|Visiting terms and conditions Maps & directions Protected area guide (external link, ES)|
Discover small deer and giant woodpeckers, sea lions and millenary trees
Visiting the Valdivian Coastal Reserve gives you the opportunity to explore one of the world's 34 biodiversity hot-spots, according to Conservation International, and to discover why the Reserve is included among the World Wildlife Fund's 238 priority ecoregions.
From the Pudú (Pudu puda), among Latin America's smallest deer, to the black or Magellanic woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus), the world's largest woodpecker, the Valdivian Coastal Reserve offers a rich variety in fauna and a marvelous flora, including extensive forests of coastal Larch trees (Alerce costero - Fitzroya cupressoides), which, with a life span of up to 3.600 years, is the the the the second most long-lived species on the planet.
Click here to download our 22-page visitors's guide (PDF - 750 Kb.)
© Nick Hall for The Nature Conservancy
Terms and conditions for your visit
The Valdivian Coastal Reserve is a privately-owned conservation area, open to the public. There are certain rules and behaviors that must be observed to ensure conservation for future visitors.
Step 1: Register
Once you reach Chaihuín and cross the bridge over the Chaihuín River, you will find the Valdivian Coastal Reserve’s administrative office.
To assure your safety during the visit you must first register here, which would allow us to provide assistance in case you encounter difficulties or problems during your stay.
Step 2: Find lodgings and/or activities
The Valdivian Coastal Reserve does not have lodging facilities for its visitors, however, many of the the neighboring localities do. Camping inside the Reserve is strictly forbidden. The only location with an official camping area can be found in the Colún sector.
The Reserve Rangers will be happy to inform you about tourist services, lodgings, locations for outdoor camping, restaurants and outings available in Chaihuín, Huiro, Cadillal, Los Liles and Huape.
We would also suggest you to review the “Protected Area Guide of the Los Ríos Region” (in Spanish) clicking here or in the top menu.
Step 3: During your visit
Remember, when you sit down for lunch:
Fire is a mayor threat to this area. The only appropriate places for building a camp fire are the picnic area on the Chaihuín beach and the camping area at Colún. At both locations you will find fire places for this purpose. Do not light a fire in any other place on the Reserve.
Prefer picnics and outdoor camping only in the neighboring communities, and only in places that are equipped for this activity. As pointed out earlier, you may not camp anywhere inside the Reserve.
When you go, please leave the place clean and tidy so that others may enjoy their stay as much as you did. Take home what you brought and do not leave any kind of garbage behind.
While you are on the Reserve, please keep the following in mind:
You are in a natural conservation area! Never disturb birds and other animals, avoid loud noises. Cutting flowers and damaging plants or trees in any way is strictly forbidden.
Navy regulations in the area prohibit vehicles on the beaches, while they are not allowed at the Chaihuín- and Colún Dunes either. The latter includes archeological sites, the alteration of which in any way is fined by law, in order to protect cultural heritage.
Dogs are allowed, but on a leash only. Make sure your animal is properly inocculated. Failing to do so may pose a serious threat to local wildlife.
Do not attempt to drive on internal forest roads; they are extremely dangerous due to their deteriorated state and not apt for the circulation of motorized vehicles.
If you are going to Hueicolla, you will have to cross the Hueicolla River. This is only possibe at low tide. Make sure you are well informed about tidal changes.
The Valdivian Coastal Reserve / The Nature Conservancy are not to be held responsible for any accidents or damages you may incurr during your visit. Keep in mind that the prime cause of accidents is due to the generally poor state of the roads.
Use of the road from Chaihuín to the south:
Due to the lack of maintenance and the bad condition of the public road that crosses the Reserve (Route T-470), visitors are exclusively responsible for their using this road. Considering these poor conditions, it is strongly recommended drivers have previous experience with four-wheel-drive vehicles and emergency equipment.
Visitors who wish to visit Hueicolla must be especially careful, because the Hueicolla river does not have a bridge and the only way to cross it is by wading through.
This is why we urge you to inform yourself at the administration about the day’s tidal changes, in order to realize this crossing operation at low tide and with sufficient day light.
© Nick Hall for The Nature Conservancy
How to get here
The Valdivian Coastal Reserve is located 40 Km. south-east of Valdivia, between the Chaihuín and Río Bueno rivers. There are two ways of getting here, both passing through the village of Chaihuín.
1 – Access through Niebla-Corral-Chaihuín (including ferry across the Corral Bay):
At km 16 of the Valdivia-Niebla route you can access the pier where the tourist vessels (for passengers only) and docking ferries (for passengers and vehicles) transit from Niebla to Corral and vice versa. The docking ferry is on service from 7 in the morning until 12 at night, leaves Corral every two hours starting starting at 07:00 in the morning and from Niebla every two hours, starting at 08:00 in the morning.
Once in Corral you must follow the road south towards Chaihuín, passing through Amargos, San Carlos, Los Liles, Palo Muerto and Huape. Chaihuín is at Km 27.
Once you cross the bridge in Chaihuín, you will find the administrative office of the Valdivian Coastal Reserve.
There are also buses running at least three times a day from Corral to Chaihuín and v.v.
2 – Access through Valdivia-Corral-Chaihuín (over land):
It is also possible to access Corral over land, by taking highway 206 south from Valdivia. At km 18 you will find a turn-off (T-60) and then a T-cross were the right hand turn leads to Corral (T-450), mostly following the course of the Tornagaleones river.
Only the first few kilometers are paved and the rest, approximately 60 km, is dirt road. Keep in mind that this road is quite narrow, in poor conditions and frequently used by lumber trucks; we recommend driving with extreme precaution.
You will find Corral at km 62.
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