Along the Costanera Prat north of the Sernatur office, the Feria Fluvial is a colorful riverside fish, fruit, and vegetable market that’s also the departure point for downstream riverboat floats to Niebla and Corral . Southern sea lions have begun to hang out here, and there have been biting incidents that probably resulted from human provocations—enjoy them from a distance.
Valdivia ’s massive 1960 earthquake destroyed many landmarks, but there remain two small national colonial monuments: the 18th-century Torreón de los Canelos (Yerbas Buenas and General Lagos), which guarded the southern approach along the Río Valdivia, and the Torreón del Barro (Costanera Prat between José Martí and Condell). In practice, though, these watchtowers served as jail cells, powder magazines, and even windmills. From San Carlos south, beyond the Torreón de los Canelos, Calle General Lagos constitutes a zona típica national monument for its typical European-style houses.
Across the river on Isla Teja, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Los Laureles s/n, tel. 063/221968, www.macvaldivia.uach.cl ) is Valdivia ’s modern art showcase. It sits on the foundations of the former Cervecería Anwandter, destroyed by the 1960 earthquake, and is open 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 3–7 p.m. daily except Monday. Admission costs US$1.20 for adults, half that for children.
Also on Isla Teja, immediately south of the modern art museum, the Museo Histórico y Arqueológico Mauricio van de Maele (Los Laureles 47, tel. 063/212872, www.museosaustral.cl ) occupies the Casa Anwandter, a two-story mansion and national monument built by brewer Carlos Andwandter, a German immigrant who arrived around 1850. The museum displays collections from paleo-Indian times to the historic and contemporary Mapuche and the German colonization, and offers guided tours in Spanish only. Open 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 2–6 p.m., it charges US$2.50 admission for adults, US$0.60 for children. There are launches across the river to the museum, but it’s also accessible via the Pedro de Valdivia bridge.
Also reached by the bridge, Isla Teja’s Parque Saval (Av. Miguel Agüero s/n, tel. 063/221313) is a 30-hectare botanical garden that once belonged to the immigrant Prochelle family and is now a favorite outing for local families; its centerpiece is lily-padded Laguna de los Lotos. Hours are 8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily; admission costs US$0.60.