Valdivia, in Southern Chile, sits on the banks of the Calle Calle river. Every morning there is a local cultural exhibit that you should visit. The Feria Fluvial or “Riverside Market” is a daily market that sits on the edge of the river just west of downtown Valdivia.
This market represents the traditional flavor of a typical Chilean street market combined with the fresh seafood harvested by local fishermen from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Pick up some fresh flowers for your sweetheart or some exotic looking seaweed called cochayuyo.
Take a look at the fresh seafood stands that back up to the river. At the rear of these stands you’ll find workers preparing the recently caught fish for sale. These men and women are really artists. Watch as they quickly and methodically slice and fillet fishes. Sometimes you can’t even see their hand as it moves so fast.
Just feet away from those chopping up the fish for sale, you’ll find those eagerly awaiting something to eat. These visitors are huge sea lions that wait to snatch up any scraps that the merchants throw to them. Take a few moments to watch these massive animals and you’ll even see a spark of personality.
The market runs through the morning but closes by 3:00 pm. So if you try to visit in the late afternoon, there will be nothing there. Even the sea lions will have left.
Pictures by Nora Elizabeth Gebauer Silva and Alvaro Herrera