The Colchagua Valley, located 200 km south of Santiago, is considered the home of the Chilean "huaso," or cowboy and some of the country's most prized vineyards. Reached from the capital via the Pan-American Highway, the main centre for the region is the town of Santa Cruz. Along the way you'll pass through several small country villages, surrounded by vineyards, and get a feeling of the traditional way of life in central Chile.
Santa Cruz is a quiet and provincial town, with a pleasant main square adorned by huge palm trees. There are several vineyards of note nearby, with time to visit two of the following and sample their wines: Casa Silva, Emiliana Orgánico, ViuManent, Montes, Hacienda Araucano, Montgras, Las Niñas, Santa Helena, Estampa, or Bisquertt.
Following this there will be a visit to the Colchagua museum, located just around the corner. It is the biggest private collection in Chile, exhibiting paleontological and archaeological, pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial artefacts.