Walking by the streets
Favorite thing: Despite its size, almost everything in Concepcion is within very easy walking distance: the universities (there are 8), the bus terminals, the parks, etc.
The main pedestrian alley is called Paseo Peatonal, being actually Barros Arana street.
3 blocks south is cerro Caracol, and another 3 to the Universidad de Concepcion campus.
Taking a stroll through them in summer is an excellent chance to do people watching, and if you venture one block north from the main square, you'll be in the market area, a "taster" of what the markets are south of the Bio Bio.
Plaza Independencia fountain
Favorite thing: At the center of the square, there is a fountain with a column which, on top, has a statue of the Roman goddess Ceres.
Around this fountain, there's always people playing or passing by, and is a good place to see the local people. There are also some street photographers, equipped with both old box cameras, and modern instant ones.
Seeing them taking the picture of rural visiting families or individuals in front of the fountain or the music stand, is an interesting and quite picturesque sight.
A bizarre thing about this, is that on the four sides of the column there's a national shield engraved on it...but while in the normal shield, there is a condor and a huemul (kind of endemic Chilean deer, now an endangered species), in this shield there is a horse instead of a huemul...
Parque Ecuador: gateway to the urban rainforest
Favorite thing: Tha main city park is Parque Ecuador, located along 700 metres of Victor Lamas avenue, on the southern flank of the city.
It is 3 blocks from Plaza Independencia, and has several paths leading to the upper trails of Cerro (hill) Caracol.
But if you're not that adventurous, the street-level lawns and shaded places and corners make up for a good and relaxing area to spend some time, or for jogging, reading or cycling. There's also a tennis club, and an arts centre right beside the waterfall.
The Universidad de Concepción campanil
Favorite thing: The other main symbol, not only of the university but of Concepcion itself, is the 45-meter high Campanil (Chime tower), located above the open forum and next to the Biological Sciences faculty and the Duck's Pond.
This is one of the better known icons of the city.
Favorite thing: Every city and town in Chile has a main square, usually called "Plaza de Armas" and this is Concepcion's main.
But this one is called Independencia, because the Chilean Independence declaration was signed, sealed and vowed in this square, on October 5, 1818 (the initial declaration, which sparked the Inddependence War against Spain, was on September 18, 1810, and it's the Chilean Independence Day).
In smaller towns, people uses to sit down in a bunk and watch the others walk around the square, while chatting to his/her bunk companion; in Concepcion, on summer and spring afternoons, is the same: you can see how people watch each other pass by while having an ice cream or a soft drink under the shade of the trees.
Parque Ecuador waterfall
Favorite thing: There's a natural waterfall on a small creek of the park, which comes down from natural water sources up in the bushes.
If one follows the creek upstream, in a few minutes a wild forested area is reached, and so are the paths leading to both Mirador Francés (French overlook) and Mirador Alemán (German overlook); the first is now a huge telecommunications site (the "Antena Entel", seen from anywhere in the city), while the second one is truly a city overlook.
Located on a bluff amid pine forests, is a 7-metre high cubical stone structure built by the local German descendants to commemorate the members of their community who died in WWI, for which there's a (sealed) chamber with their names written in stones.
Climbing to the roof is possible, to get a panoramic view of the city, the river and the port of Talcahuano in the distance.
Universidad de Concepción forum
Favorite thing: In the middle of the university campus, is the main meeting point of it, where the students gather and most open-air ceremonies are held.
It has an abstract-style sculpture representing the universitary spirit, and a water mirror beneath it.
Architects would like the place.
Taken with Nikon F4s, 20 mm. Nikkor, f.11, 1/45 sec., POL filter, Agfacolor HDC 200 negative film
Concepción - overview
Favorite thing: general info:
Located along the Bio Bio river next to the Pacific coast, Concepción is the second largest city in Chile with a population of over 1,000,000 when combined with its neighboring cities Talcahuano.
Here you will find one of the main ports of Chile, some of the biggest coal mines, and a large Naval base.
If you visit the naval base you can take a tour on the peruvian battleship "Huascar" that defeated Arturo Prat, a great Chilean Navy hero during the Pacific War.
Some of the main things to do in Concepción would be to visit a few of their museums and see the beautiful campus of the University of Concepción.
If you like nature you'll want to rent a car, get out of town and see the natural beauty of the area. You can drive along the beautiful coast, stop and explore the beaches or go hiking in the national parks that are nearby.
Fondest memory: the difference between poor and rich, seperated by a little hill....have a look at the next picture
the great dishes in Talcahuano - Curanto!!!
the other part of the city of Concepción
Fondest memory: it was just by chance that we climbed up a hill on the border of the city and had a look to the other side of the hill where very poor houses stand. The difference seemed to me very hard. I saw a lot of probably poorer suburbs in Peru or Bolivia, but I didn´t expect this in Chile like that, so near to the modern city only seperated by a little hill.
- Family Travel