1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aconcagua

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ACONCAGUA, a small northern province of central Chile, bounded N. by Coquimbo, E. by Argentina, S. by Santiago and Valparaiso and W. by the Pacific. Its area is officially computed at 5487 sq. m. Pop. (1895) 113,165; (1902, official estimate based on civil registry returns) 131,255. The province is very mountainous, and is traversed from east to west by the broad valley of the Aconcagua river. The climate is hot and dry, the rainfall being too small to influence climatic conditions. The valleys are highly fertile, and where irrigation is employed large crops are easily raised. Beyond the limits of irrigation the country is semi-barren. Alfalfa and grapes are the principal products, and considerable attention is given to the cultivation of other fruits, such as figs, peaches and melons. The “Vale of Quillota,” through which the railway passes between Valparaiso and Santiago, is celebrated for its gardens. The Aconcagua river rises on the southern slope of the volcano Aconcagua, flows eastward through a broad valley, or bay in the mountains, and enters the Pacific 12 m. north of Valparaiso. The river has a course of about 200 m., and its waters irrigate the best and most populous part of the province. Two other rivers—the Ligua and Choapa—traverse the province, the latter forming the northern boundary line. The capital is San Felipe, on the Aconcagua river; it had a population of 11,313 in 1895, and an estimated population of 11,660 in 1902. The other chief town is Santa Rosa de los Andes (est. pop. 6854), which is a principal station on the Transandine branch of the state railway. The only port in the province is Los Vilos, in lat. 32° S., from which a railway 40 m. long runs north-east to the valley of the Choapa. Another short line connects Cabildo, in the valley of the Ligua, with the state railway.