Los Ríos, the Rivers Region of southern Chile has not only rivers but also lakes, mountains, volcanoes, virgin forests, ecological parks and ocean beaches.
The capital of the Region is Valdivia, one of Chile's most beautiful cities lying on the Calle River 17 km up river from the bay area. The bay is unexceptionally beautiful as well as historic. The presence of 3 important Spanish forts dating from the 1600s are restored and well maintained. The Spanish lost the forts to the Chilean revolutionary forces without firing a single cannon. Hired by the Chileans Lord Cochrane led his ships into the bay area only to realize that the forts were invulnerable (except for one element.) Cochrane took his ships further down the coast and disembarked the men. Realizing the major fort of Corral had no rear wall protection from infantry, the naval commander organized his sailors into ground troops attacking the fort from the rear and easily took the fort. Valdivia is likewise the site of the world´s worst recorded earthquake which occurred on May 20, 1960. A resulting tsunami took even more lives as the giant wave came in at an estimated 42 feet high, likewise causing destruction and death in Hawaii and Japan. The city has excellent hotels, restaurants and a casino. Close to the city are national forests and wonderful ocean beaches. Boat tours are quite popular as well are boat and jet ski rentals. Further inland are several lakes with options such as fishing, bed and breakfasts, hostels, hotels, camping and during the summer many local folklore festivals.