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Combarbala

Combarbalá is the capital city of the commune of Combarbala. It is located in the Limarí Province, Region of Coquimbo, at an elevation of 900 m (2,952 ft)). It is known for the tourist astronomic observatory Cruz del Sur; the petroglyphs of Rincon las Chilcas; its typical handcraft made of the unique combarbalita stone; the classical basketball match at the end February; the Virgen de la Piedra catholic-pagan festivity, among other tourist attractions.Origin of the nameThere are two hypotheses that might to explain the origin of the name "Combarbalá". Both hypothesis are rooted in the Spanish transliteration of the aborigine name of the area. The first hypothesis holds that the word Combarbalá is derived from the Quechua word "Cumparpayay", which means "to break with a hammer", and designates the usual labor for obtaining minerals and stones from mines.. The second hypothesis holds that the origin of the word Combarbalá comes from the Mapudungun word "Co Cam Bala", where "Co" means Water, "Cam" means Far, and "Bala" means Duck. Thus, Cocambala literally means "far away water with ducks", or Duck's pond. In fact, there's a place known as Duck's pond very near to the city. This pond was used as a resting place by the Inca army in their advance to the south, and then by the Spanish conquistadores Diego de Almagro first, and later by Pedro de Valdivia.
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