Introduction

Concepción is an important and hardworking port city that is best known for its universities and music scene (many of Chile's best rock acts got their start here). There are a few plazas and museums worth checking out, and Spanish-speakers will be rewarded with an energetic and youthful arts, music and culture scene. The city sits on the northern bank of the Río Biobío, Chile's only significant navigable waterway, about 10km from the river's mouth. The metropolis seems to go on forever, with an estimated 950,000 people living in the greater area. 'Conce,' as it's known locally, was terribly damaged in a February 2010 earthquake. It was also ravaged by looting and lawlessness during the aftershocks, but because of its economic importance, it was quickly rebuilt.