Vicuña is located in the chest of the valley, this village is found 62 kms. east of La Serena, on the International Route 41. It has been constituted as a unifying center of a number of picturesque villages scattered along this magnetic valley, including Rivadavia and Peralillo, among others.
This main city and capital of the valley was founded in 1821 by Colonel Joaquín Vicuña Larraín by supreme decree of Don Bernardo O'Higgins. It has a population of 23.807 inhabitants and its economy is based primarily on agro-industrial activities and tourism.
It has also become known worldwide not only because of its skies and observatories, but for being the birthplace of Gabriela Mistral, Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1945. For sightseeing, it is worthwhile visiting the Poet's Museum, located a few blocks east of the plaza, the Museum of History and Entomology, the ancestral home of the Madariaga family, Bauer Tower, which is on one side of the square and is also a Tourist Information Office, the Pisco factory where you can taste their pisco and buy souvenirs and the Mamalluca Observatory, located a few kilometers from downtown and in the hills of Mamalluca.