Municipal Council unanimously approved a Tourism Development Plan (Pladetur) to position the commune as a new destination at a regional and national level.
It is intended to enhance the existing tourist attractions in the urban and rural sector. Among them the historical Municipal Market, the Limarí Museum, the Diaguita Stadium, the Feria Modelo, the Fray Jorge Forest National Park, the Limarí River Mouth and the Valle del Encanto.
In the urban area stands out the Feria Modelo, the main commercial and tourist center in the area. It supplies the entire Province of Limarí and the Coquimbo Region with its different products, becoming the largest fair in the north of the country.
The Feria Modelo was born at the beginning of the 50’s. It was established in the former Railway Station (where it is today). Under a shed of more than 5,500 square meters there are more than a thousand stands that offer the public fruit and vegetables, gastronomy and clothing. “We believe that the Fair is a commercial and tourist attraction of our city that the tourist and the ovallinos must know”, indicated the mayor Claudio Rentería.
A few weeks ago the National Day of Chilean Cuisine was celebrated. It was a day in which a thousand dishes of Cabrito al jugo with rice and Chilean salad were served. “We debated with all the fairgrounders to choose which dish to prepare, and that is how we ended up choosing the Cabrito al jugo, since it is the dish that most represents Ovalle,” said Cecilia Pizarro Godoy, president of the Retail Sector of the Feria Modelo.
“La Perla del Limarí”, located 403 kilometers north of Santiago and 90 kilometers south east of La Serena. It offers special interest tourism aimed at those seeking a different travel experience.
23 kilometers to the south is the Valle del Encanto, an archaeological site declared a Historical Monument in 1973. On its three-hectare surface it has diverse archaeological vestiges of the Molle, Ánimas and Diaguitas cultures. In the valley there are pictographs, petroglyphs and small stones.
Further south, towards Route 5 North, is the Bosque Fray Jorge National Park. It is a place that is part of the biosphere reserve named by UNESCO. This is a geographical area representative of the diversity of habitats on the planet. In the park you can appreciate a semi-arid ecosystem up to a Valdivian type forest. In addition, the place has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and certified as a Starlight Reserve, where the natural lighting conditions and clarity of the night sky are kept intact.
But if you travel to Ovalle you can’t miss the Limarí Museum. There you can find a valuable collection of archeological objects such as ceramics belonging to the Molle, Ánima and Diaguita cultures.
“We are interested in promoting and adding value to the tourist attractions we have in Ovalle, a commune that offers special interest tourism. In them is our rural culture, where the products and services that have given rise to the commune and the province of Limarí are born,” said Eric Castro, in charge of the Promotion of Productive Development and Tourism of Ovalle.