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The Alicanto or Allicanto is a mythological bird of the desert of Atacama, pertaining to Chilean mythology.


The legend says that the alicanto's wings shine during the night with beautiful, metallic colors, and their eyes emit strange lights; making a luminous flight that exposes those hidden in shade in the desert.

This bird brings luck to any miner who sees it. Alicantos live in small caves between hills containing minerals, and feed on gold and silver.

If the lucky miner follows an alicanto without being caught, they can find silver or gold. But, if the alicanto discovers them, the bird will guide the greedy miner off a cliff, causing them to fall to their death.

Alicanto should not be confused with the Alicante, a fictional Mexican snake that drinks mother's milk and impregnates women, or uses the human stomach as a living place.


  • Keller Rueff Keller R. (1972). "Mitos y leyendas de Chile". In Jerónimo de Vivar. Enciclopedia moderna de Chile (in Spanish).