Río Ñuble, VIII Región del Bío Bío.

San Fabián, VIII Región del Biobío

San Fabián is a piedmont community in the province of Ñuble in the region of Biobío, whose capital is the town of San Fabián de Alico, the region is characterized by small population centers interspersed with agricultural and forestry that form a continuum to the sea. San Fabián is the gateway to a world of virgin forests, lagoons, endangered animals and a handful of inhabitants with a unique cultural identity, extending all the way to the east, to the Argentina border.

The community is nestled in the Ñuble river basin, which is born from the gently sloping terrain below the Chillán volcano. The river has a length of 155 km, with average flows that vary between 30 m3/ s and 170 m3 / s.


The ecological value of the Ñuble valley is difficult to estimate. In it the dominant sclerophyllous forest of the central zone merge with the evergreen forests typical of the south of Chile, generating a zone of great biodiversity in arboreal species, some of them in a state of critical endangerment. The Ñuble valley, as it passes through the mountain and foothill areas forms part of the Laguna del Laja-Nevados de Chillán Biological Corridor, which dates back to the conservation decrees issued in 1974 and 1978, which was finally designated a “Biosphere Reserve” by the UNESCO in 2011.

It is possible to see litres and boldos in the vicinity of the forests with canelos and coigües interspersed. For many species this territory is their last refuge to which they have been reduced to by human encroachment and history. Such is the case of arboreal species like: quillay, cordillera cypress, northern luma and guindo santo, all endemic species with serious conservation value and problems. Among the fauna in danger of extinction we find: the huiña, colo-colo cat, the vizcacha, and the emblematic Huemul that resides in the foothills of the Nevados de Chillán.


Huemul, (Hippocamelusbisulcus) .

The Huemul (Hippocamelusbisulcus) is the most southern deer species in the world, endemic to the Andes Cordillera of Argentina and Chile. Its original habitat once included the Metropolitan Region, but today there are only a few hundred surviving in the forests of the Patagonia Andes as well as a small population of huemules (estimated at about 40) in the foothills of the Nevados de Chillán. As a result of this situation the huemul was declared a national natural monument of Chile, by decree, in 2006.

Activities and sports in the territory: Kayaking, rafting, climbing, trekking, fishing.

The Ñuble River is currently one of the preferred destinations for rafting and kayaking in the south central Chile area. Between its superlative scenic beauty and clear turquoise waters, the river offers class III / IV + rapids to its visitors, as well as the opportunity to see beautiful segments of the river not accessible by land.

The commune of San Fabián has one of the oldest rafting and kayaking festivals in Chile. The practice of these sports has lured young people of the commune to participate in world-wide competitions of these specialties. It is also an important component of the products offered by tourism companies in the town of San Fabián.


Kayak, Río Ñuble.

The beautiful spots that exist in the territory offer a huge list of possibilities for trekking lovers, from family walks to demanding routes for the more experienced, that can combine horseback riding, climbing and backcountry skiing. For ages the area has been visited by tourists who venture through dream-like landscapes looking for an encounter and deeper connection with nature.

Also, sport fishing in the river and its tributaries still provides a reason for lovers of this sport to continue to congregate year by year on the Nuble.

Mountain culture: its extinction as a loss for humanity

The unique environment, the sheep and goats, that range in the verandas of the high mountain ranges, the traditional asados… The faces serene but sharp, cautious and observant, with wrinkles that cannot hide the people’s propensity to overflowing laughter; the steady pace and vigor of their bodies; their companion horses, the pride of being from the mountains…

The knowledge of unique forms of life and different modes of living are true treasures for humanity in the era dominated by the forced homogenization of societies.