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Isla de Mancera - Other Activity Valdivia - Chile

In the center of BahĂ­a de Corral at the mouth of the Valdivia River is Isla Mancera, previously called GuiguacabĂ­n by the indigenous people. This small island played a big role in the defense systems of the Spanish in repopulating and holding Valdivia.


Valdivia had to be abandoned in 1604 due to Mapuche attacks against the Spanish invaders. In 1643 the Dutch occupied the ruins of the city, which drove the Spaniards to reclaim and reoccupy Valdivia in 1645. The first step in the plan was to build El Castillo San Pedro de Alcántara de la Isla de Mancera, on the orders of Peruvian Viceroy Pedro de Toledo y Leiva, Marquis de Mancera. Here the future inhabitants lived until they were relocated to the new-found city over a century later, between 1760 and 1779. The path from the dock climbs the hill to the village’s present church, Capilla de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, constructed in 1910. Across the road are the ruins of the Castillo. Within its well-preserved walls are the vegetation-covered ruins of the chapel and other buildings. The site has placards explaining the layout and history of the fort. From the heights it is obvious why this was the lynchpin of the fortress strategy. You can see the mouth of the bay and far up-river. Other forts are observed (winter: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-6 p.m.; summer: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-8 p.m. Entry $1.20).


Follow the path another 20 minutes to the overgrown ruins of the Plaza Colonial de Isla Mancera where Valdivia’s population-in-exile lived until the city was secure. The road then continues around the base of the hill, atop which were the gun powder magazines, and back to the dock.


Today the island is home to fewer than two dozen families who earn their livelihood from fishing. The big holiday here is the procession of San Pablo and San Pedro, the patron saint of pescadores, to the sea on June 28-29. During the summer historic reenactments are done at the fortress, and January 5-12 is the Campamentos Musicales de Mancera, a music festival. Isla Mancera has only one shop and a few basic eateries. Camping Canelito, next to the soccer field, is a campground operated by the municipality of Corral.



(Altitude: s/d, Population: fewer than two dozen families, Phone Code: 063)

Near Valdivia, Valdivia, Chile

Other Activity

Getting There
Boat ferries leave from the dock just before Niebla (every 20 minutes 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m., $1.60). From Corral, the boat leaves for Isla Mancera ($1.20) and onward to Niebla. Off Ruta 5 south of Valdivia is a rough road that goes to Corral.

Relative price: Budget

Travel Skills: None

Currencies accepted
Chilean Peso

Here are other activities in and around Near Valdivia that may be of interest: Niebla, Punucapa and Corral.

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