A cultural gem in the heart of Chile’s spectacular Lake District, Valdivia sits on three rivers amid the sprawling Patagonian rainforest. With a fascinating history featuring Mapuche Indians, Conquistadors, and 19th-century German settlers, this university town is one of the oldest settlements in South America but is best still best remembered as the site of the world’s most powerful earthquake. Valdivia and the countryside beyond it offer the modern traveler contrasting culture, sublime nature, great food and even better drink. Make sure you don’t miss out on the region’s many charms, by ensuring you explore it with a local.
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