Built in 1897, the Quinta Escondida is a rare historic country house and orchard that has survived on the edge of Limache town, in central Chile. Access is easy, with or without a car. We are 1hr 40mins from the international airport of Santiago, and also just 45mins from the nearest Pacific Ocean beach at Vina del Mar, reached by road or metro train. The metro station is 10mins walk from the house and also has trains to the UNESCO listed port of Valparaiso (26m/43km). The private self-catering apartment (approx. 861 sq ft) is on the first floor, with views across the valley of Limache in three directions. The apartment is fully equipped, and includes a superb roof terrace for watching sunsets, and also has WiFi. Alternatively, you can choose a triple, double or single B&B; room with shared use of a bathroom. Please note: 2 night minimum.The park-like gardens are very spacious and contain a swimming pool, play ground, BBQ area, and many shady groves and secluded places to relax, read a book from the extensive library, or enjoy a drink in peace. The Quinta Escondida makes a wonderful base for exploring central Chile, and is also an excellent place to relax before and after more strenuous trips to the Atacama Desert or Patagonia. For those needing to improve their fitness prior to hiking the Andes, the nearby national park in the coastal range around La Campana Mountain (6,168ft/1,880m) is ideal.Your host Natascha Scott-Stokes established herself as a pioneering traveller in 1989, when she became the first woman to travel the length of the Amazon River alone, from its headwaters in the Peruvian Andes to the Atlantic off Brazil. She has spent most of her life travelling the world, but South America is her passion and she is an excellent source of information on all things touristic in Chile. The author of several guidebooks for tourists, you can trust her to know how to make you feel at home, and also to come up with just the right information for your needs.Natascha speaks fluent English, German and Spanish and occasionally understands French. She also has a Masters in Tourism Management from the University of Surrey, rated no. 1 in the field in the UK.
The famous Chilean writer and politician Benjamin Vincu単a Mackenna once referred to Limache as the Chilean Manchester. In fact, there were never more than half a dozen family-owned factories here and only one survives to this day. But it is true they represented the great wealth that was once generated in the valley and translated into the very fine houses and country estates built between the mid 19th and 20th centuries.
Limache is an authentic Chilean country town, with possibly the prettiest high street in the country, lined my magnificent plane trees and with a beautiful main plaza. One of the most interesting and fun things to do in Limache is go to the Sunday Market, where you can buy almost anything, but especially fresh fruit and vegetables.
Connections are excellent to the capital of Santiago, and also to the coastal cities of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. Local buses and fixed-route taxis are very useful for exploring locally. Private off-street parking is available at the Quinta, if you arrive by hired car.