Located 45 km from Angol and 80 km from Temuco. The Mapuche culture is the strongest tradition of Ercilla owing to the fact that it is precisely in the Malleco area that the Mapuche people have the highest profile.
Ruta 5 Sur, or the Pan-American Highway, passes through the extreme western end of the town, a positive factor for the arrival of tourists from various parts of the country.
For this reason, those who pass through Ercilla as they drive down Ruta 5 Sur will find farm and country produce on sale there, such as honey, cheese, tortillas, milk, fruit, etc. These products are known for their ecological value, an additional attraction for visitors.
Its economy was based historically on farming and cattle raising. Nowadays, the area is known for the quality of the fruit which it produces, for example the cherries. In the last few decades, forestry has been added to these activities, proving highly profitable.
Tourist Attractions in Ercilla
The town is noted for its waterfalls, rivers and bathing resorts. Those worth mentioning include the Estefanía and Santa Amelia campsites, the Chocombe bathing resort, the Nupangue and Dumo waterfalls, the Cerro Lemun Alto and the Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Merced in Pailahueque, among others.
In the town you will find the first water-driven mill on the lands of Herman Bayer, the Iturra, Carmine, Bustos y Francesa houses, the Colegio Suizo, the telephone exchange and the Pidima and Pailahueque railway stations.
Other attractions worth mentioning are the old iron railway bridges constructed at the end of the 19th Century; the sacred Mapuche sites such as cemeteries, rehues and the fields where Nguillatúns are celebrated, the most interesting of which is Loncotraro. Another activity of note in Ercilla is the creation of wickerwork handicraft items.
History of Ercilla
Ercilla, compared to the other municipalities in Malleco, has a relatively recent history. The town is located in a place called ‘Huequén Cerro Nilontraro’, identifying the river which runs through it and the most prominent hill in the area.
The settlement was established originally by traders and later by colonists, a long time before it was founded officially. In 1884, Swiss, German and French colonists began to arrive, to which later were added British and groups of other nationalities.
A year after the arrival of the colonists the city was officially founded, on February 6 1885. One of the first agreements was to give the streets the names of great native chiefs and their wives, such as Fresia, Guacolda, Caupolicán, Lautaro, Galvarino, Tucapel, Rengo, Orompello and Quilapán.