Valdivia, the site of the largest earthquake in recorded history – a 9.5 on the Richter scale in 1960, is located about 15 km from the Pacific coast, where the Calle Calle, Valdivia and Cau Cau Rivers converge.
Doing a boat or kayak tour in the “City of Rivers” and the Carlos Anwandtner Nature Sanctuary is a must with its nice views and rich birdlife.
Really nice is Valdivia’s coastal boulevard with its old submarine and the Feria Fluvial, a market with local food, fish & handicrafts. Watching the sea lions, cormorants and pelicans beg for a meal here is so entertaining.
Just across the river is Teja Island, home to the botanical garden (free), the Museo Histórico y Antropológico and the Laguna Los Lotos, a haven for bird spotting.
Valdivia is also an artisan beer paradise with a long list of breweries, tasting shouldn’t be missing on your list to do.
In the 17th century, the Spanish heavily fortified the point where the Río Valdivia and the Río Tornagaleones joins the Pacific. Today, the remains of these fortifications at Corral, Niebla and Isla Mancera are a strong reminder of its colonial past. Visiting Niebla’s 17th century fort, its Feria Costumbrista, and its beaches is a nice day trip to undertake (accessible by local bus).
Trekking & nature fanatics are gonna love the region’s reserves & parks, have a blast at Reserva Punta Curiñanco, Parque Oncol & the Alerce Costero National Park.