concón y horcon: coastal towns of central chile

The coast of Chile is dotted with small fishing villages, dusty sleepy towns, empanada shops and the most gorgeous blue coast.

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Concón and Horcon are two of these pueblos that couldn’t be more opposite from Viña and each other.  This weekend I had the beautiful opportunity to visit both!

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Friday we went to Concón, taking a micro or minibus from downtown and arriving on the dusty streets of Concón within the hour.

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Disembarking at Playa de la Boca we made a beeline for Las Deliciosas, a world famous empanada restaurant where the over-sized seafood empanadas are served piping hot and with spicy aji or hot sauce.

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Next, after a short walk along the main road of Concón we arrived at a rocky beach bordered by surf shops and snack kiosks.  Other than a few surf classes and the occasional Chilean, the beach was rather empty. We took naps and walked along the rocks before moving along.

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Taking another micro from Playa de la Boca, we set off for the dunes of Concón, the main tourist attraction and arrived about 20 minutes later.  There are really only two dunes, completely unprotected and right next to the main road.  At the bottom a man rents sand boards and wax which you then carry to the top for an hour or so of painful, hilarious and clumsy attempts to board down the steep side of the dune.

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Needless to say, I failed miserably at it but thankfully there was the option to rent a sand board that is seated!  This one was much, much easier!

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A few of us had great success though (Go Iia!)

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We wished one of our own happy birthday at the top with a cake from the near by grocery/superstore and huddled up for the sunset.  The colors of the sky as we all sat together, exhausted and ecstatic, were amazing and 10/10 would recommend.  We’ll just have to bring blankets next time though because the wind that high up was quite chilly!

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Horcon, on the other hand, is famous for being a sleepy, hippy fishing village.  A slightly more expensive micro took my friend Alana and I about 1.5 hours up the coast on Sunday.  Horcon was the end of the line for our micro that we picked up at the main plaza in Viña.

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The dusty dirt road that leads down the center of town from the bus was cloaked in fog as we made our way towards Playa Cau Cau, a hidden beach just to the left of town.

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There are clearly marked signs leading you there but the stairs down to the water are rather treacherous!

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Just our luck, we got in around high tide and spent time wandering around the rocks and tide pools in the morning as the sun burnt off the fog.

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This sweet dog joined us for a game of fetch with washed-up coral!

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The beach wraps around the cliffs to a hidden cove and with a little rock-scrambling, the view of the whole beach was spectacular!

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Lunch was also at Playa Cau Cau at Caballo de Mar or seahorse that has entrances both at sea level and above.

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It doesn’t get much better than looking over the blue water with a cold beer and good company.

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Of course, the pez pobre or poor man’s fish didn’t hurt!  Well…maybe my arteries a little.  Our plates were piled high with french fries, fresh fish, fried eggs and sauteed onions.

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We meandered back into town after lunch but there isn’t much there to be honest!  A few stalls where local artists sold their jewelry and handicrafts and a few scenic boats from the local pescadores or fishermen, and the circuit is complete!

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While you’re down there, wander all the way to the left and check out the Puente de los Deseos or wish bridge.

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The rocks and beach on this side of the cove were covered with mosses, algae and mussels!

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We finished the day with ice cream and a scenic ride home through the countryside and small towns back to Viña! Thanks for a wonderful day Alana!

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