Puerto Saavedra has 14 348 inhabitants and is located to 54,06 miles from Temuco towards the coast. Puerto Saavedra was founded on 1887 by Cornelio Saavedra next to the sea, in the place where it was the bar of the river. From 1895 it served as a service port for those who maneuvered the boats that came from the sea, by the river, to Carahue. These tasks were made until 1960, when the port was swept by a tidal wave. Relocated today behind dunes, at the moment it is an active supply center of the farmers of the coast. Cross the main avenue of Puerto Saavedra and follow to south towards the Pines beach, located in the flank of the Maule beach, of gray sand, where it was the mouth of the Imperial River before the earthquake and tidal wave of 1960. Puerto Saavedra counts with simple lodging facilities such as hostels and a camping.
Return to the main road and go up for the Viewpoint hill where it will obtain a panoramic of the valley. Then continues towards to the south to Boca Buda, a beach located 2,49 miles from Puerto Saavedra, next to the water-drainage of the Budi lake. This water-drainage is a bar that is opened in winter entering the water and the sea; in summer it is closed and it does not interrupt the beach. The beach is located on beautiful cliffs and down of a large gray sand beach. The beach of the Budi Lake counts with a camping, good cabins, hotel and hostelries offering diverse sea products.
By this beach the only authorized footpath by mapuches used to run, so that the Spaniards transported merchandise between Concepcion and Valdivia. To the south it makes out the hills of Queule.
The Route of the Sea continues to the south leaving from Puerto Saavedra. Locating there the km 0, it is going up by the side hill of the Viewpoint hill – where it is the deflection to Budi-Boca and to coming in the km 6 to the balseo Budi Boca that crosses a narrow one that not empties to the lake, the ferry across will be replaced by a bridge during 2002. The schedule of the ferry is from December to March, with a service from Monday to Saturday from 7am to 20 hours; Sunday from 8am to 20 hours. Between April and November, the service is from Monday to Sunday from 8am to 18 hours. It is totally free.
Continuing, it is entered the Huapi Island, that paradoxically means island. Is not properly an island but a front land that separates the Budi Lake of the Sea, cut by small nachos. These lands are seat of several lafkenches-mapuches communities. In its South extreme is the Puaucho Beach Mapuche Tourist Center, managed by mapuches families of the Juan Ancan Levín and the CONADI community. In summer there are services of meals and sale of native crafts. In addition, it has a camping and it organizes guided long walks and cavalcades and boats navigation of trunk hollowed (wampo) by the Budi lake. The beach is excellent for sole fishing. In Collileufú, there is an area of picnic with basic services.
From the ferry across, the road continues to the south crossing Huapi Island. Later a great valley covered with water is crossed to find in km 16, a crossing that takes right to the wharf Santa Maria, located to 2,49 miles, from where it leaves the Schälchli ferry to Domínguez Port. Taking just 45 min and has capacity for 4 vehicles. The ferry generally is full of vehicles of Domínguez Port that go by for differents issues to Puerto Saavedra; the best hour for the tourists is in the morning, from Santa Maria to Domínguez Port, and the afternoon, from Domínguez Port to Santa Maria. There are two daily trips from Domínguez Port to different ports in the Huapi Island, according to the day: Monday and Wednesday to Santa Maria, Tuesday and Friday to Huetén and Thursday to Nahuelhuapi. The schedule is same all year; it departures to 8:30 and 16:30 hours and returns to 9:30 and 17:50 hours. In January and February there are additional departures to Santa Maria, Saturday and Sunday to 10:30 and 17 hours; returning to the 12 and 18 hours. It is free.
From the crossing, in km 16, it leaves to the right the Sea Route that in 24,85 miles takes until Hualpín. In the first 11,81 miles borders it the Huapi island and the Budi Lake it is shown, that means partridge or suspended water, and is to an altitude of 6,56 feet. above the sea level. The Budi Lake is the only brackish water lake in South America. The Budi Lake is surrounded by smooth hillock, some cultivated and other places setting of forest, forming a landscape of great beauty. In the coast of the Budi Lake infinity of small arms forms, with bays where it inhabits great amount of birds, 134 species around. Stand out of the Budi Lake the aquatic and marine units, between them, the swans of black neck, very respected by mapuches.
From anyone of the three dock berths of Huapi Island it will be able to arrive by ferry at the village of Domínguez Port, with 530 inhabitants. Domínguez port is a small and ordered village; is a center of mapuches communities’ supply that arrives in cart or boats. In Domínguez Port there are simple hostelries.
Following by the road, in km 35, there is a crossing with the route that comes from the south from Hualpin and continues to the north towards Port Domínguez and Carahue. Follow the south. In km 50 cross to the left, paved, to Teodoro Schmidt, the main center of this area. That road continues by the North side of the Toltén River, until Freire, in the Pan-American high road.
Continue to the south by the Sea Route of that crosses cultivated fields. Km 58 it enters to Hualpín, clean town of service that was rail starting of the old railway branch that came from of Freire.
Continue advancing and in km 67 it is the Peule Bridge on the Toltén River, inaugurated in 1991. Then, to the left, it enters in the km 68 to New Toltén, with 2,293 inhabitants. Municipality of the South shore of the Toltén River, cheers, with wide paved Avenue bordered with flowers, gardens and commerce. The present town of New Toltén replaced to the old Toltén, built next to the sea and devastated by the tidal wave in 1960. This it was of fishermen and, from the Colony time, advanced outpost for the contacts of the Valdivia city with mapuches seated in the North shore of the river. In the Nigue beach north, next to the mouth, a Championship of sole Fishing is celebrate.
Continue towards the south by the Sea Route. The road moves away of the Toltén River and, by a plain, it reaches the Queule River, in Boldos Port. The Queule river is a coastal run of regulating width and depth, completely calms and navigable in its course of 12,43 miles until the sea. From the prehistory, New Toltén it has registered an intense fishing activity. The route runs next to the river, separated of the sea by forested dunes and, towards the east, bordered by the high mountain range of the Coast.
In km 99 In the mouth of the river is Queule, which means tree with eatable fruits, and has 828 inhabitants. It presents a dense set of colorful houses that climb a hill. Queule has a coastal road with boat ramp, wharves, several shipyards, great hulls in disuse and few schooners, next to a good hotel and the beach of the river. In the beach of Queule motor boats are rented to go at the sea and to visit the Lobería, located in cliffs that close the bay, to 90 minutes of long walk. Also it can cross the river for a precious long walk by the extensive beach towards the north or chose a place to encamp.
The route continues towards the south ascending by a short hill and then it follows bordering the cliffs by an exceptional landscape. In the height beautiful views are opened that it worth to make this trip. To the north appear the Queule, bay, the river and, more ahead, a tableland that block the mouth of the Toltén River; after that a long beach is seen finishing in the mountain range of Nahuelbuta and, later, the bar of the Imperial River. By this route, in 1845, Ignacio Domeyko traveled. In his stories he tells that this hill was an entangled forest, where the cattle lost in the footpath.
Towards the south the view loses in the immensity of the ocean and high cliffs covered with forests that follow one by another until the Valdivian bay. This section of coast is not known by the tourists who frequent the lakes.
In this section of 3,11 miles diverse beaches are reached, like Cheuque, closed and sheltered of the wind, with good camping; Pichicullín, more opened and with cabins; Universitario of white sand, and the most concurred, Playa Grande, to arrive at in km 104 to Mehuin.
Mehuin is a beach and a fishing creek. Mehuin has an extensive beach that extends to the south until the mouth of the Lingue River. Mehuin is surrounded by camping and restaurants, that present intense activity in weekends. Great fish and seafood cuisine can be found, especially in the Nogal Hotel and Llancahue Fogon; there are other restaurants in the place. Camping are available in the coast of Mehuín and Alepué Beach. Here it finishes, for now, the Sea Route. The road goes into paved, by the North shore of the Lingue River in direction to the Pan-American high road.
In the km 131 it is the city of San Jose of the Mariquina, which has 5,989 inhabitants. This city of great large houses, with parks and gardens by the side of Cruces River, was See of the Bishopric of the Araucanía. San Jose of the Mariquina still conserves significant buildings, like the Greater School and the Santa Elisa Sanatorium, which keeps great reputation by its treatments, inspired in a European system of natural health. In San Jose of the Mariquina there is a pretty park next to the bridge and a church in the square that is recommended to visit.
In order to continue towards the south, leaved the Pan-American high road; to the right, the road leads in 31,07 miles to Valdivia; to the left it will arrive at a crossing that by a more direct route via Mafil, the Lakes and Paillaco, leads to Puerto Montt.
To the Spanish Castle
In the road between Mehuin and San Jose of the Mariquina, near 0,62 miles to the west of the city, comes out a rubble road to the south that borders the Cruces River and leads in 14,29 miles until the San Luis de Alba de Cruces Castle . It was commanded to construct in 1647 by the governor Francisco Gil de Negrete, in a hill of 65,62 feet on the shore of the Cruces river. Its first reconstruction dates from 1774 and was made by cancagua stone by the engineer Juan Garland.
The Spanish Castle used to be part of the defensive system of Valdivia. Its mission was to guarantee upstream navigation and to protect the communication maintained with establishments located to the north ahead, where there was agricultural and missioner activity. After Independence, the Spanish Castle was restructured and occupied by colonel Beaucheff, who used with the same intention; then was complete abandoned. In 1967 new excavations and reconstructions began according to the conserved original planes in Spain, in charge of Mauricio Van der Maele, of the Universidad Austral.
At the moment, the outside of the Spanish Castle presents rock bottom, walls of stone, garitones (towers) and a bridge; in its interior some original structures are recreated, like the chapel and the house of the Castilian, where the objects found in the excavations are exposed. Also it is possible to accede to the castle by tours that sails the Cruces River from Valdivia. The summer schedule attention to the public to the Spanish Castle is from Monday to Sunday of 10am to 13 hours and 14 to 20 hours; winter it is from Tuesday to Sunday of 10am to 13 hours and 14 to 18 hours. The cost of the entrance to the Spanish Castle is $500.
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