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Following, we will tour by the Region of Biobío four provionces.

Province of Ñuble

Is located at the region´s extreme southwest and stands out for being placed in a eminently agricultural and huasa zone, but also, is reknown for being the craddle of great Chilean characters: Bernardo O´higgins,Arturo Prat, Claudio Arrau,, Ramon Vinay, Violeta Parra, Victor Jara, Arturo Pacheco Altamirano, Marta Colvin, Nicanor Parra and Volodia Taeitelboim, among others.

Chillán: the following tourist attractions can be found at the provincial capital:

  • Chillan´s cathedral: is one of the symbol building of this city. Is located in the full downtown and is Hernán Larraín Errázuriz masterwork. It has an ovoidal structure and a cross reaching 36 meters high. Besides, in its frontis is possible to admire a mosaic done by the chillan´s artist Alejandro Rubio, where can be seen different stages of Jesus life.
    Chillán´s market: also located in the downtown sector. In 1991 a restyling of its old building was carried out. Today, this market has several commercial spots (such as butcheries) and cooking spots, where cazuela de pava, humitas, pastel de choclo, among others, can be eaten. Besides this market, in front, is the handcraft fair wetre a great variety of the region´s typical products can be found.
  • David Siqueiros and Xavier Guerrero murals: are located in the Escuela Mexico, specifically in the library and the entrance´s hall. In 2004 were listed as national monuments.
  • Capilla del Hospital San Juan de Dios: the first hospital construction dates from 1791, thou the one seen today are from 1874. Thus, only remains the central body where the chapel is inserted and which walls are built with dried clay bricks and have a meter width. This building was declared national monument in 1972.
  • Termas de Chillán: a mountaion tourist resort located at 84 km westwwrds Chillán and at 1.800 masl. It has modern intalations (10 cableways and 10 chairlifts) so that winter sport practices are allowed. Besides, it has a waterspring thermal and a gambling casino.

Among the worth visiting comunas (counties) of Ñuble, are:

Cobquecura: located at the province of Ñuble´s coast. It has more than 50 kilometers of fine gray sand beaches with spectacular rock formations. Besides, tourists can swim and practice surfing and angling. Among the most visited beaches are: Iglesia de Piedra, La Lobería, Mure, Piedra Alta and Taucú.

Quinchamali: small comuna (county) located at 35 km southwestwards Chillán and that belongs to one of the most important pottery centres of the country. It offers a great variety of black clay objects decorated with white coloured designs. Stands out cooking pots, small pots, pitchers, duck resembling jars, moneyboxes, guitar playing women,etc.

Ninhue: is a comuna (county) of the inland coastal dryland, genuinely rural and famous for its wine and cerreal production. Besides, a typical embroidered tapestry and wheat straw crfaftmanship is developed in this area.                   ,
2 km away from Ninhue´s downtown is the San Agustín de Puñual large farm: Arturo Prat´s birthplace and that today correspond to a patrimonial and historical museum belonging to the Chilean Navy.

Quillón: its main attraction is the Avendaño lagoon which is a very populated beach resort and suitable for camping, bathing and aquatic activities.

San Carlos: is an agriculturally active comuna (county) that stands out for its apple, grape, berries and rice farmings, and also for its deep rooted huaso tradition.

The latter can be seen in its crescent-shaped corral where rodeos are practiced and that has a capacity for 8.000 persons, being the second largest in Chile (after the Rancagua´s). Besides, is the craddle of the Chilean folklorist and Chilean artist Violeta Parra, whose house, in 1992, was declared Monumento Nacional.

Yungay: is a pre Andean ranges comuna (county) located at 66 km southwest Chillán and which main atractions are agricultural and forestry. It outstands for its beautiful nature (Valle de las Vacas, the Cholguan´s river Waterfall and Little Waterfall, the Itata´s river Waterfall and Little Waterfall, etc) and for keeping its own countryside and religious old traditions ( such as the San Francisco´s, the La Candelaria´s, the Cruz de Mayo´s and the shearing festivities ).

Province of Biobio

Los Angeles: capital city of the province. Among its most important attractions one may find, the Capuchina and Padres Alemanes churches, the Los Angeles fair, the Historical Museum, the park and chapel of the San Sebastian Hospital (National Monument since 1989) and the Gran Los Angeles casino. There are important tourism areas in the surrounding areas, such as Yumbel, el Salto del Laja, Antuco volcano, Laja lagoon, the pehuenche zone of Alto Biobio and Las Canteras Hacienda, among others.

Antuco: it is located in the Andean foothills (85 km east of Los Angeles) and its main attraction is the Laguna del Laja National Park. The impressive Antuco volcano is found here, which has a ski center, la laguna de Laja, that allows for sport fishing, as well as the beautiful waterfalls known as Velo de la Novia (Bride’s Veil) and el salto del Trubunleo.

Las Canteras Hacienda: it is located 30 km east of the provincial capital. This property belonged to Bernardo O’Higgins, who worked on farming tasks here after he returned from England and before completely devoting himself to the independista cause.

Salto del Laja: waterfall of the Laja river that drops down to a rocky canyon. It is located at kilometer 480 of Route 5 South (Salto del Laja stretch). There are several tourist complexes around the area (restaurants, cabins, etc.) that provide rest and recreation for he tourist.

Alto Biobio: comuna (county) set amidst the Andean foothills and pehuenche (pewenche) zone. This area, which is characterized by its beautiful native forests, brooks and waterfalls, displays diverse tourism spots as you go up the mountains; a few of them are the clear waters of the Biobio, Vilucura, Lomin and Lolco rivers, the plaza and museum at Alto Biobio, Ralco lake (a reservoir for the hydroelectric plant of the same name), Callaqui volcano and the Avellano hot springs. In addition, the surrounding environment is perfect for activities like sailing, rafting, fishing, trekking, mountain biking, horseback riding, picnicking and camping. Other attractions include the sale of handicrafts and tastings of pehuenche cuisine (goat barbecue, rescoldo omelet, mote, catutos and locro broths).

Yumbel: comuna located 71 km southeast of Concepcion. It is famous because, every January 20th (and March 20th), thousands of faithful get together to honor Saint Sebastian. It also has a rich peasant tradition (with festivities like loose mare threshing, the Cruz de Mayo, the Cruz de Trigo, etc.), picturesque towns and locations (like Rere) and bathing areas (like the one in the Claro river).

Province of Arauco

This province has a landscape characterized by narrow valleys along the coast, white sandy beaches, the impressive Nahuelbuta mountain range, countless rivers and a couple of lakes. In addition, an interesting mix takes place between miner, fishermen, peasant and mapuche traditions (lavkenches or lafkenches).

Lebu: it is the capital of the province and is located 145 km from Concepcion. A few of its main tourist attractions are Benavides cavern (which served as a hideout for the royalist montonero Vicente Benavides), the Bramido del Toro Stone (rocky formation that gets its name because the wind that blows against it makes a sound similar to a bull’s), the Faro (a small rocky islet), the La Cruz hill lookout point, the chiflon Fortuna and Millaneco, Grande, Morhuilla and Boca Lebu beaches. It also has a Mining Museum.

In this province there are also several comunas and places that are interesting for visitors. Among them, we can mention:

Lanahue and Lleulleu Lakes: the former is found 10 km south of Cañete and around 7 km north of Contulmo and is characterized by its temperate waters. The second is located on the western slope of the Nahuelbuta mountain range, 14 km southwest of Contulmo and, besides its crystalline waters and white sands, it offers many options of agro-tourism and ethnic-tourism (in the mapuche communities).

Contulmo: 172 km from Concepcion, this small comuna (county) has a particular mix that fuses criolla, mapuche and German tradition. The latter can be seen in the streets and typical constructions, some of which are Architectural Heritage (Shulmeyer, Grollmus, Iost and Vyhmeyster houses). In addition, one cannot pass up visiting Santa Elena park (forest reserve), Contulmo Natural Monument, Elicura Valley, Mahuique waterfalls and Murre, San Ignacio and Puerto el Manzano beaches.

Cañete: there are several places four tourists to visit; among them: Caupolican plaza, fort Tucapel (founded by Spaniards in 1552 and a National Monument today), Juan Antonio Rios Mapuche Museum (with samples of mapuche silverware, knit work, baskets and pottery) and Lencanboldo lagoon (22 km from town).

Tirua: coastal town located to the far south of the province. It offers visitors several natural attractions, like long and beautiful beaches (Tirua and Quidico), rivers, landscapes, fields and lagoons.

Province of Concepcion

The regional capital is found in this province, a comuna (county) that along with a few others (San Pedro de la Paz, Hualpen, Talcahuano, Penco, etc) make up what is known as Gran Concepcion.

Concepcion: it is located at the mouth of the Biobio river. Among its main attractions are the Barrio Universitario (University District), the Santisima Concepcion cathedral, Ecuador Park, the Casa del Art (Art House, a pinacotheca), Amarillo and Caracol Hills, the bridges over the Biobio river (Juan Pablo II and Llacolen), the Museum of Natural History of Concepcion, Costanera Park, the Estacion and Civico districts and the Plaza de la Independecia (Independence Plaza).

Talcahuano: it is an industrial and port city that has several interesting places to get to know, such as Monitor Huascar, the Naval Base, the Industrial District, La Tortuga Monumental Coliseum, Poderoso Tugboat (National Monument), San Vicente port, Quiriquina island, Tumber cove and Plaza del Trebol Mall.

Hualpen: this is a recently created comuna (county). Among its attractions, one may find the mouth of the Biobio river, Lenga cove, Ramuntcho beach and the Rocoto bathing area.

Tome: it earned a name for itself thanks to its textile industry, which is currently in shambles. However, the coastal part of Tome grants it great relevance tourism-wise, and among its best known beaches are Dichato, Puda Burca, Coliumo, Pingueral, Bellavista, Punta de Parra, Coliumo Bay, El Morro, Merquiche and Cocholgüe.

Penco: it stands out for its beaches, such as Penco, Negra, Lirquen and La Cata.

Lota: a comuna (county) marked by its mining past. A few of its tourist attractions are guided tours through the coal mines, Lota Park (see box), the Historical Museum of Lota, the Big Bang interactive Museum of Arts and Sciences, Chivilingo hydroelectric plant (National Monument), the workers pavilion, the San Matias Apostol parish, the forts of Lota and Colcura (national monuments) and the San Juan Evangelista parish. There are also a few beaches worth mentioning, such as Blanca, Colcura and Chivilingo.

Santa Juana: a few of its attractions are fort Santa Juana de Guadalcazar – which was founded in 1626 and has been a National Monument since 1977- and the area surrounding the Lia river (one of the most important rivers of the Nahuelbuta mountain range).

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