The municipal capital of Río Claro in the Maule region, Cumpeo is a beautiful rural town worth visiting. It is 50 minutes from Curicó and 40 minutes from Talca, the main cities of the region. Although the town of Pelotillehue where Condorito’s story unfolds does not exist, its neighboring city also named in the magazines, Cumpeo, can be visited. Some years ago the mayor signed an agreement for the rights of the image of Condorito, beginning to develop what is now known as “the Condorito route in Cumpeo”; a stop-over that can’t be missed in Chile for Condorito fans and other characters such as Coné, Yayita, Doña Treme, Don Chuma and the dog Washington. In this post, you will find more information about the Condorito route and the city of Cumpeo in general.
- 1 A little history of Cumpeo and Condorito.
- 2 What to see in the Condorito route in Cumpeo.
- 3 Accommodation in Cumpeo
- 4 Where to eat in Cumpeo
- 5 Parties and events:
- 6 Traveler advise.
A little history of Cumpeo and Condorito.
Cumpeo means “spring” in Mapudungun. Located in the valley of the Maule region, for many years its main economic activity has been agriculture, harvesting apples, and grapes. However, today tourism is being encouraged through the popular Condorito Route. Several neighbors have started to name their businesses with typical expressions of the comic, such as the “Pharmacy without remedy”, the restaurant “The Fake Chicken”, the pub “The Madhouse” and many others who have caricatured their facilities with paintings and signs that make reference to the acclaimed comic strip.
Condorito was born in 1949 when its creator Pepo published the first cartoon. The character of Condorito is inspired by the Condor of the Andes, Chilean pride. Today, almost 70 years after its creation, more than 50,000 jokes have been published in the comic magazine that since 1979 is also distributed internationally.
The popular characters have been rooted in South American culture so that even several countries fight their authorship, but we all know that Condorito is and will always be Chilean. Don Chuma, Coné, Garganta de Lata, Yayita, Doña Tremebunda, Pepe Cortisona, and many other characters develop their lives in Pelotillehue, a city that does not exist in the maps. However, in several jokes, the city of “Cumpeo” is named as one of the neighboring towns of Pelotillehue. Cumpeo exists, and today you can visit it and enjoy it.
What to see in the Condorito route in Cumpeo.
More than 20 locations today take the name of expressions, characters, and locations of the comic strip. We even found a statue of Condorito in the Plaza de Armas (Main Square) of Cumpeo that commemorates the importance of the character in this town. Among the must-see sights of the town are the following ones.
If you are looking for more activities in the Maule region, visit our post about Creole traditions and the Sagrada Familia Valley.
Sculpture of Condorito and the dog Washington:
In the Main Square of the city, a statue of Condorito and its dog Washington has been installed. Ideal for that memory picture you want to take home.
Pharmacy without remedy:
(in Spanish, remedy equals “Medicine”… so it’s named “Pharmacy without Medicine” as a joke).
In addition to traditional medicines, you can find here some natural medicines, beauty items and sweets with funny names related to the magazine: “the pill of the day before”, “dirty soap”, “the herb of Doña Treme” and others. Inside the pharmacy, there is a mural that resembles the Pelotillehue pharmacy that appears in the comic strips.
Doña Tremebunda Floristry:
Although you may not want to buy flowers, you can visit this place and see several typical species of the area.
“Plop” Souvenir Shop:
Souvenirs and related objects for sale, of course, all related to Condorito and his friends. A safety stop if you want to bring a gift or souvenir back home. You can also visit the stores “Condoriplanet” and “Artesanías sin envidia”.
Walk the square and its surroundings:
If you walk through the square you will find an amphitheater and a skate area with drawings of the comic strip, as well as some wooden characters in places like the church, the bank, and the fire station. The idea of these is to resemble that you are really in Pelotillehue and the characters are there with you.
You can find out more on the official Cumpeo website.
Accommodation in Cumpeo
The Cabins of Yayita are the most recommendable place to stay. The owner has also taken care of every detail installing cartographies of the characters and other elements related to Condorito for the entertainment of visitors. Here you also find a restaurant and souvenirs for sale.
It is also possible to visit Cumpeo for the day, staying in Talca or in Curicó.
Where to eat in Cumpeo
The “Roto” Quezada:
A restaurant run by its owners, where you find exquisite grilled and “chorrillanas”, a Chilean plate made of french fries with meat and onion; as well as sweet things for breakfast and/or tea.
The Humbug Chicken:
Another restaurant specialized in roasts and traditional Chilean food dishes.
- Other restaurants include “The Flying Saucer”, “The Jaw” and “Oriental Aroma”.
- You can not leave without trying the Cumpeo beer “Take Pin and make Pun”, and the wine “Tres tiritones”, also made in the area.
Parties and events:
Every year the Summit of Condorito is held in Cumpeo. At the end of October, the city dresses up for the party and a celebration is organized, which in 2017 summoned more than 12,000 people. You can find gourmet and national food stalls, handicrafts, shows by national artists, comics classes and even a contest where the Washington Dog of the year is chosen.
The Condorito Route can be seen by yourself, but it is advisable to visit it during festivities or ask a local to show it to you. So you can make sure you see the main thing and that the premises are open.
An alternative is to contact Don Chuma de Cumpeo on his Facebook profile. He organizes visits and can show you the city for a fair price.