The VII Maule Region is one of Chile's 15 first order administrative divisions. Its capital is Talca. The region takes its name from the Maule River which, running westward from the Andes, bisects the region and spans a basin of about 20,600 km2. The Maule river is of considerable historic interest because, among other reasons, it marked the southern limits of the Inca Empire.
The region covers an area of 30,296 km2 (11,697 sq mi) and is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean; on the east by the Argentine Republic; on the north by the O'Higgins Region, and on the south by the Bío-Bío Region. There are a number of flora and fauna species present in Maule. For example, the endangered Chilean Wine Palm (Jubaea chilensis) is found in a very limited distribution that includes the Maule Region. The limited distribution Nothofagus allesandri is also found in the region.
According to the 2002 census the population of the region was 908,097. With one third of its population living in rural areas, Maule has a greater proportion of rural inhabitants than any other region of Chile.