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Getting There

By Plane -- Valdivia's Aeródromo Pichoy (ZAL; tel. 63/272295), is about 32km (20 miles) northeast of the city. LANExpress (tel. 600/526-2000; www.lan.com) has two daily flights from Santiago, one daily flight to Concepción, two weekly flights to Temuco, and one weekly flight to Puerto Montt. A taxi to town costs about $18 (£12), or you can catch a ride on one of Transfer Valdivia's minibuses for $6/£4 (tel. 63/225533).

By Bus -- The bus terminal is at Anwandter and Muñoz (tel. 63/212212), and nearly every bus company passes through here; there are multiple daily trips from Pucón and Santiago. The average cost for a ticket from Santiago to Valdivia is $40 (£27); from Pucón to Valdivia, it is $6 (£4).

By Car -- From the Pan-American Highway, take Rte. 205 and follow the signs for Valdivia. A car is not really necessary in Valdivia, as most attractions can be reached by boat, foot, or taxi. It's about a 2-hour drive from Pucón, 1 1/2 hours from Temuco, and 3 hours from Puerto Montt.

Visitor Information

Sernatur's helpful Oficina de Turismo, near Muelle Schuster at Arturo Prat 555 (tel. 63/215739), has a well-stocked supply of brochures. The office hours from March to December are Monday through Thursday 8:30am to 5:30pm, and Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. January and February hours are Monday through Friday 8:30am to 7pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm. There's also an information kiosk at the bus terminal open daily from 8am to 9pm, and two websites with information at www.valdiviachile.cl and www.valdivia.cl.

Special Events -- The city hosts a grand yearly event, the Verano en Valdivia, with several weeks of festivities that begin in January, culminating with the Noche Valdiviana on the third Saturday in February. On this evening, hundreds of floating candles and festively decorated boats fill the Río Valdivia; in the evening, the city puts on a fireworks display. Note that Valdivia is crowded during this time, so hotel reservations are essential. For event info, check out www.munivaldivia.cl.

Fast Facts

Car Rental -- Assef y Méndez Rent A Car can be found at General Lagos 1335 (tel./fax 63/213205), and Hertz at Ramón Picarte 640 (tel./fax 63/218316); both have airport kiosks.

Currency Exchange -- Casas de cambio can be found at La Reconquista at Carampangue 325 (tel. 63/213305), but banks Banco Santander-Santiago, Pérez Rosales 585, and Corpbanca, Ramón Picarte 370, have ATMs in addition to money exchange. Redbanc ATMs are in grocery stores, gas stations, and all banks throughout the city.

Hospital -- The Clínica Alemana can be found at Beaucheff 765 (tel. 63/246200).

Internet -- Several spots for Internet access are near the plaza; try Entel, Vicente Pérez Rosales 601, no. 2.

Laundry -- Self-service Laundromats are Lavamatic, Walter Schmidt 305, no. 6 (tel. 63/211015), and Laverap, Arauco 697, no. 2.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.