Pichilemu (Mapudungun: Small forest, pronounced: [pitʃiˈlemu] ( listen)), originally known as Pichilemo, is a beach resortcity and commune in central Chile, and capital of Cardenal Caro Province. The commune comprises an urban center and twenty-two villages, such as Ciruelos, Cáhuil, and Espinillo. It is located southwest of Santiago, the capital of Chile. Pichilemu had 12,866 residents as of 2012.
The Pichilemu area was long populated by the indigenous Promaucaes. European-Chilean development began mid-sixteenth century, as conquistador Pedro de Valdivia gave Juan Gómez de Almagro the Topocalma encomienda (which included the current territory of Pichilemu) in January 1541. Pichilemu was established as an “autonomous commune” on December 22, 1891, by decree of President Jorge Montt and Interior Minister Manuel José Irarrázabal.
Agustín Ross Edwards, a Chilean politician and member of the Ross Edwards family, planned to develop it as a beach resort on the Pacific Ocean for upper-class Chileans. Pichilemu is home to five historic monuments of Chile: the Agustín Ross Cultural Centre and Park, the Estación Pichilemu railway station, El Árbol tunnel, and the Caballo de Agua. Additionally, part of the city was declared a Zona Típica (“Traditional Area” or “Heritage Site”) by the National Monuments Council, in 2004.