Travel to Valdivia

Roads and bridges

Most of Valdivia lies on the southern side of the Valdivia and Calle-Calle Rivers but other areas of the city such as Isla Teja and Las Animas are connected by bridges. The main accesses to the city are Calle-Calle Bridge from the north and a southern access. Both accesses connect the city with the Pan-American Highway and run through forested areas and wetlands.

Calle-Calle Bridge, the first bridge built, connects the city with Las Animas and forms the northern highway access to the city. Pedro de Valdivia Bridge was built in 1954 and connects Isla Teja island, where many German immigrants lived. During the Great Chilean Earthquake only the minor Caucau Bridge (Las Animas-Isla Teja) was destroyed, while all other bridges were repaired and are still in use. In 1987 Augusto Pinochet opened Río Cruces Bridge making the coastal town of Niebla accessible by road, and also Torobayo and Punucapa. Calle-Calle Bridge, the main access to the city was enlarged in the 1990s.


Until highway bridges were built, Valdivia's economy and citizenry depended upon boat traffic on the surrounding rivers. Nowadays the rivers are used mainly by tourist boats and by commercial ships built or repaired in Asenav, one of Chile's most important shipyard companies. Fishing boats travel inland from the coast to sell fish at the Feria Fluvial market. Only one ferry operation remains significant, the Niebla-Corral line, as is it much shorter to reach Corral by ferry than following a circuitous road. Some of the locations that are regularly reached by tourist boats include Mancera Island and Punucapa.


The city is served mainly by Pichoy Airport that lies 32 km northeast of the city following the north entrance road that connects the city with the Pan American Highway. The smaller but much nearer Las Marías Airport is used primarily by minor