Our 200 things to do in Chile list

200 Things to Do in Chile List

by Rob W. on September 27, 2010 · 48 comments

In honour of Chile’s bicentennial celebration, I thought I would write a list of the 200 things I would like to do in Chile. Some of the things I have already done though I will only tick it off the list if it can be documented with photos, videos or grubby serviettes I have kept.

Much of the list involves visiting places though there are some things that involve doing or learning certain Chilean activities. I hope to do as much as possible as a family (with my wife and two boys) which is why I have no problem to revisit places.

This list doesn’t immediately have all 200 things I would like to do since I’m sure I will come across new things over time.

I am also open to ideas so if you have any, let me know and I may add them.

1. Climb to the top of El Morro de Arica
2. Make my own Pisco Sour (I usually drink them not make them)
3. Make my own empanada de pino
4. Learn to dance la cueca
5. Learn to play a cueca on the guitar
6. Go rafting on one of Chile’s rivers
7. Visit Putre
8. Visit Iquique
9. Visit Parque Fray Jorge
10. Go to the Fiesta de la Tirana – Región de Tarapacá
11. Visit the Humberstone y Santa Laura Ghost town
12. See the Geoglyphs – Reserva Natural Pampa del Tamarugal – Tarapacá
13. Visit the Atacama Desert when it is in flower (Desierto Florido)
14. Visit the Miscantis and Miñiques Lakes – San Pedro de Atacama
15. Visit the Tatio Geysers – San Pedro de Atacama
16. Watch a sunset from the dunes of Valle de la Luna – Atacama
17. Visit the Tulor Ruins – San Pedro de Atacama
18. Visit the Flamingo Reserve near San Pedro de Atacama
19. Swim in the Termas de Puritama thermal pools – San Pedro de Atacama
20. Sandboard the dunes in the Valley of Death – Valle de la Muerte
21. See La Portada natural monument – Antofagasta
22. Visit the Puclaro Dam – Valle del Elqui
23. Spend a night in El Vagón – Valle del Elqui – DONE
24. Have a Pisco Sour in Pisco (the town) – Valle del Elqui
25. See the stars from an observatory in the Valle del Elqui
26. Visit La Recova – La Serena
27. Visit El Faro – La Serena
28. Visit the Fort of Coquimbo
29. Go to a restaurant in Barrio Inglés – Coquimbo
30. Visit Parque Pan de Azúcar Nacional Park
31. Visit Pingüino de Humboldt National Park
32. Spend a New Year’s Eve in Valparaiso – DONE
33. Go up an Ascensor of Valparaiso
34. Visit the Open Air Museum of Cerro Concepción – Valparaiso
35. Go to the Festival de Viña show one night – Viña del Mar
36. See the Flower Clock of Viña del Mar – Viña del Mar
37. Visit the Pablo Neruda Museum at Isla Negra – 5th Region
38. Visit La Campana Park near Olmué – 5th Region
39. Visit the crater of the Rano Kau Volcano – Easter Island
40. Visit Orongo – Easter Island
41. See the Ahu Tongariki Statues – Easter Island
42. Visit Robinson Crusoe Island
43. Watch a Chilean Rodeo
44. Do a tour of a vineyard
45. Visit Pomaire
46. Visit Parque Mahuida de La Reina
47. Visit Santuario de la Naturaleza Yerba Loca
48. Visit Santuario de Santa Teresa – Near Los Andes
49. Snowboard in the Andes Mountain
50. See the San Francisco Glacier in the El Morado Park – Cajón del Maipo
51. Baños Morales Hot Pools in the Cajón del Maipo
52. Visit every main park of Santiago – Santiago
53. Go to a performance at the Santiago Municipal Theatre
54. Watch Chile play a football game at the Estadio Nacional – Santiago
55. Do the Cementerio General (Cemetery) night tour – Santiago
56. Drink a Terramoto in La Piojera – Santiago
57. Eat at El Hoyo Restaurant – Santiago
58. Go to the top of Cerro Santa Lucia – Santiago
59. Go to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal – Santiago
60. Visit the inside of La Moneda – Santiago
61. Visit every comuna (suburb) of Santiago
62. Visit the abandoned town of Sewell – Near Rancagua
63. Ride the Tren del Vino – Maule Region
64. Participate in la Wine Festival of Santa Cruz
65. Visit the Termas de Cauquenes Hot Pools
66. Visit Las Siete Tazas – Siete Tazas National Park
67. Go to the Termas de Puyehue (Hot Pools)
68. Walk through the Archway at Constitución – Constitución
69. Visit the Salto del Laja Waterfall
70. Visit Reserva Nacional Isla Mocha
71. Visit the Volcanic Caves near Pucón
72. See the Ojos de Caburga Waterfalls – Near Pucón
73. Climb the Volcán Villarrica Volcano – Pucón – DONE
74. Do the Todos Los Santos Lake crossing -  DONE
75. Visit the Fort at Niebla – Near Valdivia
76. Visit the Fort at Corral – Near Valdivia
77. Participate in the Noche Valdiviana – Valdivia
78. Sail on the Calle-Calle River – Valdivia
79. Eat Kuchen in Frutillar
80. Spend a night in the Huilo Huilo Reserve – Los Ríos Region
81. Have a seafood dish at Angelmó – Puerto Montt
82. See the 16 National Monument Churches of Chiloé
83. Go along the Carreterra Austral
84. Visit the Catedral de Mármol – Chile Chico Region
85. Visit the Laguna San Rafael Glacier
86. Visit the Torres del Paine
87. Visit the Milodon cave – Near Puerto Natales
88. Experience the Winter Festival in Punta Arenas – DONE
89. Visit Isla Magdalena – Near Punta Arenas
90. Visit Seno Otway Penguins – Near Punta Arenas – DONE
91. Visit Fuerte Bulnes – Near Punta Arenas – DONE
92. Kiss the Indian’s Big Toe – Punta Arenas – DONE
93. Visit the Punta Arenas Cemetery – DONE
94. Master the Emboque game (do the flip)
95. Make a trompo spin more than 30 seconds
96. Win a game of Rayuela
97. See a surf championship at Punta de Lobos (South of Pichilemu)
98. Visit Persa Bio Bio on the weekend – Santiago
99. Stand on Antarctica
100. Walk along the beach between La Serena and Coquimbo (preferably at night)
101. Visit a Café con Piernas (preferably a tinted windows one)
102. Isla Damas (Island north of La Serena – has whales, dolphines, penguins, sea lions)
103. Recover from a long hard night (or hangover) at El Mercado Central when it opens in the morning
104. Do the “Ruta de las Caletas del Maule” Route
105. Visit the place where the 33 miners were trapped. (Ok, the top of the hole, not the mine)
106. Go horseback riding in the Andes
107. Visit Vicuña (Gabriela Mistral’s Birthplace) – Valle del Elqui
108. Go to a concert during the Frutillar Music Festival (January/February)
109. Eat the traditional curanto after it has just come out of the ground
110. Visit the market of Temuco.
111. See the famous mural of the Universidad de Concepción.
112. Eat the traditional dulces (sweet things) from La Ligua.

113…

We need help to make this list get to 200!!!

Have you done any of these? If so, which did you like the most?

Remember, we are open to suggestions about seeing or doing anything in Chile. However, please don’t be offended if we don’t add a suggestion to our list as everyone’s interests may be different. At least that suggestion will still appear in the comments for others to read and maybe do.

What else could we add to the list of things to do in Chile?

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan September 28, 2010 at 12:44 am

I would add: Visit the Cementario Nacional in Santiago – it is an incredibly unique site

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woodward September 28, 2010 at 9:35 am

Thanks Ryan,
I have that at number 55, though as doing the creepy night tour of that cemetery. I suppose I could include doing it during the day too.
Saludos

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Ryan September 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I must have missed it — do they actually give tours at night or does “night tour” just mean going there in the evening?

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woodward September 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Yep, I read somewhere that they do it at night when it is dark. From memory it’s once a week (or month – I’ll investigate) I think it is basically something novel that you don’t often get the chance to do and maybe it’s to see how ‘brave’ people are.

Does anyone know of who or when they do the Cemetery tour at night in Santiago?

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Katy September 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Cementerio General – Visitas nocturnas
Las visitas guiadas nocturnas están dirigidas a satisfacer al visitante que está interesado en conocer este recinto desde otro punto de vista, de noche y en grupos de 30 personas, que recorren sus diferentes avenidas apreciando el lugar de una manera distinta a la tradicional.
Para acceder a estas visitas guiadas nocturnas, se debe reservar fecha e inscribirse personalmente, para lo cual deberán contáctarse al 737 94 69, en el anexo 219 o en el e-mail tournocturno @ cementeriogeneral .cl
Los menores de 18 años deberán venir acompañados de un adulto. Al interior del Cementerio no se expenden alimentos ni bebidas. Tampoco se puede traer mascotas.

woodward September 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Thanks for that Katerina!

Pepe - pepeschile.com September 28, 2010 at 10:22 am

How about mastering traditional Chilean games like the trompo, rayuela, and emboque?

Attend a fútbol game of the Chilean national team.

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woodward September 28, 2010 at 11:06 am

Great additions Pepe. I have added the three games. Even though I did spend a night playing Rayuela, and was surprising good at the game (despite the roncolas), it would be good to do it again. The Chilean game is at #54. Again I have done it but not in the “Bielsa” era so I have kept it on the list. It would be good to check out the changes they’ve done to the National Stadium.
Saludos.

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Katy September 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Hi, I would add: Visit Laguna Torca
: Visit Pichilemu – surfing
: Make your own pastel de jaiba /de choclo

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woodward October 1, 2010 at 10:32 am

Thanks Katy,
I have added watching a surf championship at Punta de Lobos which is the main place the surfers of Pichilemu go to.
Cheers!

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Ryan October 1, 2010 at 10:22 am

I would also add a visit to el Persa Bio Bio in Santiago on the weekends–it is like walking around e-bay.

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woodward October 1, 2010 at 10:28 am

Like e-bay… so true! I haven’t been to Persa Bio Bio in years so I have added it to the list. Thanks.

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martine October 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I learned and danced the cueca!!

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woodward October 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm

My wife Angelica knows how to (being Chilean and all) though I am yet to master it (or even get the basics down).
How did you learn the cueca Martine?

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martine October 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm

extra tipical thing to drink in chile: a terremoto (o replica o maremoto)

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woodward October 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Got that at #57. Of course the Replica is compulsory, isn’t it? :)

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Laura October 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Ok, I’ve thought of a few:
- Visit the penguins near Ancud, Chiloe @ Islotes de Puñihul. You can never get enough of the penguins right?
- Buy fresh fruit and veg from the growers themselves at La Vega.
- Fantasilandia. At least once.
- Eat fresh seafood in Mercado Central.
- Go swimming in one of the great pools on the top of Cerro San Cristobal.
- Eat empanadas in Concon. They say those empanadas are some of the best in Chile.
- Swim in the world’s largest pool at San Alfonso del Mar.
- Visit Chiloe’s National Park where you can see the alerce.
- Also in Chiloe, stay in a Palafito!

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Angelica Cureton October 15, 2010 at 12:00 am

Hacen 26 años que no he ido a Chile, pero me acuerdo de un sitio que mi mami me llevó cuando era chica y creo que se llama Aguas Calientes. Muy lindo lugar.

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Cesar Vejar December 18, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Hola hermana soy yo. Cesar. De Osorno Chile. Te ando buscando hace muchos años.

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Angelica Cureton October 15, 2010 at 12:02 am

La Plaza de Osorno, Chile donde mi mami vive

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Luciano October 22, 2010 at 2:26 am

Be careful when you are in Persa Bio Bio… there are thieves and pickpockets… it isn’t the farwest, just not a place for fools

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woodward October 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Thanks for reminding us Luciano. Yes, you do have to be careful around Persa Bio Bio.

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Lukas December 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Know what you are missing? Visit the Observatory Tololo during daytime and take part in one of the (free) tours in English. I am living in La Serena at the moment, did the tour, it is incredible! Highly recommended. The guide is awesome, he lived in the US for quite a while and is the cousin of a member of a very famous German band “die ärzte”.
Seperate between “do a tour at night at one of the touristic observatories” and “do a tour during daytime at one of the scientific observatories”.

Also: Visit the “paso de aguas negras” at the end of the Valle del Elqui (ok, its a little further), the border between Chile and Argentinia. It is breathtaking, believe me!

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woodward December 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for your tips Lukas.
I just looked up Paso de Aguas Negras and some interesting info about it (in Spanish). One, it’s the highest border crossing between Chile and Argentina at 4780m. Two, it was inaugurated in 1965, closed in 1977 due to the international conflict between the two countries and then reopened again in 1994. I wonder what happened to it between 1977 and 1994.
And as you say, it looks good and probably worth going through on the way to Argentina.

Is there anything else closer to La Serena that I have missed?

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Lukas December 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Well, there is a bunch of things that I like to do, places I like to go, but I`d add those to a “things to do in La Serena” guide as they aren`t really touristy things, you know?

If you really need more things on your list you could split up the Valle de Elqui into more points, it is one of the most amazing places I know. I know why there is that many new-age groups there, it already feels good just being there in between all the mountains. Visit a Pisco distillery, stay a few days in Pisco Elqui etc.

PS: love your entries about Chile!!! Its simly true, all the funny/scary things you find here :) An entirely different “culture”/country

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Marisol Perry December 21, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Thanks for reminding us Luciano. Yes, you do have to be careful around Persa Bio Bio.

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woodward January 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm

We have just done number 74. The crossing of Lago Todos Los Santos which is on the way to Bariloche (Argentina) when coming from Puerto Varas.

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Maureen February 6, 2011 at 5:11 am

- do rafting on the Bio Bio River – a little dangerous though
- walk from Coquimbo to La Serena on the shore at night with the lights on…

Note – be careful with visiting all suburbs in Santiago…some are somewhat dangerous even by car, you can get assaulted

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woodward February 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Thanks for the suggestions Maureen.
You are right about being careful when visiting every suburb. Not recommended for the faint of heart.
No.6 Is rafting on any Chilean river so it could be the Bio-Bio.
I have added the walk between Coquimbo and La Serena. I did it during the day a few years ago though it would be interesting to do it at night as you say.

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Katzchenlowe April 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Cruzar el desierto de Atacama por la noche desde Argentina.
Colocar tu auto en neutro en cuesta (bajada) en la carretera cerca de San pedro de Atacama y este ira en sentido contrario.

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Ange April 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Actually we did number 100, but it was during the day.

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Maren April 26, 2011 at 7:55 am

Do the boat tour to Isla Damas ( a bit north of La Serena). Whales, dolphines, penguins, sea lions, otters, billions of birds- you name it. And the beaches are phantastic. So is the seafood in the local tiny restaurants.
As for rafting- do it on the Trancura near Pucon, crystal clear water and a nice class 4 rapid.
If you like astronomy- try and do the public tour (once a month) at the European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal ( four 8.4 m telescopes).

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Rob W. April 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Thanks Maren. I added Isla Damas (No.102). I had totally forgot about that amazing place. You can never get bored of whales and dolphins.
You are right, there are loads of rafting options near Pucon if anyone wants to do it in Chile and THANKS for that tip about the Cerro Paranal Observatory.

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Valeria May 3, 2011 at 11:08 am

Hello! I just started reading your blog and I think it’s really interesting =) I’m Chilean and I’ve always lived here, so reading about my culture from a whole differente perspective is really great! It makes me think about a lot of things.

Btw, I think you meant:
56. Drink a Terramoto in La Piojera – Santiago
57. Eat at El Hoyo Restaurant – Santiago

If you drink a Terremoto in la Piojera, be careful with “La Réplica”, which is smaller than a Terremoto, but since pipeño -the name of the wine this drink is made of- is really sweet, you might forget that this is also quite strong, so you should wait a little before asking for a Réplica.

Another thing you have to do is eating a Paila Marina at Mercado Central (there are many restaurants there, one of the most popular is “Donde Augusto”), if you ever find yourself waking up with a horrible hangover.

All the best! =D

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Rob W. May 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Hi Valeria,
You are so right. I got them around the wrong way so have now changed them. And yes, those réplicas (aftershocks) can be just as dangerous as the Terremoto!
I have also added recovering from a hangover at Mercado Central at number 103. I have done that, and I do have the photos, though they aren’t exactly the … um…. visually best portraits of us. :)
Saludos
Rob W.

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Nicole Portrude January 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm

see the siete tazas (seven cups) it a bunch of waterfalls with a nice little hiking trail

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Rob W. January 8, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Thanks Nicole, got that at number 66.
On a side note, I still haven’t been to the 7 tazas and when they disappeared for a while after the 2010 earthquake I was kicking myself for having not seen them. Luckily they slowly came back… however I still haven’t been :P

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Tatia February 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm

How about white water rafting down the Bio Bio, or visiting Gabriela Mistrals birth place or the Classical Music Festival on the shores of Frutillar every February. If you are going to eat curanto it has to be cooked in the ground. How about visiting Temuco and the Mercado there or the famous mural at the Univercidad in Concepcion or a Salmon farm. I have done them all and would do them again. Chao

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Rob W. February 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Thanks Tatia,
Got white water rafting at Number 6 (though people seem to mention on the River Bio Bio a lot).
I added the Visit Gabriela Mistral’s birthplace (Vicuña – Valle del Elqui)
I already had eat Kuchen in Frutillar (79) so I might as well add the festival in January/February.
Eating curanto straight from the ground … that’s an important one I had forgotten to put. Yum!
Visit the Mercado in Temuco (added that too). One of our videos is of Mapuche musical instruments is from that market.
I added the mural too.
Thanks for all of these. We’re slowly getting to the 200.

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Lucho May 8, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Add this one: Eat dulces de La Ligua…with the caveat of: it has to be bought while driving through on a bus (where the vendors get on). Classic Chile!

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Rob W. May 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Thanks Lucho, I have added this. Yes, it is classic Chile seeing the ladies waving their white handkerchiefs to get the attention of the drivers going by and entice them into buying their dulces.

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Julius May 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm

113. Get robbed by a flayte

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Rob W. May 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Ha ha ha, not exactly something that you want to happen … um, I think I’ll pass on this one :)

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Alexandra Skewes July 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Hi Rob

Here some suggestions.

Visit:
1) Parque Nacional Pali-Aike east of Punta Arenas

2) Lago Chungara near Putre

3) Visit the Mercado Tripartita (Bolivia-Chile-Peru) near Visviri.
and
4) Go around Lonquimay and see the beautiful araucaria trees.

5) Baños Colina at the end of the road of Cajon del Maipo

6) Eat and empanada de queso in Bar Rapido in front of he Tribunales (Court House) in Santiago Centro.

7) When visiting Pomaire eat a Pastel de Choclo.

Alex

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Pablo December 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I will add:

- Have a bbq with friends in the “parque intercomunal de la Reina” and/or “el ermitaño” (Cerro San Cristobal) – Santiago

- Visit the “Museo de la Memoria” – Quinta Normal, Santiago

- Visit “Caleta Tortel”, near Aysen

- Paine Towers

I really love your website, I discovered 3 hours ago I’m still reading things

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Rob W. December 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Thanks Pablo.
Visiting the Museo de la Memoria is a great one.
The Caleta Tortel is new to me. I’ll check it out.

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Carlos July 12, 2013 at 6:49 am

Just stumbled on your webpage…and have really enjoyed it.
I would add, climb cerro La Campana (adjoining Olmue -V Region). On a clear day you can appreciate Central Chile in its entire width, to the west the Pacific Ocean and to the east that other small neighbouring country. ;)

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Rob W. July 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Thanks for that Carlos, we already have it at number 38 however your comment will make it a more tempting place to visit.

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