Sewell Mining Town
Sewell Mining Town
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles159 reviews
Excellent
109
Very good
38
Average
9
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Debbie K
Adrian, MI8,736 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Solo
While visiting Santiago on business, I pondered what to do with my free time on the weekend. After looking through the options, I choose to take a tour of the Sewell Mining Town about 2.5 hours drive from Santiago. I went with a tour (TuristTour) and I think that is probably the only way to really get something from the experience. I choose this activity over the other options for two reasons: 1) to learn a little more about the economically vital copper mining industry in Chile and 2) to get out of the city and get up into the Andes mountains. This accomplished both. Our guide, Javiera, was very knowledgeable about the history of this town built into the mountain and even was able to explain a little bit about copper processing. We were able to stroll the town (it is not often I get to tromp through snow in July), walk through a couple of buildings and eat lunch with the mine employees in the cafeteria. This World Heritage site gives a good look at the mining industry and the life of the miners. The museum treated the subject of copper with a bit of a light overview but this is probably the best approach for the average tourist. On the other hand, it does a good job of showing the importance of copper to our everyday lives. The city is pretty amazing because it is like very few places you will see anywhere else. I also found out in talking with Javiera that the mine used to be private (as some of the displays in the museum suggested) but is now part of the state-run mining operation. She indicated that the mine was nationalized in the Allende era and this is a subject that I find deeply interesting. I had a very worthwhile off-line discussion with her concerning this subject. This is a matter about which many Chileans still display quite an uncomfortable reticence. Even if copper mining is a subject that holds little interest for you, this still represents a very important aspect of both Chilean history and its current economic vitality (Javiera indicated 40%+ of Chilean GDP is related to the mining industry). Being there and walking the town is a worthwhile experience. And the scenery to which you are exposed along the way is a major bonus.
Written July 8, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Seahorse_Rider
Miri, Malaysia153 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Solo
There are less information of how to get there, so I'm sharing the one I did and hope it helps anyone who intend to go. First, there's no direct bus from Santiago and you're permitted to get in on your one car. The easiest way is to book a tour with Fundación Sewell online (fundacionsewell@gmail.com). This is a non profit organization that's related to Sewell and it's way cheaper than those tours offered online.

But then you have to know that you have to go to the meeting point. Here's what I did. Take a bus from Santiago and specified that you have to drop at Terminal O'Higgins Rancagua (cos there are TWO terminals). Then walk from the terminal to the meeting point at their office, it's about 10-15 mins walk if you googled the route. After the safety video we departed with tourist bus around 10am. The journey takes around 1 hour.

I was lucky to have a good English speaking guide Anitza. Though she explained most of the time in Spanish to the Chilenos but she would explain to me in English for things that I don't understand. We started at the El Teniente Club with a video regarding history of Sewell, then the guide explained a bit of the surrounding and itinerary.

We went to see the living quarters of the miners. At lunch time you can have the pre booked lunch or your can bring your own and have it at the restaurant. I was lucky to meet some miners and took photo with them at the restaurant when they came for lunch. After lunch we visited the first bowling alley in Chile where the miners used to have competition everyday and also you can ask you guide for the spooky ghost story about this place. Then we went to the little church and finally the museum.

I strongly recommend the museum. It housed one of the most complete copper related items in the world. The ground floor has some minerals found close to the copper mine and a gift shop. The first floor is more to the tools used in copper mining and also some daily life of Sewell mining town in the past. Then the second floor has a vast collection of copper made items and artifacts from around the world. It will change your mind of how people from around the world use copper from past to present.

And finally after the museum, we were lucky to have one hour to play with the snow. It's recommend to come during winter as it's covered with snow everywhere. You can throw a snowball or built a snowman. It was really fun. But make sure you bring waterproof shoes and windproof jacket as it tend to be cold outdoor.
Written July 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Seretsch
Graz, Austria35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016
Absolutely worth to see it. I advise to take a tour from Rancagua, as it is not possible to go there by yourself - organized tour obligated. Also the price was ok - about 25,000 pesos per person including lunch, guide, entry to the museums and transport. It was absolutely stunning to see this old town where all workers, engineers and directors lived and worked on 2,200m until the early 80s. Most of the houses are still there and some can also be entered. Had an excellent tour guide explaining us all the details. The mine is still working, but it is of course not being entered with the tour. Would recommend it to everyone!
Written March 27, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cacl3
Toronto, Canada39 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2012 • Couples
We booked our tour with the only company that provides them, VTS. We specifically booked an English tour. Once we were underway (bus had left the pickup point) we were told there would be no English spoken, and there was no English written description provided either. There were a total of 8 "English speaking only" people on this tour (out of perhaps a total of 30 people) who had all been told to come on this specific date and time as it would be conducted in English. When we tried to speak to the tour guide about this (with the assistance of someone who could translate) all he would say is "it is not my fault that I don't speak English". When we sent an email to the company after the tour to express our concern about the situation and to request a partial refund we got no response. Very poor customer service overall.

The town is very interesting to see but now that a tour of the mine itself is no longer allowed the tour does not warrant a full day. Even the people who understood Spanish seemed to be milling about waiting for the tour to "move along". The stop at the little town on the way back to the pickup spot seemed to be totally pointless and a "filler".

Overall, an interesting visit to a ghost mining town that warrants a partial day tour.
Written April 15, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phgs_1234567
McLean, VA26 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Friends
Do yourself a favor and do not go on this tour. A group of 4 of us went, and there was nothing interesting about it. It was a pretty sight, because it is in the mountains, but you could get that scene without wasting so much money and time. We first visited the town Sewell, we did not learn anything about the mine, just that the town has a bowling alley and a church. Lunch was alright. Then we went to another town, and for the life of me I could not figure out why we were there. My friend even asked the tour guide, and he said something along the lines of, the town was built by the same person who built the other one. But there was nothing special about it! We walked around in a big circle for 45 minutes, while our guide talked to us about his childhood, and the football field in the middle. Completely pointless. We were thoroughly frustrated by the time it was over, and had no idea whatsoever what our money was going to
Written June 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nadeen K
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014
I went on this trip in July and was very, very dissapointed. I had hoped to see and learn more about the Chilean mining industry, but instead was taken on a 12 hour tour of the mining town, which was neither interesting nor educational. The tour bus drove our group into the mountains to the town of Sewell. Although a beautiful site, I would have been happy leaving after this first initial entry into the town. From there, we were taken through the mining town, which consisted of the town hall, the mining dormitories/housing, the town bowling alley, and a museum of sorts. I cannot understand for the life of me why anyone found this interesting. I was literally counting down the minutes for the tour to end. And just when I thought it was finally over, we were driven to another nearby town where we walked in a circle through, what seemed to be, some random neighborhood. We also literally spent 20 minutes staring at a soccer field where the miners used to play... When we finally returned to Santiago at 9pm!!! I was so so relived to get off the bus. This was, by far, the biggest waste of my time during my entire 8month stay in chile. I would not recommend it to anyone.
Written September 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

namchegompa
Oaxaca, Mexico298 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Couples
i really enjoyed touring this now abandoned mining town-now preserved (sort of) as a unesco world heritage site. it used to service workers and their families at el teniente, the largest copper mine in world. such an interesting story and a special experience to see it directly. the town contains the oldest bowling alley in chile and the first hospital to offer maternity care (fun trivia). slight annoyances are that you have to go as part of a group so it needs to be arranged ahead of time through an agency. also it was a bummer that we couldn't tour the mine-they used to allow tourists in the mines but no longer. the lunch was bad so i'd recommend bringing your own food.
Written September 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marlene L
North Conway, NH47 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011
This is an all day trip from Santiago on a private bus, but very interesting and definitely worth it. All the descriptions of the town were given in Spanish, so it helps to have your own personal interpreter (which we did). Plenty of time was allowed for exploration of the town. We enjoyed a delightful dinner late in the day, but could have been warned that we would not have the opportunity to eat earlier. We started the tour at 9 am in Santiago and didn't return till about 6 pm.
Written January 8, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin W
London307 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Friends
This is a great place to visit. It can only be done on an organised tour which fills most of the day. I went with some friends on the VTS tour with Ali, our excellent guide.

My full review is on the Trip Advisor page for the Tour Sewell: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g659540-d7196309-Reviews-Tour_Sewell-Rancagua_O_Higgins_Region.html
Written January 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Manuel a
Montevideo, Uruguay339 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Solo
Sewell takes you back in time to the first copper mine in Chile and the largest one in the world. And it is still operational. The scenery is jaw dropping. A must see sight a couple of hours away from Santiago
Written May 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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