This river city close to the Pacific Ocean was founded by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Valdivia. The Spanish influence joined the influence of the German colonization in the XIX. century creating, along with the Mapuche-Huilliche ancestry, a place with unique traditions and features. Today, this city is the capital of Region de los Ríos (Region of the Lakes), a place known for its historical diversity, intense cultural life and for the lushness of its natural surroundings.
Valdivia is the Northern border of Chilean Patagonia with a rainy-temperateclimate of Mediterranean influence, thus becoming Chile’s rainiest city: 2.000 mm a year.
Giant larch woods, coigüe, ulmo, tepa tower over one of the strangest woods of the planet: the temperate rainforests of the Southernmost part of South America, known as Selva Valdiviana (Valdivian Rainforest). Vast, virgin tracts of ancient woods still survive. Most of the plants and animals inhabiting these extraordinary landscapes come from the ancient super-continent Gondwana. Due to the long isolation from other tropical and temperate woods, many of the species living here can not be found in any other part of the world. Unusual communities of birds, like the largest living carpenter, are the obvious reflection of the peculiar life that unfolds in these places, declared “Biosphere Reserve” by Unesco in 2007.
These wonderful, dense and cool evergreen- rainforests, inspired Pablo Neruda’s words, according to which, unless you had walked through Chile’s forests, you had not lived.
The ecoregion Los Ríos is host to one of the most unusual cases of biodiversity on Earth: the Nature Sanctuary Carlos Anwandter, located on the wetlands of Cruces river, a few kilometres North of Valdivia, acknowledged to hold the richest ecological value of the area.
The area includes riverbeds, islands, banks and it is formed by over 6.000 hectare, of which 4.877 are protected as Nature Sanctuary and as RAMSAR site. The objective of this Convention on Wetlands of International Importance is to secure its conservation through appropriate environmental management measures, since this wet habitat shelters a rich variety of species (avifauna and flora) that directly or indirectly depend on this wetland and its surroundings. It stands out for having been the nesting place of the black-necked swan, as well as sheltering endangered species like the coscoroba swan, white-faced ibis and the osprey. It is in front of this Nature Sanctuary where Mawün harvests its rain water, thus supporting the conservation of protected areas by means of a product that stands for commitment with the environment.