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Curico (kureko'), "Black Waters" in Mapudungun, originally meaning "Land of Black Water", is the name of the capital of Curico Province, part of the Region del Maule in Chile's central valley.

The province lies between the provinces of Colchagua and Talca and extends from the Pacific to the Argentine frontier; area 2978 m; population (2005) 102,439 inhabitants. Its cakes, fruits, and wine are well known in Chile and around the world for their high quality.


Curico is on the Guaiquillo River, 183 kilometers south of Santiago along the route of the Chilean Central Railway. The city is situated in the fertile Chilean Central Valley, 228 meters above sea-level, in the midst of a comparatively well-cultivated region. The eastern and western sides are mountainous, separated by the Chilean Central Valley.

Mineral resources are undeveloped, but are said to include copper, gold and silver. Cattle, wheat and wine are the principal products, but Indian corn and fruit also are produced. On the coast are important salt-producing industries.

The main rivers are the Lontue River and Teno River, which surround the city. The landscape is dominated by the Andes and Chilean Coastal Range.


Curico has a mild Mediterranean climate: relatively hot dry summers (November to March) with temperatures reaching 32 degrees Celsius on the hottest days. Winters (June to August) are more humid, with typical maximum daily temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius. Mean rainfall is 855.98 mm per year. In August 2007, Curico experienced snowfall for the first time in over 60 years.

In the southern part of the valley the climate is more temperate and rainfall more abundant; the effects of this are to be seen in better pasturage. Irrigation is used to a large extent.


Curico was founded in 1743 by Jose Manso de Velasco during the Spanish reign in the Americas. It is one of the more cultured and progressive provincial towns of Chile.

In 1747 Governor Domingo Ortiz de Rozas decided to move it about 5 kilometers to the north, where it is now located, because of the humidity in its original location.

The oldest and most valuable building of the city is La Iglesia San Francisco (San Francisco's Church), built in 1734, and came to its current location in 1759.

Curico gained the title of city in 1830.

The city's hero is Luis Cruz Martinez, a Chilean soldier from the War of the Pacific, who died in 1882 in Peru.

The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1928 and rebuilt during the following year.

Today, Curico is a center of communication, supply and commercial transactions of neighboring agricultural industries, making it an attractive and buoyant commercial center.

The city was badly damaged in the February 2010 earthquake. An Argentine Air Force Mobile Field Hospital, similar to the one deployed in Haiti would be deployed on the city mindef: La unidad sanitaria argentina, similar a la que funciona desde 2004 en la mision de paz en Haiti, sera desplegada en la ciudad de Curico, ubicada a 250 kilometros al sur de Santiago de Chile


The city's economy is based mainly on agriculture, because the Mediterranean climate creates comparative advantages with markets such as apples, wines, and cherries.

The major industries are wine, agroindustries, stand out cement and sugar. The economic force of the vineyards generates development and investment for the city.

In human development the city had 0.716 , reaching the 97th position in the municipalities of Chile [*].

Tourism and Society

An interesting feature of the city is its wine culture. It is reflected in a number of ways, for example, between March 15 and 20 each year, the city celebrates a large wine celebration, the Fiesta de la Vendimia (Wine Harvest Festival). Furthermore, the region has its own tourist circuit, La Ruta del Vino (The Wine Route), in Curico Valley.

Potrero Grande is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. It is a mountainous area with large forests and waterfalls, located about 30 km from Curico. The rivers around Curico are excellent for trekking.

It is known in the country as "the city of cakes" , and is known for its wine.

The most known attractions of the city are the Plaza de Armas, declared a "Typical Zone", which is surrounded by palm trees, sculpture-ornamented water fountains, the iron-made civil kiosks, also declared a national monument and the Toqui Lautaro monument carved on the trunk of a beech tree, created by the famous craftsman of Vichuquen, Heraclio "Kako" Calquin.

A few blocks from the plaza, the Alameda Antonio Manso de Velasco avenue crosses the city with its gardens and leafy trees. There is also the Condell hill, a place which offers a panoramic view of the city and the San Francisco church, a declared national monument, situated at the foot of the hill.

Culture life

The city has four higher-education institutions:

Universidad de Talca (Traditional-Public), [*]

Universidad Catolica del Maule (Traditional-Religious), [*]

Universidad de Los Lagos (Traditional-Public), [*]

Universidad del Mar (Non-Traditional-Private), [*]

The city has one of the oldest newspapers in Chile, La Prensa de Curico (Press of Curico), founded in 1898. Its offices are located in front of the central square. [*]

The Plaza de Armas (Main Square) is the most visited public place, and is now a tourist destination because of its 60 palms and exotic plants. There is a steel kiosk which is a historical and cultural monument. Around Plaza de Armas are located the mayor's house and the governor's house.


Curico is known for its bicycle culture, and is represented in the denomination of Curico as cyclism's capital of Chile, because so many cyclists of international level started riding in the city, such as Roberto Munoz, Manuel Aravena, and Luis Sepulveda.

Kayak and whitewater rafting adventurers from all over the world visit the popular Teno River located in Curico's mountain town of Los Quenes.

Today the city is living a great revolution with the return, (after 13 years in the amateur league) of its football team to the professional league in 2006. The name of this team is Club Provincial Curico Unido.

Furthermore in Chilean sports, the Rodeo is too figurative in the national competitions, stand out the horsemen such as Ramon Cardemil, and Pablo Quera.


[*] History of Curico by Tomas Guevara

[*] Rates of 2002 Census published by INE (National Statistics Institute)

[*] Information about cultural life and tourism.

[*] Report about urbanization in Latin American cities.

See also

[[:de:Liste der Stadte in Chile|Census of Population in Chile]]

Curico Province

Maule Region

External links

Official Website

News about Curico

Information about Wine Route

Satellite Images of Curico by Google Maps

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Curico

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