10 things to see absolutely in Concepción in Chile

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Concepcìon is the capital of the VIII region of Biobìo, among the largest cities in Chile. Characterized by a lively and important cultural and university life, it has a remarkable cultural and artistic heritage, thanks to the presence of the splendid Cathedral, the Pinacoteca and the beautiful museums.
Between relaxing walks in the various shops in the center, and the frequent stops in the typical fish-based restaurants, you can admire its extraordinary views of the city and the lush nature with the fauna and flora typical of the region.
A city not to be missed with its wonderful tourist attractions: here are the 10 things to see absolutely.


  1. Parque Ecuador
  2. Plaza de la Indipendencia
  3. Cerro Caracol
  4. Museum of Natural History
  5. Concepcìon Cathedral
  6. Univesidad de Concepcìon
  7. Casa del Arte (Art Gallery)
  8. Reserva Nacional Nonguén
  9. Central Market
  10. Plaza Avecedo (or Plaza Jurasìca)
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Parque Ecuador

A large space surrounded by greenery in the city center, at the foot of Cerro Caracol. Once known as Alameda Park, today its name derives from the form of gratitude towards the State of Ecuador for the help provided during the 1939 earthquake. A must stop for those who want to walk in total relaxation even with the family, thanks to its luxuriant vegetation.

Do not miss the Museum and Gallery of History, where temporary exhibitions are also presented. There are also i fun water games (in operation only during the summer). On your tour inside the Park, you cannot miss a visit to two important monuments, the first dedicated to Juan Martinez de Rozas, one of the leaders of emancipation, the second in honor of two citizens of Concepción murdered during the First War World.
In general, they are very interesting outdoor exhibitions, fairs, concerts and craft fairs which take place very frequently.

  • Get directions
  • always open
  • free

2 - Plaza de la Indipendencia

Undoubtedly the most famous square in the city, thanks to its historical and social importance, so called because in this very place Bernando O'Higgins proclaimed the Independence of Chile on January 1, 1818. It still maintains its ancient characteristics, from its wide pavements, to its tall and green lime trees.
In the square there is only one bronze statue depicting Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, and other works in honor of the founder of the city Pedro of Valdivia, and the Mapuche leader Lautaro. Around the square are the Cathedral, the Theater, the University and the O'Higgins, Aníbal Pinto, Barros Arana and Caupolicán avenues.

  • Get directions
  • always open
  • free

3 - Cerro Caracol

Located near the Parque Ecuador, the Cerro Caracol (Caracol hill) is a geographical area of ​​great historical importance for the city. With an area of ​​about 1.200 hectares, covered by splendid vegetation, it is considered the green lung of the city, where you can walk in relaxation and carefree.
At the top of the hill is the Mirador Alemán, built by Arturo Junge Sahr, a splendid construction that was financed by the German colony that was in possession of the city at that time. Cerro Caracol is positioned on two levels: descending along the paths you can enjoy one Breath-taking view from the numerous panoramic points present.

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  • always open
  • free

4 - Museum of Natural History

The Museum houses a great natural and cultural heritage of the Bìo Bìo region. Founded in 1902 by British naturalist Edwin Reed Brookman, with the subsequent help of taxidermist Gabriel Castillo.
Over time the museum expands more and more with various and new ones collections relating to paleontology, archeology, ethnography and history. It is currently organized in different sections: the Collectors part, which tells the history of the museum with various exotic and endemic species; The World of Fossils, with several specimens of 65 million years old; the section relating to Coal, where the geological history of the mineral, of the miners and of the tools they used to extract it is exhibited; lastly, the Regional Space, where sustainable development projects for the environment are shown.

  • Get directions
  • Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 14:30 to 17:30. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 14pm to 30pm (excluding the first of the year, Good Friday, May 17st and December 30th)
  • free

5 - Cathedral of Concepcìon

Located in the heart of the city, next to the Plaza de la Indipendencia, the Cathedral of the Holy Conception represents an inestimable architectural heritage of Concepcìon. Built in 1950 under the guidance of Monsiglor Alfredo Silva Santiago, it currently has a new infrastructure due to the disaster caused by the 1939 earthquake.
The cathedral is in the neo-Romanesque style, commissioned by its architects Ramon Venegas, Carlos Casanueva Urrejola Baluca and Fernando Arrau. Once inside you can immediately admire its large arch and the upper part with the beautiful picture of the Immaculate Conception which seems to stretch out its arms towards the city. In addition to the main altar, there are two other lateral ones, one for the Blessed Sacrament, the other to honor the Immaculate Conception. Do not miss the wonderful stained glass windows and the splendid wood paneled ceiling.

  • Get directions
  • open every day from 9:00 to 17:00 (times and dates may vary according to religious services). Masses are celebrated from Monday to Saturday at 10:00 and on Sundays at 10:00, 12:00 and 19:00
  • free

6 - Univesidad de Concepcìon

Among the most prestigious universities in Chile, the Universidad de Concepcìon stands out for its beautiful architectural structure and its splendid green spaces with paths, trees and an artificial lagoon. It was founded on May 14, 1919 ed it is the third oldest university in all of Chile. It was also the first to be created in the central-southern area of ​​the country. It also had a fundamental pioneering role in the reform of Chilean universities in the late 60s of the twentieth century: not for nothing was it the first to approve the university reform in 1968, allowing students greater participation in university life and management. The symbol par excellence is its beautiful bell tower, built in the "American University" style, finished in 1943 and inaugurated in 1944.

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  • every day from 8:00 to 21:00
  • free

7 - Casa del Arte (Pinacoteca)

In September 1965, the actual construction that houses the Pinacoteca began, financed by the Government of Mexico, starting to host the most important work, the "Presencia de America Latina", a mural in the hall of the building and executed by Jorge Gonzàlez Camarena .

The Pinacoteca is made up of six exhibition rooms, three dedicated to permanent exhibitions, three for itinerant ones: the Tole Peralta Hall with the history of Chilean painting, from the anonymous colonials up to the mid-twentieth century; Generation 13 room, dedicated to the first Chilean art movement; Sala Maestri with works by painters such as Tomás Errázuriz, Marcial Piazza Ferrand, Julio Fossa Calderón, and Ernesto Molina; Sala Marta Colvin with itinerant modern works; CAP room with contemporary traveling exhibitions; lastly, the University Hall which exhibits works by regional artists.

  • Get directions
  • Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00, Saturdays from 11:00 to 17:00, Sundays from 11:00 to 14:00, closed Mondays
  • free

8 - Reserva Nacional Nonguén

Created on December 30, 2009, this magnificent reserve covers an area of ​​more than 3 thousand hectares. The reserve is located about 15 km away from the city and it hosts important animal species like the mountain monkey, the fox and the pudu, the smallest deer in the world; in addition to these, we find the Darwin's frog, typical of the forests of Chile and Argentina, numerous varieties of birds such as the chuncho, the biancone, the white owl, the rayadito and the chucao.
Between the wild flora we find rare species such as raulí, huillipatagua and michay de neger, unfortunately endangered plant.

Among the main trails for visitors are: the Confluencia Trail, characterized by bridges and springs; Lo Rojas path, path that leads to the valley and its panorama with the mountains and the mouth of the Biobìo; Sendero Los Ollivos with a forest of olive trees; finally, the Los Canelos Trail, the longest in the heart of the reserve rich in exotic vegetation.

  • Get directions
  • every day from 9: 00 to 16: 30
  • free for children under 6, CLP 1.000 (€ 1,30) for children under 18, CLP 1.500 (€ 1,95), CLP 3.000 (€ 3,91) for foreign tourists. Payment is required in cash only

9 - Mercado Central

A must for tourists curious to discover the typical specialties of the city. Located in the center of Concepcìon and built in 1940, it has a typically modern architecture. Inside you can find fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, flowers, clothing and typical crafts. In the market it is also possible to eat in the numerous restaurants and stalls. On April 28, 2013, due to a serious fire, it suffered considerable damage to its infrastructure. It's about a unmissable destination for shopping lovers, a lively place where you can taste the typical dishes of the region and the whole of Chile.

  • Get directions
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 to 17:00, Thursday from 8:00 to 17:00, Saturday from 9:00 to 16:00, Sunday from 9:00 to 18:00
  • free

10 - Plaza Avecedo (or Plaza Jurasìca)

Plaza Avecedo it is a large green area with a triangular shape, located in the area between Irarrázabal, Maipú and Collao. Its name is dedicated to Luis Avecedo, a pioneer of Chilean aviation, who died with his plane in the municipality of Dan Pedro de la Praz.
The Natural History Museum and Jurassic Park are nearby: the latter was inaugurated in November 2008 and is a very popular destination for both adults and children thanks to the numerous games and giant dinosaur-shaped monuments. Children can also engage in fun searching for fossils in the sand.

  • Get directions
  • Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 18:45
  • free

Plan your stay in Concepción: info on flights, hotels and tours

Concepcìon is a city that has undergone a considerable urban transformation in recent decades. Today it looks like a modern and touristic city with many new infrastructures, including hotels, hostels and b & bs, with prices within everyone's reach. It is quite safe, although you must always pay close attention.
Getting around both on foot and by public transport is very comfortable and simple, as well as cheap: the cost for a single ticket is only CLP 480,00 (€ 0,63). Still on the subject of costs, even eating out or shopping in supermarkets has a relatively low cost. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant has an average cost of around CLP 5.000 (€ 6,52) while a three-course meal for two people costs around CLP 26.000 (around € 33,00), a loaf of bread and a liter of milk respectively 475.00 (€ 0,62) and CLP 700.00 (€ 0,91). The biggest cost is definitely the flight from Italy with several stopovers (Madrid, Santiago up to Carrier Sur).

  • starting from € 792 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 25,00 per room -

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