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An ancient Andean legend tells how a group of Tibetan monks built a monastery that was guarded by an invisible force somewhere between the coastal hills and the high peaks of the Andes. Lore aside, the fact is that one of the primary electromagnetic centers on the planet is located around the Cochiguaz River in Chile’s Elqui Valley. The presence of high positive magnetic vibrations has transformed the region into a magical place to find rest, introspection, and contemplation.
According to recent studies, the Elqui Valley is located exactly at the opposite pole of Lhasa, Tibet. This location establishes an energy axis whose poles could emit a restorative energy beneficial to the spiritual and psychophysical development of humans. The unique and distinctive characteristics of this region have made it a magnet for yoga centers, meditation and Reiki for the benefit of the visitors.Those who have stayed at the Elqui Valley say they experienced a better mood and a sense of relief or rest. It might be because observing the night sky lit by millions of stars is certainly one of the most beautiful and moving displays that nature regales us. It is said that the contemplation of a clear and starry sky helps reduce anxiety and stress levels.
The Elqui Valley region is also considered–in scientific circles–as having one of the most clear skies in the southern hemisphere. For this reason, there are several astronomical observatories in the summits of the Pachón and Tololo hills. The New York Times called this valley “the heart of the astro-tourism boom” due to the presence of astronomical observatories mainly destined for tourism, such as Mamalluca, Collowara, Cruz del Sur and Cerro Cancana.
The waters of the Elqui River—and the magnificent sunshine of the region— make the valley a fertile terrain for the production of vegetables and fruits, including the Muscat grape used to make the famous Chilean pisco. The Elqui Valley is also considered an energy center that provides magnetic vibrations beneficial for the body and spirit, making it an attractive site for spiritual development. The Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, 1945 Nobel Laureate for Literature, was born in this magical place.
The Elqui Domos is the only astronomic hotel in the southern hemisphere. Opened in 2005, it provides visitors the experience of watching the stars in original geodesic constructions. The beds are located on the top of the building under a glazed sliding roof that allows guest to observe the sky in total calm. There are cabins with three floors and a large window facing the sky. The interiors include exquisite details, comfort, and understated elegance.
The Elqui Domos Hotel boasts an observatory with two state-of-the-art electronic telescopes available for the most seasoned astronomy enthusiasts. Without being a five-star hotel, it is the ideal accommodation for travelers who seek to immerse themselves in nature and procure a magical experience with a kind of energy that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.
The Elqui Valley is located 370 miles north of Santiago and about 70 miles from the coastal city of La Serena. It can be reached by regular flights from Santiago to La Serena, followed by a short scenic ride by land. ■