Valdivia is one of the most historic cities in all southern Chile. Valdivia was founded as the frontier with Mapuche Native Land in 1552 by Pedro de Valdivia. Valdivia has also been on the frontier of culture in Chile for hundreds of years with a colorful mix of Mapuche, Spanish, and German history that has created one of the most spectacular cities in southern Chile. It makes Valdivia stands out not only among the other cities of southern Chile, but among the all the cities of Latin and South America as a truly important piece of world heritage.
Valdivia was crowned the capital of Chile's newest Región XIV (Los Ríos) in 2007 after years of defection talk surrounding its inclusion in the Lakes District despite its geographical, historical and cultural differences. It is the most important university town in southern Chile and, as such, offers a strong emphasis on the arts, student prices at many hostels, restaurants and bars, and a refreshing dose of youthful energy.
With its German effervescence and subtle cafe culture, Valdivia is also one of the more attractive cities in the region due to its scenic location at the confluence of the Calle Calle, Cau Cau and Cruces rivers, but, truth be told, Germanic heritage is way more present in Puerto Varas or Puerto Octay.