The municipality of Parral was founded in 1795 by the Viceroy of Peru, Ambrosio O'Higgins. It was originally named "Villa Reina Luisa del Parral", in honor of the wife of the King of Spain, Carlos IV.
Description and Geography
Parral is known for being the birthplace of Pablo Neruda, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. It is located 50 kilometers south of Linares and 97 kilometers south of Talca, on the southern border of the Maule Region and Linares Province. Parral borders on the north with the municipalities of Longavi, Retiro and Colbun (with which it shares a short border in the cordillerana zone); on the west with the municipality of Cauquenes (Cauquenes Province); on the south with the municipalities of Niquen and San Fabian and Nuble Province (Bio-Bio Region); and on the east, with the municipality of San Fabian. Parral is 1,638 square kilometers in area. Its most important river is the Perquilauquen.
The city of Parral is the second most populous city in Linares, with a population of more than 26,000. According to the census of 2002, 26,397 (70%) live in the urban areas and 11,425 (30%) in surrounding rural areas. The ratio of men to women is 101 to 100. Between the census of 1992 and that of 2002, the population of the municipality fell by 0.6% (245 people), exclusively in the rural population, since the city of Parral grew by around 1,900 people (7.7%).
Tourist attractions of Parral
Termas de Catillo: Located 27 kilometers east of Parral and 320 meters above sea level, this 200-room hotel complex has thermal baths, game rooms, tennis courts and a swimming pool. The thermal waters are at 35C and are recommended for afflictions of the urinary tract, the bladder, intestinal upset, and respiratory and nervous diseases.
Digua Dam offers sport fishing. The reservoir is used to supply water for irrigation, and as a result development along the shoreline is limited, as the water level changes continuously. This beautiful place is also good for hiking and recreation.
Bullileo Dam: this attractive reservoir in the Parral mountain range also stores water for irrigation. The dam crosses the Bullileo River, which is a tributary of the Longavi River, forming an emerald-green lake surrounded by marvelous plant life. There one can enjoy the landscape, boating, taking photographs, fishing, picnicking and camping as well as the cabins located nearby.
Laguna de Amargo: at the south side of Bullileo Dam is a narrow footpath that gives access to Laguna de Amargo, which drains into that dam.
Fort Viejo: here there was a fort at the time of La Conquista. This site, of archaeological value, is a recreation area that allows one to become reacquainted with history and to enjoy long walks and horseback riding.
La Balsa: located in the Andean mountain chain of the region, this is one of the most beautiful places in the area thanks to its natural beauty and lack of human influence. It is an excellent place for strolls and cavalcades. In this area is a beautiful river where visitors can swim or sunbathe on the shores. Another place not to be omitted is the thermal baths located some kilometers from "La Balsa".
Bocatoma de Remulcao, located on the way to Catillo (km 18), is a tourist spot that is, especially in summer, frequented by visitors who can picnic and camp on the shores of the river.
In summary, "Villa Reina Luisa del Parral", as it was originally called, is an excellent place for people interested in knowing the culture and the natural beauties of an area and a city that offer the best of the Chilean countryside.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Parral, Chile