SantiagoDestination guide: Valdivia, Chile

Initially, the main draw of travel to Valdivia was the exceptional natural beauty of the area. While that beauty still remains, the residents of Valdivia have expanded upon it, enhancing their own culture and making flying to Valdivia all the more compelling.

The main draw of travelling to Valdivia, Chile is the famous "Valdivian Week", a celebration of all things local. This weeklong celebration of the natural beauty of the area is like nothing found elsewhere in Chile; travel to Valdivia during this time, and you will enjoy an unforgettable cultural experience.

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Valdivia is the recently crowned capital of Region XIV (Los Ríos), Chile’s newest region, inaugurated in 2007 after years of defection talk surrounding its inclusion in Lakes District despite its geographical, historical and cultural differences. It is the most important university town in southern Chile (the Universidad Austral de Chile is here) and as such, offers a strong emphasis on the arts, student prices at many hostels, restaurants and bars, and a dose of youthful energy that would brighten any foggy riverside town.

With its German effervescence and subtle café culture, Valdivia is the most attractive city in the region due to its scenic location at the confluence of the Calle Calle, Cau Cau and Cruces rivers. Make sure to visit the Feria Fluvial waterfront where sea lions have discovered the Promised Land – a place where they can float around all day and let tourists and fishmongers throw them scraps from the daily catch.

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