O'Higgins Tours is a local company based in Rancagua. We offer a more thorough experience for visitors to this part of Chile with adventure, historical and archaeological tours and pride ourselves on our multilingual tour guides who can tell you fascinating facts about our area that most Chileans don't even know.
Why Choose Us?
We REALLY speak English!
We don’t just use Google translator for our website or to respond to your queries by email and tell you we speak English in order to get your money, only then to leave you with a pathetic excuse and a guide who only speaks Spanish when you arrive. Of our two co-founders, one is a native speaker, and the other has lived and studied in Australia. Between us, we also speak fluent Spanish, Dutch, German, Italian, as well as some Portuguese, Afrikaans, Arabic and Aymara. As we’re such a small company, only the founders give the tours.
As we have travelled extensively ourselves, and with a resident gringo on board, we understand your limitations and try to make our offers as reasonable as possible. We don’t charge extortionate prices, unlike many of our get-rich-quick competitors who have never left Chile and charge according to their ignorant and misguided assumption that all westerners who take the time and make the financial effort to visit Chile live in Beverly Hills. Furthermore, we have received funding from the Chilean government which we chose to invest predominantly in assets and marketing, allowing us to keep some of our operating costs down and pass that saving on to the visitor. Finally, one of our partners is a professional and experienced industrial engineer, and thus a qualified expert at maximising cost efficiency to keep our prices as competitive as possible.
Extensively researched tours!
Our tours are thoroughly researched. The extensive research process of our destinations takes at least one year and several field trips. We don’t just drop you off at the place with a minimum token speech and leave you to take photos without having the full story. We are THE pioneers of the Central Chilean Inca Trail, a hidden network of Inca archaeological sites in the Region that most Chileans don’t even know about and our competitors are too lazy to research if they are even aware of its existence. We, however, have invested a lot of time, effort and money in this.
We are a green company and try to avoid using vehicles as much as possible, especially for tours to areas nearby (this also keeps the cost of the tour down).Our ambitions for tourism in the region are its development, and not just making money. Furthermore, we also work with and consult local indigenous communities when researching and giving tours of pre-hispanic archaeological sites in order to keep our tourism activities as responsible and respectful as possible, and so that they may be of benefit to the very indigenous communities who left them to us. See Our Goals (below) for further details.
We are a small company and can afford to offer a more personal service, valuing our customers more.
By the book!
We are a legitimate business, i.e. a fully legal entity, and not just a website or facebook page with a mobile phone number. Unlike other operators, We do everything by the book. We have a tax number and issue receipts or invoices approved by the Chilean tax office. Unlike other operators, we don’t issue you with homemade PDF vouchers which have no fiscal value whatsoever, and then tell you that if you want a receipt or invoice you have to pay 19% extra (it is illegal to do this in Chile!). We pay our taxes, so when you book with us, you know that a significant part of the fee goes to the national treasury and is thus contributing to the development of the country, instead of just lining the pockets of fly-by-night cowboy operators. We are also registered with the official Chilean tourism board SERNATUR; cert. Nº 1108.
Transparency in our prices!
Unlike our competitors, our prices are FIXED. Our prices are displayed on our website, and if you call us, we will tell you by phone immediately. Why? You pay what you see on our site and you see it on our site because we know our prices and we do not try to rip off visitors to Chile. We reply to your enquiries and quote requests as soon as possible; an enquiry about a tour with us does not become the long drawn out affair it does with other tour companies here. Prices displayed include taxes (in accordance with Chilean fiscal law).Unlike our competitors, we don’t insist on 19% extra if you want a receipt and there are no hidden charges. Nor do we request that you “contact us for a quotation”. We don’t need to “get back to you” with a quote by email three days after you call. Why do they do this? You could well be forgiven for suspecting that their promise to send you a quote is a tactic designed to stall you until they can calculate how much they can overcharge you according to how rich and gullible they think you are instead of just telling you their real prices straight up!
Experience, both as a Tour Operator and as tourists!
Long before we became a tour company, we too were tourists. Between us, we have visited all six continents and over 30 countries; we have raced ostriches in South Africa, rode camels in Sudan and fed kangaroos in Australia. We have backpacked across Europe, visited the Panama canal, toured coffee plantations in Jamaica, and even explored ancient ruins in Mexico, Syria and Lebanon to name but a few. We understand your needs better than any other local outfits who see tourism solely as easy money falling from the pockets of rich gringos. One of our cofounders also had a similar company in Rome, Italy where he specialised in tours of the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and the Pantheon.
We love what we do!
We are genuinely enthusiastic about what we do and are motivated by genuine interest in our region. We work other jobs Monday to Friday, so are not as focused on making money and cutting corners as our competitors, because we already have jobs anyway. For us, this is more like a hobby which we have formalised into a business in order to be able to keep on doing it, someday for a living.
Our venture is a double-edged sword that seeks to unite our interest in elevating the internationally unrecognised and at times locally disregarded wealth of regional history and culture in the region with our desire to foster the underdeveloped local tourism industry here for the greater benefit of the local community. Our aims will be achieved through the following means to the aforementioned ends in the areas outlined below:
To inform and educate:
The local and foreign visitor about the many illustrious historical figures and personalities from Chile’s often glorious and at times dark past and their lingering influences on modern Chilean culture, examples of which include the legendary Lautaro, the courageous Bernardo O’Higgins or the divisive Augusto Pinochet.
The local community and foreign tourist alike about the significant contribution made by the various of European immigrants to Chile in terms of its history and development, particularly with regards to the military effort during the Chilean war of Independence.
Cultural heritage and regional identity
The traditional identity of the Huaso, a distinct and particular culture which can easily hold its own with any of its more well-known South American counterparts.
Regional culture on both a national and international level, in all its forms; music, dance, dress, cuisine, folklore, art, traditional industries and handicrafts, etc.
The awareness and preservation of Chile’s indigenous groups, their cultures, their contributions to Chilean society and the challenges they face today.
Chilean Spanish as a colourful, distinct and somewhat unique yet generally intelligible dialect of the Spanish language.
To develop and improve:
The tourism industry in Rancagua and the 6th Region as a whole; to redefine and raise the standards of the sector in what is one of the least competitive and developed yet most culturally and historically rich touristic regions of Chile and to bring it into line with international norms.
The often overlooked Rancagua and 6th Region as viable alternative tourist attractions to the nearby Santiago and the more well-known sights to the north or south, whether visitors are staying for a few days or are just passing through on their way elsewhere.
Communication and cooperation between the various tourist-orientated services in the Region, resulting in a more organised, attractive and effective range of options for the visitor to the region.
In summary, our goals are to see Rancagua and the 6th Region realise their full potential on the tourist map and to promote their history and cultures, ends which we see as being mutually essential, complementary and inextricably entwined.