Located around 500km from the capital Santiago, Concepcion is in Chile’s south-central zone and is the country’s second most-populous metropolis. It is bordered to the north by Hualpen, Talcahuano and Penco; to the south by Chiguayante and Hualqui; to the east by Florida commune and the west by the Bio Bio River, San Pedro de la Paz, Coronel and Lota.
Concepcion is a city with a very active student life, something which goes hand-in-hand with the large number of cultural and artistic activities that are constantly on the go, both in and around university campuses and in public areas.
Surrounded by the Cerro Caracol and the Andalien and Bio Bio Rivers, its urban nucleus has a significant impact on levels of national commerce, given that it is part of the country’s most industrialised region.
Places of interest Concepcion can offer a wide range of nearby beaches, where a variety of walks, scenic viewpoints and culinary treats can be enjoyed. Visitors should take the opportunity to travel to neighbouring communes and see beaches such as Ramuntcho beach, with its turquoise waters; the Lenga and Chome coves, where delicious savoury pastries can be tasted; or even Punta de Parra, a delightful blend of beach and abundantly verdant woodland.
If it is nightlife you are looking for, then La Plaza Peru, next to the University of Concepcion and packed with a host of pubs and restaurants, is a great place to start. There visitors can sample of the area’s finest Micheladas, a tantalisingly blend of micro-brewed beer, lemon and the Mapuche chilli pepper merkén.
Taking a train ride might also appeal, particularly when the journey supplies a breath-taking view of the Bio Bio River, one of the country’s largest tributaries. And that is even without taking into consideration the destination at the end of the line – San Pedro de la Paz commune – where you can visit Laguna Grande, a shallow lake with glacial origins surrounded by a mountainous area where a wide array of gastronomic options can be found.
Football Concepcion has three teams actively taking part in Chilean league action, with pro sides CD Universidad de Concepcion, Deportes Concepcion and semi-pro outfit CCD Arturo Fernandez Vial.
Deportes Concepcion first came to life on 24 February 1966 with the amalgamation of several amateur clubs. It grew into the fiercest rival of the region’s oldest club, Arturo Fernandez Vial, against whom they clash in El clásico Penquista. The latter team were founded on 15 June 1903, are Chile’s fifth-oldest club and have always retained strong links with the country’s railway workers and working class.
CD Universidad de Concepcion originate from the educational institution of the same name and indeed, in their early days, their squads consisted of students and staff from the university. Its current guise was established on 8 August 1994, when it was inaugurated as a sports club in its own right. La U Penquista made it into Chile’s top flight in 2003 where they have remained since, barring a brief spell in the second tier in 2013.