A Weekend in the Maipo Valley, Chile
When doing my research for things to do in Chile, especially in the Santiago area, I stumbled across the Maipo valley as a popular place that Santiguenos escape to for the weekend. I read a lot of online reviews, TripAdvisor obviously being my first stop as per usual, and eventually decided upon Haiku Cabanas. It just sounded like the perfect place to escape for the weekend. As I mentioned in my last post, we were so chilled after the hike, that we didn’t even feel the need to escape and chill out. It just turned into a lovely place to spend a weekend. We had got engaged on the Monday and were in this beautiful little hideaway by Friday night. We chose to do just that. Hideout, cook at home with a glass of wine and enjoy where we were staying.
The cabanas were cleverly decorated and the beds were really comfortable.
I’d call it ‘rustic luxe’ – weekend cabins done well. The one thing I loved about the cabanas was the kitchen area. And the stunning deck with a fire pit that we could use as a grill. So we popped to the local supermarket and found some steak, snacks, salad and vegetables. Plus of course a nice bottle of Chilean red and headed back to our little spot on the river and lit the fire. I had also bought some espumante (sparkling wine) to sip because I was fully in engagement celebration mode consistently for that week. Or in fact the rest of the holiday for that matter.
We grilled the steak and drank the wine. We just enjoyed the peace. And we even made smores. Because, well, why wouldn’t you in the countryside with a view of the river and a fire pit on the deck?! I remember feeling calm and away from the bustle of the city.
The next morning, breakfast was delivered on a tray.
It was a beautiful simple spread of fresh juice, fresh fruit, bread, butter, cheese, jam and eggs to cook as you like using the kitchenette. I really liked this. We ended up scrambling the eggs with some of the steak and potato leftovers from the night before whilst we made a plan for the day. We had spotted a few rafting companies on the river. And it seemed like such a good laugh. And we sat on the balcony and watched people were hooting and flying down the river.
We looked up the best one to go and booked with Natexplora. I really liked the fact that they had a simple business WhatsApp that I could use to message them and organise the whole thing. We drove into town that afternoon and joined the 1pm session. They were very usefully located. And they had a great setup behind a very cute cafe on a side street with good parking. We were welcomed and sat with a few other groups made up of other couples, families and friends of all ages and nationalities.
There was a quick, yet comprehensive safety briefing – very engaging which made you want to listen.
All equipment was provided & they gave us lockers to leave our things in. Then they loaded us up into a bus and took us to the top of a river. We got in a boat and off we went. It was so much fun! We flew down rapids, paddled when he told us to paddle, jumped in the boat when he told us to, even jumped out when he told us too. It was really well organised and we really enjoyed the whole experience. They drove us back and we bought our photos to share later on. Rob seemed to open and download them to his phone, which we now can’t access, but oh well. I’ll also share them on Instagram if I ever manage to find them.
Just trust me that we had a great time!
After the rafting fun, we went into the adjacent cafe for a salad and a coffee and then walked around a market that had popped up in the small town square. It was filled with artisan products. Food, drinks, souvenirs and gifts like jewelry and bags. We bought some cute Christmas tree decorations and some artisan bread to take home. As that evening, we chose to do a rinse and repeat of the night before. We had some salad and some other things left in the fridge back at the cabin. So we popped to the shop and bought some fresh meat and a couple of drinks and headed back. I love having a long shower after an active day outdoors and curl up with wet hair and fresh comfy clothes on a deck looking out at the world with a good glass of wine in my hand.
It was such a wonderful weekend. Topped off with another fresh local breakfast delivered on a tray and a quick repack of our bags before heading to our next destination – the wonder that is the port city of Valparaiso via the Casablanca wine valley for lunch.
Cabanas Haiku Panoramicas: http://cabanasdelmaipo.cl
Natexplora Rafting: https://natexplora.cl/