Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary

Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary near Valdivia in the South of Chile

Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary near Valdivia in the South of Chile

Carlos Andwandter Nature Sanctuary  an aquatic reserve of about 12,051 acres comprising the ending area of the Cruces river, in the Province of Valdivia.

Carlos Andwandter Nature Sanctuary has been  protected by law since 1981, in the same year it was included on the “Convention of Wetlands of International Importance” list, becoming the first place in Chile to be protected under that category, which means protecting all wetlands, especially those areas  that play a key role  for aquatic birds’ habitat.


The current ecosystem was created after the earthquake and tidal wave that devastated the area of Valdivia in 1960. In that occasion, the land subsided and flooded the agriculture lands in the banks of the Cruces and Chorocamallo rivers. Then a frondose aquatic flora, surrounded by spots of evergreen forests rose, where an infinite numbers of native and exotic birds make their nests, counting with 119 species, such as black-necked swans, (cisnes de cuello negro), cattle egret (garzas africanas), white-necked (cocoi) heron (garzas cocas), terns (gaviotines), marsh crows (cuervos del pantano) and taguas (red gartered coot), besides the mammals such as coypu (coipo) and river otters (nutrias de río).

Carlos Andwandter Nature Sanctuary has become a symbol of pride and natural beauty for the inhabitants of Valdivia and nearby areas.

At Carlos Andwandter Nature Sanctuary, there’s template warm climate with less than four dry months, affecting the north sector of the wetlands. Meanwhile, the south sector, near the city of Valdivia, it’s under the influence of a template rainy climate with a Mediterranean influence. At this area, clear evidence of the oceanic influence has been registered, with rains over 2,000 mm per year in Valdivia. At Carlos Andwandter Nature Sanctuary there’s a pluviometer regime that presents concentrations of rain during winter and absence of a dry period.




Cruces River in Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary

Cruces River in Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary

Why the name?

Carlos Anwandter is an example of the enterprising and tenacious character of the first German settlers that arrived to the south of Chile. After arriving to Valdivia in 1850, he bought land in Isla Teja, where he set up a brewery that brought great prosperity to his family, and to the area. At the same place he built, in the 1860’s, his house, which is simple and sober. The 2 stories structure is made of oak wood and it’s built over stone foundations. In its west façade there’s a corridor with a porch, a traditional construction in the area dating from the Hispanic period. It has a two-pitched roof covered with galvanized iron.

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