South America » Chile » Los Ríos
Valdivia is colorful as it is historic: The native Mapuche has been influenced by Spanish and German cultures, courtesy of a 1552 incursion of Pedro de Valdivia, and the mid-19th century “open city” invitation to European migrants to farm and populate southern Chile. Both foreign influences can still be felt today, as the city has been able to preserve the coexistence of German architecture (and beer culture) with Spanish religious traditions. The Calle Calle River is a prominent geographical landmark which the tsunami traversed – all 15 kilometers of it – in the 1960s. The town suffered in the aftermath, but it has successfully restored its multi-ethnic past to its original glory.