The Maule river is one of the most important rivers of Chile and is inextricably linked to this country's pre-Hispanic (Inca) times, the country's conquest, colonial period, wars of Independence, modern history, agriculture (wine, traditional crops), culture (literature, poetry, folklore), religion, economy and politics.
The Maule River marked the southern limits of the Inca Empire. Many famous men and women in Chile's history have been born in the Region named after the river. The river has also lent its name to one of the viticultural regions of the country (also known as appellations), the Valley of Maule, a subregion of the Central Valley.
The river is 240 km long and its basin covers around 20,600 km². Thirty percent of the basin is located in the Andean range. It is born in Laguna Del Maule in Talca Province, at an altitude of 2,200 mt in the vicinity of the border with Argentina. From that point the rivers flows westwardly and is soon joined on its left bank by one of its main tributaries, the Melado River, which is born in Laguna Dial, in Linares Province.