Craftsmanship and an attractive university district are part of the city’s attractions
Since it was founded in 1550 by Pedro de Valdivia, Chile’s second largest city has been besieged by the Mapuche people, attacked by pirates and shaken by intense earthquakes, the most recent of which hit on February 27, 2010. Yet there is no doubt that Concepcióncontinues to be one of Chile’s top destinations.
One of the city’s main attractions is the student neighborhood, which is called the barrio universitario. Highlights include La Casa del Arte, where you can see “La presencia de América,” an enormous mural painted by Mexican artist Jorge González to honor the independence of the people of Latin America, and Universidad de Concepción’s “Pinacoteca” (Art Gallery), which houses engravings by painter and sculptor Oswaldo Guayasamín.
Be sure not to miss the municipal marketplace, where you can find handicrafts and enjoy local cuisine, the Catedral de la Santísima Concepción and the Universidad de Concepción Theater.
Looking for some downtime? Head to Parque Ecuador, the city’s recreational center. And once your batteries are recharged, check out Plaza España (at the intersection of Arturo Prat and Avenida Pedro de Valdivia), which is packed with bars and restaurants.
Once you have truly experienced all that this Bíobío Region city has to offer, it is time to explore the region’s rural areas, which include the historic mining town Lota and the fishing villages that dot the Pacific Coast.