Located on the coast of the northern tip of the Chilean Patagonia, Valdivia is located in a beautiful spot that is perfect for tourism. The city of Valdivia is located approximately 9 miles inland and is situated along the beautiful Calle-Calle river. The Calle-Calle river is home to many species of fish, including roballo, trout, and wild salmon. The commune of Valdivia has approximately 140,000 people total, with 127,000 of those living in the city of Valdivia.
Things to see and do in Valdivia and its surrounding area:
Mercado Fluvial De Valdivia:
This is a one of a kind market that is sure to entertain any tourist. This market is held everyday of the week right on the river of Calle-Calle. It is only two short blocks from Valdivia's center square. The market usually starts around 10 or 11 am (although you can get there earlier) and it usually closes up around 3-4pm. This big open air market has anything from clams, mussels, Chilean Abalone, shellfish, crabs, sea urchins, roballo, merluza, salmon, trout, sierra, many other kinds of fish and sea life, sea weed, every kind of vegetable you can think of, spices, medicinal herbs, prepared food, fresh seafood soup, fresh baked bread, farm eggs, flowers, plants, antiques, art work, souvenirs, handmade clothing, and many other items that change with the seasons. Along the riverside of the market, you will see many sea lions and birds begging for fish scraps from the guys who clean the fish. Here you can safely get within a few feet of giant sea lions. On the other side of the street there is a big building (the building in the picture) that is also a daily market. This market is called the "Mercado Municipal". There are many independent vendors that sell all sorts of items from food, artesanal beer, handmade items, Chilean souvenirs, llama wool clothes, wood items, and many other items. Surrounding this daily market are many good restaurants that you can purchase the well known "Kuntzman" beer.
One of the popular tourist attractions in Valdivia are the "Cervecerias". These are artesanal beer breweries. Many of them have good restaurants and many different kinds of beer. The most well known one is the "Kuntzman Cerveceria", but there are many other breweries that have high quality, artesanal beer. Some of the more well known "microbreweries" are Valbier, Valtor, and Valtare. Most of these are located on the same road going out to Niebla. This is a beautiful road to drive with tall trees and a nice river view the whole way. On this road you will find many restaurants, breweries, and stores that sell things like smoked salmon.
This is a tour company that will likely approach you if you visit the fish and vegetable market. While they can be pushy advertisers, their prices are very reasonable. This boat tour company has several different options for tours. They offer one hour tours all the way to tours with lunch and dinner. They follow the Calle-Calle rivers and visit some beautiful spots around Valdivia. You will be able to see a great view of Valdivia, so bring you camera!
Valdivia has many great restaurants to choose from. You will find many different kinds of foods such as fresh fish, seafood, hamburgers, steak, chicken, impressive hot dogs, pizza (with a Chile twist), chinese food, sushi, mexican food, churrascos, and many other food dishes native and not native to the United States.
Hotel Dreams and Casino:
This is Valdivia's most upscale hotel with just about every amenity available. One of their highlights is their casino. This casino is open to public even if you don't stay in one of their rooms.
Corral, Chaihuin, Niebla, and the Parque Nacional Alerce Costero:
Within a twenty minute drive, you can visit Niebla. This is a nice town with many restaurants and stores that are good for tourists. The town is situated right on the water where the river meets the ocean. From there you can take the car ferry (or passenger ferry) over to Corral. Corral is a beautiful little town with friendly people. There are also many restaurants and stores there, and they have a nice city square over looking the water. This is a great spot to sit and watch boats come in and out. Corral is also famous for its old forts that are still standing. From Corral you can drive (or take a bus) to Chaihuin. Chaihuin doesn't have a ton going on for tourists, but right next to it is the Alerce Costero National Park. This is an enourmous national park that has great beach access, a sea lion colony, sand dunes, and lots of hiking opportunities. Chaihuin has many cabanas for rent during the tourist season.
This park is located on Isla Teja (which is just a bridge over from Valdivia). It has a riverside beach and long trails going throught the park. This park has amazing landscaping and native plants and is known for birdwatching.
Other things to do:
There are many other things to do in Valdivia such as visit the many museums, historical sites, old architecture, local bars, or just enjoying the town.
For more information on visiting Valdivia, Chile visit the following resources:
General overview of Valdivia, Chile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdivia
Valdivia, Chile on the Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/chile/the-lakes-district/valdivia
Top things to do in Valdivia, Chile: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g294302-Activities-Valdivia_Los_Rios_Region.html
Wikitravel on Valdivia, Chile: http://wikitravel.org/en/Valdivia
Valdivia, Chile Weather: http://www.accuweather.com/en/cl/valdivia/53732/weather-forecast/53732