Chile’s Most Exciting Stories, Myths and Legends
One of the best parts about traveling is spending quality time with both the friends and family you’re traveling with and the locals you come in contact with. There’s nothing quite like swapping travel stories and hearing all about the history of the destination you’re exploring.
Throughout the countryside and villages in Chile, there have been stories, myths and legends passed down from generation to generation—and it’s one of the most exciting ways to learn about the rich history of this interesting destination.
These intricate stories have evolved over the years, developing more and more with each new detail added. Here are a few of the most popular to share around the bonfire.
The Añañuca Flower
This tale takes place near the Limarí River in the village of Monte Patria. A young woman named Añañuca lived in the village, and although several men living there fought for her attention, she fell in love with a miner who arrived in search of gold.
He soon left after having a dream of where the gold was located but promised he would return. However, he never did come back, and Añañuca mourned her loss and died of a broken heart. She was buried on a rainy day, which is rare for this area.
When it dried up the next day after the rain, many red flowers bloomed, and they were named Añañuca in her honor. This area today is called “Blooming Desert,” as flowers still appear after it rains. If you happen to be here after it rains, be sure to search for the Añañuca flower.
The Cougar’s Rock
When the Spanish first arrive in the town of San Felipe, cougars were often seen in the valley of Aconcagua. The story has it, one cougar gave birth to two healthy cubs and went hunting in hopes of finding food for them. However, some muleteers passed by and took the young cubs while she was gone.
When the cougar returned, she desperately searched for them. Unable to find them, she stood upon the biggest rock of the Yevide hill and roared loudly so everyone in the valley heard the cries. She then disappeared, and it’s said that not a single cougar has been seen in the area since.
One of the most popular Chilean myths passed around by the island of Chiloé’s fishermen is about a woman named Pincoya. She lives in the depths of the Pacific Ocean but has a full human body, unlike a mermaid. She appears on the beaches to dance in the direction of either an abundance or scarcity of fish.
The Chilote people sing, dance and make curantos for her no matter which announcement she brings. According to the myth, she even is responsible for rescuing lost fishermen. If they cannot be rescued, she takes them to the deck of a ghost ship, El Caleuche, for them to join the ship’s crewmen.
To read about more Chilean stories, myths and legends, click here.
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