If you wonder where you can hike in the valle del Elqui, here are some tips :
- It will be really hard!!! People say there are some hikes, but you can never find the entrance. Even some hikes indicated on touristic maps do not exist! (or exist if you take a tour, since they are on private lands...)
- Still, here are the hikes you can do :
-- From Pisco Elqui, everybody will tell you about the hike that climbs the mountain on your right when you enter the village. Follow their indications (it starts at the end on a street). Once you are on the trail, watch out for a smaller trail that will appear on you left once the trail is less steep (after about 20 minutes). Take this trail, which goes back toward the valley side. There you will have an amazing view on the valley and you can hike for a while. Really nice hike! Otherwise, if you continue too long, you pass a ranch and hit a fence on a private place.
-- From Vicuna, ask for the Cerro Virgen. A trail also starts from the end of a road, behind a school. Make sure you bring a hat and water, and don't go between noon and 2pm, since it is super super super hot and dry. It is still a nice hike.