O'Higgins Region

The Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region[3][4][5] (Spanish: Región del Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins pronounced [liβeɾtaˈðoɾ xeneˈɾal βeɾˈnaɾðo oˈçiɣins]),[6] often shortened to O'Higgins Region, is one of Chile's 16 first order administrative divisions. It is subdivided into three provinces. It is named in honour of Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme, one of Chile's founding fathers.

The Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean, to the east by the Republic of Argentina, to the north by the Valparaíso and Santiago Metropolitan Regions, and to the south by the Maule Region. It extends approximately between the parallels of 33° 51′ and 35° 01′ south latitude, and between the meridian of 70° 02′ west longitude and the Pacific Ocean.

The capital and largest city of the region is Rancagua. The second major town is San Fernando.

Libertador General
Bernardo O'Higgins Region

Región del Libertador
General Bernardo O'Higgins
Rio Claro O'Higgins
Flag of Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region

Coat of arms of Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region

Coat of arms
Map of Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region
Map of Libertador General
Bernardo O'Higgins Region
Coordinates: 34°10′02″S 70°43′37″W / 34.16722°S 70.72694°WCoordinates: 34°10′02″S 70°43′37″W / 34.16722°S 70.72694°W
Country Chile
ProvincesCachapoal, Colchagua, Cardenal Caro
 • IntendantJuan Manuel Masferrer (UDI)
 • Total16,387.0 km2 (6,327.1 sq mi)
Area rank14
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Total908,545
 • Rank6
 • Density55/km2 (140/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeCL-LI
HDI (2017)0.796[2]
WebsiteOfficial website (in Spanish)


O'Higgins Köppen
Köppen climate types in the O'Higgins Region.

In pre-Quaternary times extensive Nothofagus forests covered much of Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region.[7]

The Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region is part of the very restricted range of the endangered Chilean Wine Palm, Jubaea chilensis; in prehistoric times this Chilean endemic tree had a significantly larger range.[8]


From 9000 BCE to 300 BCE (the Archaic Period), the humans who inhabited the region moved between the coast and the valley as well as the Andes. At sites such as Pichilemu, Cáhuil and Bucalemu, they left trash deposits or shell middens bearing testimony to their raids. During the Agroalfarero Period (300 BCE - 1470 CE), the inhabitants experienced changes in their way of life, the most important being the cultivation of vegetables and the manufacture of clay objects. From 600 CE onwards, they started cultivating beans, maize, squashes, pumpkins and quinoa. All of these except quinoa and some types of maize required irrigation, which prompted them to move to the banks of creeks and rivers. During this period, groups of people lived in Quincha houses with straw roofs, in the vicinity of irrigation channels and horticulture crops, a style of life attributable to the Promaucaes or Picunches and to the Chiquillanes. During the Colonial Period (1541 CE to 1811 CE), the region became dominated, like the rest of the country, by the Spanish, and a system of ranching became predominant.


El sagrario de Rancagua 0341
Cathedral at Plaza de los Heroes

The Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins region contains a large part of the rural population (surpassed only by the Maule Region). Amongst the highly populated cities, Rancagua (206,971 inhabitants) stands out for having been transformed, in recent times, into an outskirt of Santiago. It is close being located 87 km south of Santiago. It is the capital of the Cachapoal Province as well the Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region. According to the census of 2002,[9] other densely populated cities are: San Fernando (49,519 inhabitants); Rengo (30,891); Machalí (23,920); Graneros (21,616); San Vicente de Tagua Tagua (18,914); Santa Cruz (18,603); Chimbarongo (13,795); Pichilemu (12,392), a well-known beach resort city founded by Agustin Ross Edwards in the late 19th century; and San Francisco de Mostazal (12,037).


The main industrial and export activity takes place at CODELCO’s El Teniente mine, which contributes 7.7% of Chile’s copper production. The ore is processed at the Sewell and Colón concentrator plants, smelted and refined at Caletones, and shipped from the port of San Antonio, in the Valparaíso Region. Byproducts include molybdenum and silver.

Agriculture contributes 30.1% of the region’s GDP. One out of every four hectares of fruit orchards in Chile is in the Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region. The main crops are apples and pears, followed by table grapes, plums, kiwis, and nectarines.

Manufacturing activity in the region is mostly related to copper mining, agribusiness, and food and beverages. One particular growth area is the production of fruit juices and pulp, and dehydrated fruit.

Over the past few years, there has been significant development in the forestry sector, especially plantations of eucalyptus and radiata pine.

Law and government

The region is governed by an intendant, who is appointed by the president. Pablo Silva Amaya is the current intendant (2016).

The administration of the region rests with the regional government, which is headed by the intendant and the regional council (Consejo Regional de Chile). The latter comprises sixteen regional administrators, who are elected indirectly (ten from Cachapoal, four from Colchagua, and two from Cardenal Caro).

Administrative divisions

For purposes of interior administration, the Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region is divided into three provinces:

The provinces are subdivided into 33 communes.

Politico-administrative divisions of the Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region
O'Higgins Comunas
Province Capital Commune
Cachapoal Rancagua 1 Codegua
2 Coínco
3 Coltauco
4 Doñihue
5 Graneros
6 Las Cabras
7 Machalí
8 Malloa
9 Mostazal
10 Olivar
11 Peumo
12 Pichidegua
13 Quinta de Tilcoco
14 Rancagua
15 Rengo
16 Requínoa
17 San Vicente de Tagua Tagua
Province Capital Commune
Cardenal Caro Pichilemu 18 La Estrella
19 Litueche
20 Marchihue
21 Navidad
22 Paredones
23 Pichilemu
Colchagua San Fernando 24 Chépica
25 Chimbarongo
26 Lolol
27 Nancagua
28 Palmilla
29 Peralillo
30 Placilla
31 Pumanque
32 San Fernando
33 Santa Cruz


This area is known as the "huaso province" after the name of the Chilean cowboy, the huaso. Sashes and mantas – traditional items of the huaso costume – are woven in Doñihue on heavy vertical looms. Designs imitate vine leaves, bunches of grapes, pines and copihues. Other designs of colored stripes are woven on horizontal looms.

The population is a mixture of both European (including Argentine immigrants) and indigenous races and cultures, thus the region has a homogeneous culture known as Chileanidad is present and a mestizo imprint is evident.

The Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region was settled by Spaniards (notably Andalusians, Basques, Aragonese and Navarrese) and other Europeans. French and Italian families established agriculture including the important wine industry: the Wine Route is one of the main tourist attractions of the Colchagua valley. Breweries can be found as well, the legacy of German and Swiss immigration. Livestock herding was especially influenced by British, Greek and Yugoslavian settlers.

Regional festivals

Date English Name Spanish Name Notes
1–2 October Disaster of Rancagua Desastre de Rancagua In memory of the Battle
of Rancagua
which occurred in 1814


  1. ^ a b "O´Higgins Region". Government of Chile Foreign Investment Committee. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  2. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  3. ^ Rupp, David E; Oscar Reckmann; Jorge Vergara; Hamil Uribe; John S. Selker (2011). "Unconfined Aquifer Permeability near hand-dug Wells in the Coastal and Interior dryland of the Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region, Chile". Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research. 71 (2): 267–274. doi:10.4067/S0718-58392011000200012. ISSN 0718-5839. In the dryland of the Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region in Chile, most farmers rely [...]
  4. ^ Inc, Merriam-Webster (1997). Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. p. 977. ISBN 9780877795469. Retrieved 26 July 2012. Rancagua. City of Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region.
  5. ^ Division, Library of Congress. Federal Research (December 1994). Chile, a country study. The Division. p. 299. ISBN 9780844408286. Retrieved 26 July 2012. [...] the provinces of San Felipe de Aconcagua, Colchagua and Valparaíso, as well as Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region and [...]
  6. ^ "Decreto Ley 2339. Otorga denominación a la Región Metropolitana y a las regiones del país, en la forma que indica". Ley Chile (in Spanish). Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile. 10 October 1978. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  7. ^ Thomas T. Veblen, Robert S. Hill and Jennifer Read (1996) The Ecology and Biogeography of Nothofagus Forests, Yale University Press, 403 pages ISBN 0-300-06423-3
  8. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Chilean Wine Palm: Jubaea chilensis, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Stromberg Archived 17 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Chile: Proyecciones y Estimaciones de Población. Total País 1950-2050" Instituto National de Estadísticas (INE)

External links

Battle of Rancagua

The Battle of Rancagua also known as the Disaster of Rancagua occurred on October 1, 1814, to October 2, 1814, when the Spanish Army under the command of Mariano Osorio defeated the rebel Chilean forces led by Bernardo O’Higgins. This put an end to the Chilean Patria Vieja and it was the beginning of the Spanish Reconquista of South America.

Baños del Flaco Formation

The Baños del Flaco Formation is a Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (Tithonian to Berriasian geologic formation in central Chile. The formation comprises limestones and sandstones deposited in a shallow marine to fluvial environment. Fossil ornithopod tracks have been reported from the formation.

Cachapoal Province

Cachapoal Province (Spanish: Provincia de Cachapoal) is one of three provinces of the central Chilean region of O'Higgins (VI). Its capital is the city of Rancagua (pop. 214,344).

Cachapoal River

Cachapoal River is tributary river of the Rapel River in Chile located in the Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region. The river gives its name to the Cachapoal Province.

Cardenal Caro Province

Cardenal Caro Province (Spanish: Provincia Cardenal Caro) is one of the three provinces of the central Chilean region of O'Higgins (VI). The capital of Cardenal Caro is Pichilemu.

Coastal Batholith of central Chile

The Coastal Batholith of central Chile is a group of plutons in the Chilean Coast Range of Central Chile appearing contiguously from 33° S to 38° S. At a latitude of 40° S an outlying group of plutons of the batholith appear in a more eastward position in the Andes.Together with the Elqui-Limarí Batholith and the Colangüil Batholith, the Coastal Batholith of central Chile is a remnant of the volcanic arcs that erupted the volcanic material of the Choiyoi Group. During the Permian the zone of arc magmatism moved from the Coastal Batholith 350 km inland reaching San Rafael about 280 million years ago. The batholith is emplaced amidst metamorphic rocks belonging to a Paleozoic accretionary complex. The northern parts are of the batholith are themselves intruded by Jurassic gabbros.Rocks of the batholith belong to the calc-alkaline magma series.

Colchagua Province

Colchagua Province (Spanish: Provincia de Colchagua) is one of three provinces of the central Chilean region of O'Higgins (VI). Its capital is San Fernando. It is bordered on the north by Cachapoal Province, on the east by the Argentine Republic, on the south by Curicó Province, and on the west by Cardenal Caro Province.

Farellones Formation

Farellones Formation (Spanish: Formación Farellones) is a geological formation of Miocene age in the Andes of Central Chile up almost entirely of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks. At some location reaches thicknesses in excess of 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). It overlies the Oligo–Miocene Abanico Formation across a diachronous unconformity. The best exposure of the formation is said to be at the ski resort of Farellones east of Santiago.


Graneros is a Chilean commune and city in Cachapoal Province, O'Higgins Region.

List of towns in Chile

This article contains a list of towns in Chile.

A town is defined by Chile's National Statistics Institute (INE) as an urban entity possessing between 2,001 and 5,000 inhabitants—or between 1,001 and 2,000 inhabitants if 50% or more of its population is economically active in secondary and/or tertiary activities. This list is based on a June 2005 report by the INE based on the 2002 census, which registered 274 towns across the country, however only 269 of them are shown here. (Note: The higher number is based on the number given in the regional summary provided by the INE report. The lower number is based on a manual count of the report. The discrepancies are found in the Valparaíso Region (report: 31 / manual count: 28), the O'Higgins Region (report: 39 / manual count: 38) and the Los Ríos and Los Lagos Region combined (report: 31 / manual count: 30).)


Machalí is a Chilean commune and city in Cachapoal Province, O'Higgins Region.


Mostazal (Spanish pronunciation: [mostaˈsal]) is a Chilean commune in Cachapoal Province, O'Higgins Region. The capital of the commune is the city of San Francisco de Mostazal.

Navidad, Chile

Navidad (Spanish pronunciation: [naβiˈðað]) is one of the six communes in Cardenal Caro Province, O'Higgins Region, Chile.

It borders the commune of Santo Domingo (Valparaíso Region) and San Pedro (Santiago Metropolitan Region) in the north, the commune of Litueche to the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The commune has approximately 20 kilometres of coastline.

Pichilemu Fault

The Pichilemu Fault (Spanish: Falla de Pichilemu), also referred to as the Pichilemu-Vichuquén Fault (Falla de Pichilemu-Vichuquén), is a Chilean geological fault, located in Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region, some kilometers away from Pichilemu, at a depth of 15 kilometres (9.3 mi). The fault is 40 kilometres (25 mi) long and 20 kilometres (12 mi) wide.

Punta de Lobos

Punta de Lobos (English: Wolves Point) is a Chilean town, administratively part of the commune of Pichilemu, whose urban centre is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) north), in the Cardenal Caro Province, O'Higgins Region.The beach of Punta de Lobos, about 200 km south of Valparaiso, is well-known internationally for being a good place for surfing and the practice of kiteboarding. Its waves vary between two and three meters high, allowing surfers of different skill levels to select their waves. The town of Punta de Lobos is characterized by its fine gray sand, and is surrounded by cliffs which are 50 metres high. Its odd rocks (Rocas de Punta de Lobos) are frequented by sea-lions.

Punta de Lobos was nominated as the 7th World Surfing Reserve by Save The Waves Coalition in 2013.


Rancagua (Spanish pronunciation: [raŋˈkaɣwa]) is a city and commune in central Chile and part of the Rancagua conurbation. It is the capital of the Cachapoal Province and of the O'Higgins Region, located 87 km (54 mi) south of the national capital of Santiago.

Its first name was Santa Cruz de Triana. In 2012, its population was 232,211. The main economic activities range from mining, tourism, agriculture, timber, food production and services to minor industrial activities. The city also serves as the administrative and legal center of the region.

Next to Machalí and Gultro forms the Rancagua conurbation; and next to Curicó, Talca and Concepción, is one of the most important and populated cities of the south central zone of Chile.

Rapel River

Rapel River is a river of Chile located in the O'Higgins Region. It begins at the confluence of the rivers Cachapoal and Tinguiririca in an area best known as La Junta. At present day, this area is impounded by Rapel Dam, creating Rapel Lake.

Other tributaries:

estero Alhué

Claro de Rengo River(Cachapoal)

Claro River(Tinguiririca)

estero Zamorano

estero La Cadena

estero Carén

estero Coya

estero Chimbarongo

Pangal River

Río Los Cipreses National Reserve

Río Los Cipreses National Reserve is a nature reserve located in Machalí, Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region, Chile. It is named after Río Los Cipreses, a tributary of Cachapoal River and lies in one of the most glaciated areas of the Central Chile Andes.

The reserve contains Valdivian temperate forests at lower elevations and Southern Andean steppe at higher elevations. It also protects some of the northernmost stands of Austrocedrus chilensis.

The reserve is used by mountain climbers, and is home to a number mountain trails, including the Palomo volcano, Alto de Los Arrieros and Cerro Dr. Hernán Cruz. In addition to the mountains, the reserve contains various prehispanic petroglyphs and an array of flora and fauna.

As of 2012, public transport to the reserve is either extremely limited or non-existent, and travelling there by private vehicle is recommended. A limited number of tour operators in Rancagua offer trips to the reserve.

Sewell, Chile

Sewell is an uninhabited Chilean mining town located on the slopes of the Andes in the commune of Machalí in Cachapoal Province, Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins Region, at an altitude of between 2,000 and 2,250 metres.

< Communes and municipalities in O'Higgins Region >
Cardenal Caro

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.