PROVINCES The regional population, according to the census taken in 2002, is of 908.207 habitants.
Political Administration Division Talca is the capital city of the seventh region, the Maule region. It has 193.755 habitants. This region is divided into the provinces of Curico, Talca , Linares and Cauquenes. In turn theses provinces are subdivided into the following towns Romeral, Molina, Hualañe, Licanten and Vichuquen, Cumpeo, Pelarco, Curepto, San Clemente , Maule, Constitucion and Empedrado, San Javier, Villa Alegre, Yerbas Buenas, Longavi, Colbun, Retiro y Parral, Chanco, Curanipe and Cobquecura.
Economy Talca 's economy is largely based on agriculture; it provisions such things as the raw materials for wine production, mills of sugar, oil, wood and cellulose. Also we can include the cultivation of wheat, legumes, potatoes and industrial cultivation of rice and beets.
CURICO This city is the province capital of the region and is found 186 kms. south of Santiago . Some places to go sight seeing are the San Francisco y del Carmen church and the half-moon rodeo which is a typical southern tradition. By taking the route that goes west we can find the Reserva Nacional Radal Siete Tazas which has seven waterfalls that fall consecutively to forms seven consecutive pools thus its name. Other interesting places are river Claro, el parquet Ingles, the Velo de la Novia and el Salto de la Leona waterfalls and the Vichuquen lake. It is here, in Vichuquen; where you can find the Museo Colonial and nearby this the Santuario de la Naturaleza Laguna Torca and the Laguna Tilicura. East of Vichuquen there is a seaside town called Iloca, to the north the beaches of Duao and Lipimavida where you can find traditional textile crafts. In Curico the most alluring places to visit are the following: Plaza de Armas, an iron bandstand that has been declared a National Historical Monument , the Cerro Condell where you have a panoramic view of Curico and at the base of this place we can find the church of San Francisco , also declared a National Monument.
*Curico: The Governor of Curico Jose Manso de Velasco baptized this city in honor of Saint Jose de Buena Vista De Curico; the word curico means black water.
TALCA Talca is the capital on the seventh region and is found 250 kms. south of Santiago . It the most important cultural, economical and industrial referent of the region. Talca was founded in 1742 by Jose Antonio de Velasco and was named San Agustin de Talca.
Historically speaking Talca is an important city because it is here where Bernardo O'Higgins signed the Independence Act on February 2, 1818 . The Museo O'Higginiano y de Bellas Arte, which was declared a national monument, is the house where this act was signed and the original furniture can be visited.
Talca has two major Universities and its most interesting sites are the Plaza de Armas, the cathedral, the Bernardo O'Higgins Alameda, the municipal market, Cerro el Virgen and the rivers Lircay and Claro. 10 kms. Away from the city you can find the Villa Cultural and Museo Huilquilemu which was declared a national monument. Talca 's nearby sites offer authentic countryside landscapes as do its pre mountain and seaside towns. *In mapudungun the word Talca means thunder. Until the year1742 Talca was a small town but it was re founded as Villa de San Augustin de Talca thanks to the order of San Augustin priests whom gave their lands to the city.
LINARES In Linares we can find many beautiful landscapes such as El Melado, the Pejerey stream, the rivers Achibueno and Ancoa. In the city itself you can visit the cathedral, the Museo de Arte and Artesania, the Plaza de Armas and the municipal market. When going to the pre mountains you can visit the thermal springs of Panimavida and Quinamavida and also the town of Rari which offers typical crafts made of horse hair or "crin". In this place you can also find the Colbun and Machicura reservoirs.
This city was founded in the year 1794 by Ambrosio O'Higgins. Linares is an important industrial and commercial center (i.e. Iansa sugar plant).
CAUQUENES Linares is the province capitol of Linares and is found 155 kms. south of Santiago , it was founded in the year 1742 by Antonio Manso de Velasco. Cauquenes is a quiet city which has many colonial houses that date back as far as the 19 th century. The Mercado Municipal, of modern architecture, is a favorite of tourists because you can find typical crafts made out of clay, wood and quarry.
There are two alternatives to get to Cauquenes, the first is the "ruta de los conquistadores" which starts in san Javier, 21 kms. south of Talca (san Javier to Cauquenes 91 kms.). The second alternative is the Carretera Panamericana 5 sur which starts in Talca and goes to Parral (92kms.) and from here you go to Cauquenes (61 kms.).
The most visited beaches in this region are: Chanco, Pelluhue and Curanipe. Places to visit wildlife include national reserve Federico Albert, name that honors the scientist who reforested this place.