Better known for its wine, you many not think of Chile as a place of transcendental good vibrations. About two hours away from Santiago, Canal Om, may change your preconceptions of what Chilean tourism can be.
Canal Om translates to Ohm Channel as in the Ohm of a chant, sound or vibration. Canal Ohm is also known as the Yogashala Wellness Center.
According to Gustavo Ponce, founder and director, the center is a “childhood dream of having a place near the sea, not too far from Santiago, where I could be in touch with nature and myself. During a prolonged bout with hepatitis which had me bedridden for three months, the concept of the center crystallized in mind and I was convinced that that I had to pursue it once my health stabilized”.
In 1987 Gustavo rented an airplane and scouted out the region, eventually settling on three acres of land surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side, and mountains on the other.
Canal Om’s design and aesthetics are inspired by Gustavo’s travels, having spent thirty-two years living abroad in Asia, Europe and the US.
The area surrounding the center provides for either relaxing or strenuous activities, including day trips to abandoned quartz mines, olive oil orchards, goat cheese producers, horseback rides, hiking, boating, and a nearby ocean geyser.
The center houses nineteen housing units. There is no telephone, internet, or television, and smoking is not permitted.
Amenities include; pools, beach areas, thalassotherapy, massages, Jacuzzi, sauna, tennis, archery, horseback, and yoga classes of course.
Yoga classes features some of Chile’s best instructors as well as visiting foreign instructors.
Being only two hours away from Santiago, Canal Om is an attractive destination not just for tourists but also for busy Santiaguinos seeking personal growth along with a little relaxation.
Dining options include organically grown fruits and vegetables from the center’s own gardens. Chilean wines are available of course.
From its gardens, statues, and water features, the overall design is crafted to allow the visitor maximum relaxation and quietness to be able to reach inner peace with himself and with others seeking similar goals.
If during your Chilean travels you decide to drive west from Santiago to the Casablanca valley, after you’ve had a day or two to take in the beautiful vineyards and countryside, you may just want to keep driving west and a bit north, onto Canal Om.