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Review on Tumuñan Lodge

Imagine a valley less than 3 hours from Santiago with forests and rivers, where activities like overnight horse treks into the high Andes, fly fishing, jumping off a waterfall, relaxing in a hot tub under the stars or picnicking by a green rushing stream are the order of the day.  Add to this a Lodge with warm and welcoming hosts who take care of every detail for you so that you can enjoy the beauty of nature… and you will have started to picture Tumuñan Lodge in the upper reaches of the Colchagua Valley.

Tumuñan Lodge, in the foothills of the Andes east of the Colchagua valley, is owned and run by a young couple, Will and Carolina Evelyn.  The Lodge is just 2½ hours from Santiago, making it perfect for a instant adventure of a few days. They have shaped the Lodge over the past 4½ years in a wonderfully scenic part of the 6th Region.  With just 4 rooms, you will feel very much at home in the Lodge, as if you were visiting friends in the country.  Will and Carolina provide their guests all the comforts of their Lodge, including excellent home made food and organic produce from their garden, enjoying a glass of local wine and good conversation by the fireplace in their living room, or even a romantic soak in a hot tub under the stars.   Guests can choose from a wide range of tailor made tours, such as horseback riding and/or camping in the mountains, wine tours in the lowlands, fly fishing, soaking in the hot tub, barbeque in the evening, and even heli-skiing may be set up for the more adventurous clients.

Arriving at Tumuñan Lodge, we could almost feel relaxation lingering in the air.  We arrived just before noon, having left Santiago after the morning rush.  We were first greeted by Bernard and Clarita, the friendly dogs of the Lodge and Celedonio the Lodge’s hired man, and then Will appeared and welcomed us with a smile.  Less than 15 minutes later, Will had us on horseback to a nearby waterfall, an easy ride about an hour away.  He had prepared a picnic lunch for us, and the horses were all saddled and ready to go even before we arrived.  The horses were beautiful, well trained, and pleasing not only to me (a passionate rider since I was a young girl! ) but also to my husband, who is much less experienced.  We rode for a little over an hour, mostly uphill through countryside still green in the early autumn.  We came to a stop at one turn of the road and ventured a short ways on foot to arrive at the waterfall.  It was an amazing spot!  From the top, we could see the water falling about 10 meters down into a perfect round pool of deep, clear water.  We walked around and down until we were sitting in front of this waterfall watching little trout swim and play in the pool.

The picnic was packed with sandwiches, cool white wine, mineral water, nuts and oranges.  We enjoyed the warm sun on our backs, and a pleasant lunch with the sounds of the waterfall, good wine, and conversation with Will.  We began to understand this region of Chile, the land, the mountains, and the possibilities for all kinds of adventurous explorations.  In the meantime, the horses and Celedonio were waiting for us up the hill on the road.  We got back and started our descent on the horses.  It was a very pleasant and not too strenuous ride, quite suitable for adults and children. 

Returning to the Lodge, after a little rest we jumped into the hot tub that was already warm and waiting for us.  The warm water was soothing and perfect for a long soak after our ride.  When we finally pulled ourselves away, we joined our hosts Will and his wife Carolina.  She was charming, calm and very friendly.  She offered us a glass of wine, which I accepted gladly.  A half hour later dinner was ready and our hosts offered to join us at the table to enjoy a wonderfully prepared menu for the evening.  This included gravved laks cured by Will – simply delicious!  Second course: homemade lasagna, which was superb.  For desert, ice cream with chocolate sauce – how did they know my husband loved ice cream and I loved chocolate?  All this was topped up with fun and spontaneous conversation.  Overall the meal was excellent, a combination of delicious dishes and wine where you can see (and taste!) the care that Will and Carolyn give their guests. On other occasions, Will offers the option of the best of barbeques in a cozy ambiance.

The next morning, we were surprised with a breakfast with eggs and bacon, pan amasado, freshly brewed coffee, Tumuñan Lodge honey, fresh fruit, fresh orange juice and yoghurt.  We enjoyed a quiet breakfast on our own, savoring the late morning. 

After spending your first night at the Lodge, you are well rested for a trip into the mountains, with the following night or two camping under clear skies with countless stars.  Will is an expert guide, with the tours limited only by your interests and time.  From excellent fly-fishing to glaciers, everything beckons to adventurous guests. 

Tumuñan Lodge transforms camping into an enjoyable luxury.  Tents are put up for you; air mattresses laid inside, and a savory barbeque and cozy fire prepared.  Stargazing while camping is a rare privilege you will get when staying at the Lodge.   If you come from Santiago, you will have a hard time believing this sky, is the same one hidden by city lights back home.

Near the Lodge you can also visit the trail of the Dinosaurs; there are footprints left by a Sauropod, Iguanodonichus Frenki, 120 million years ago! Only one other place on earth is it possible to observe such a phenomena. The Dinosaur Trail is a sight that will transport you back to the time when enormous creatures strolled the land in search of fodder and refuge.

Tumuñan Lodge is the ideal base for exploring the Andes, only 2 ½ hours away from Santiago.  The rooms are comfortable and warm, with details such as heaters in every room, thick rugs, soap and shampoo dispensers, and ample spaces to hang or fold your clothes.   The best part of the Lodge, however, is certainly the two or three-day horseback camping adventures in the mountains in which the Lodge specializes.  Everything is arranged for you and your comfort, and this is what makes of Tumuñan Lodge such a special place to visit on a long weekend.   Leaving on Friday afternoon and coming back on Sunday evening leaves you plenty of time to unwind and relax at this perfect spot in the 6th region, soak in a hot tub, camp in the Andes, swim in a waterfall, and return home refreshed and amazed at this hidden region so close to home.


JULY 2010

The prize for the DOM in July is an adventurous getaway in the Andes, only 2 and 1/2 hours from the heart of Santiago.  A 2 night/3 day stay All inclusive at Tumuñan Lodge. 

***Contest Destination of the Month - July 2010***

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Name the 3 reasons for which you would like to win the contest.

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Contest Destination of the Month - July 2010