Things to do in Valdivia

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Things to do in Valdivia

Postby Leeuh3654 » Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:50 pm

I'm headed down there at the end of this month, so I'm wondering if anyone has done anything down there that's interesting, and doesn't usually show up in guidebooks, travel websites, etc. I keep reading that it's the most beautiful city in Chile, but I'm not finding many activities. Also, what is it like there in Oct/Nov?

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Postby admin » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:14 am

Yea, our section at is fairly light still, even though my wife teaches at the law school once a week. We just have not had the time to really dig in to the local hidden tourist attractions.

The river cruses are worth it up in to the nature reserve. Also take a ride out to niebla and the Spanish fort. Stop by Kuntsman for a beer on the way. I would also say don't miss the fish market and the sea lion show.

On the social front stop at the Mapuche village just across the river to see the night and day economic conditions between the super big houses of Valdivia vs the super poverty of a small town struggling to build a tourism industry.

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Postby helibel » Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:47 am

We always go spend a day in Valdivia when we visit family in Futrono. I found Corral (do I have the right name) fascinating, the fortifications look exactly like those in Old San Juan, PR. Niebla is pretty to. The boat trip is great way to spend the afternoon. i know there is a good pottery there and I have bought several pieces at the gift shop associated with a bakery/candy/tearom (you will find it,its nice) but have never actually found the pottery works themselves, maybe next trip. I love walking down by the fish market and watching the walrus. It seems like a nice city. Took me a bit aback on my first trip (early eighties) to see a freighter in a field 12 miles inland (gone now)tossed there by the great tsunami.

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Postby FrankPintor » Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

October and November are late spring, so it could be nice, but the weather in Valdivia is very changeable.

As Charles wrote, the river market and sealion show is a nice way to pass a morning. From the quay you can also take various trips up and down the river, and you can also hire a boat with an outboard motor and explore yourself. The trips are, for example, to the island of Mancera in the middle of the harbour between Niebla and Corral, and to Niebla and Corral themselves. The gardens of the Universidad Austral are worth a walk as well.

I'd suggest you hire a car for a few days, as a lot of what you can see in the area is not conveniently reached by public transport. Kunstmann is a good stop on the way to or from Niebla (wierd anglo-German pastiche, but good beer anyway), in Niebla there's a Spanish fort, and a string of beaches along the coast from there. The "feria costumbrista" in Niebla might be worth a stop. Otherwise, you can take the ferry across the harbour to Corral (another fort) and drive south from there to more nice beaches (e.g. Chaihuin).

There's not a lot happening in Valdivia, so I think you have to make your own activities.

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Postby Leeuh3654 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:33 am

Excellent, I read about the river cruises and forts but thought they might not be anything special. And we'll be arriving in a car, so we'll def. go looking for those beaches. Thanks for the advice everyone.

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Postby ejw823 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:19 pm

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Los Lagos in February. We´re leaving from Santiago and have 10 days (including travel days) - ideally we´d like to hit Pucon/Villarica, Lican Ray, and Valdivia. Considering there doesn´t seem to be that much to do in Valdivia, we´ll probably spend 2 days and 1 night there. Does anyone have recommendations of a great hostel? Nothing too fancy or expensive, just a good bed at a good price. Also, if you have tips on the other cities please let me know...I posted in the Pucon thread as well, or you can send me a message to keep this thread more focused on Valdivia. Thanks!

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Postby copfish » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:11 am

EJW there is plenty to do In Valdivia as mentioned in other posts. Its a beautiful city and has quite a lot of unique architecture and being a river city has the river tours which we enjoyed, the seafood market is a must see, Neibla, you got to see it and if you are hungry there are three real nice places to eat fresh seafood. I could see you using two days up pretty easy.

We had an advantage of my wife being born in Valdivia so we got the full treatment. Sounds like your intinerary has some of the best places for a short trip (10 days), you won't be disappointed anywhere you go in Chile.

As far as a place to stay, there is all levels. We stayed at some cabins (kind of) just east of the main bridge one block on the street that runs along the water, sorry I couldn't find the name, but there are many places to chose from.

have fun and good luck

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Postby tonyakaserg » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:50 pm

I was recently in Valdivia and places to stay are dime a dozen.. all varying in prices.. we payed 15000pesos (about US$30) for a 'cabin/depto' for 2 which includes 'breakfast' (breakfast in Chile is basically just a cup of tea/coffee with some toast and jam.. nothing substantial..) For an idea of prices you should visit ... servicio=1 in Región choose Los Lagos and in Localidad choose Valdivia

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Postby blindflamingo » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:40 pm

Hi All!

Sounds like an interesting place to visit.

But what about living there?
How lively is it and whats the nightlife like?
I might just be heading there for a long-term stay.

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Re: Things to do in Valdivia

Postby swimgringa » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:33 am

Hi everyone, I know this is a really old thread, but I'm going to Valdivia over the 4-day weekend in October and was wondering if the admin could give more detials about the Mapuche community across the river? I'm always interested in learning more about their place in Chilean society, but I steer clear of the gimmicky tours. Thanks!

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Re: Things to do in Valdivia

Postby rugatorbait » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:09 am

Went out to Niebla stayed at some little cabanas on the ocean Great sunset views ( still looking for their business card ) we ate < NO EMAIL > Igors it is on the water....... the seafood soup was amazing, checked out the fort and lighthouse. On our way back to Valdivia stopped at Kunstmann for some beer and bratwurst.

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Re: Things to do in Valdivia

Postby charlescellist » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:29 pm

Well you could always come to a concert! (if there's one that week)

I'm still discovering the city - there's plenty of bars to go to in the evening. Ocio often has some pretty good Jazz Singers performing, Ultima Fontera has more of a student feel but is always packed, decent food and great Valdivian beer - drink the Selva Fria or Cuello Negro. Santo Pecado is particularly nice, if you want an excellent lunch I'd recommend it. Also Kau Patagonia if you want a beautiful steak (comparatively expensive).

I think the best of Valdivia is out of the city. Kunstman is enjoyable but very touristy. The trip to Mancera is nice, even in foggy weather it's still very atmospheric. Some wonderful fish restaurants out that way, in particular Tilapa, had a stunning paella there with proper Chorizo - which i knew where they bought the stuff...

Some friends here just introduced me to a beach a little past Niebla called Loncoyen. There's absolutely nothing there, and usually no people either, but it's a spectacular spot.

Fish markets and sealions are a must but you don't need to spend a great deal of time there.

If it's a nice day take a boat out to Punucappa, or if you're fit try hiring a kayak or taking the mountain biking trail out there - both stunning ways to see the place.

In a lot of the bars there's usually some sort of events magazine that you can pick up to see what's on. Apart from my orchestra there's usually a lot happening. Some interesting contemporary dance, photography exhibits (disclaimer, one of the exhibitions is mine also - message me for details).

Often after lunch you can join a student riot - I find the teargas works almost as well as coffee in terms of waking you up.

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