A short 25 minute bus ride from downtown Valparaíso brings you to Concón, a bustling small coastal city of 30,000 or so people. But to be honest I couldn’t care less about the city. And that’s because the differentiating factor for Concón, and what sets it apart for me compared to all the other small cities in the area, are the sweeping, majestic sand dunes that overlook the ocean and the cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar.
See what I mean? Now imagine bringing some beers, a bottle of wine, and snacks up to the top of these hulking dunes with a bunch of your Chilean and American friends. Then, toss in cheap rentable sandboards that you can use to ride down the dunes. Finally, toss a beautiful sunset in the mix….
In my opinion, that’s pretty much a perfect afternoon.
One of my biggest semester abroad regrets is that I didn’t visit Concón more often. For some reason (not really sure what I was thinking), I didn’t go to Concón in the beginning of the semester, and so was only able to visit the dunes a few times. That being said, those few visits – usually Sunday afternoons after my friends and I finished our big family lunches – are some of the most memorable days of my four months in Valpo.
No visit to Valparaíso/Viña del Mar is complete without a visit here.