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The Sands of Time

Marcelo Sola Marcelo Sola

To the South of Concón we visited the dune field, a sanctuary of nature generated millions of years ago, a unique site that unveils the past of the Chilean coastline.

Concón Dune Field

It was a grey morning and the sun did not dare to come out yet. We resolved to go for a walk around the famous dune field in Concón. Located on the southern end of the city, a few kilometers away from the center, it is accessed through various paths up from the coast to the side of the road. Due to its height, we learnt that once we were on the top we would get a grand panoramic view of the city and the Pacific Ocean.
This scenery was generated in the Quaternary period, about 25 million years ago. A special feature about this dune field is that it is made up by ancient sandhills that “hang” over sea terraces separated by a rocky cliff.
As far as their geological aspect is concerned, they are considered a unique site as various climatic, petrographic, hydrographic, topographic, oceanic and fitogeographic factors -which may not be reproduced today- took part in their formation. Such is the importance of the Concón dune field that on August 5, 1993, it was declared Sanctuary of Nature.

Concón Dune Field

Going up this dune field is an experience by itself. At first, it is somewhat steep but as we gained height the dune tended to become flatter. As we toured around, we managed to appreciate various prints made by birds, mammals and reptiles that dwell the area.
There are people who assert that this land is the last vestige of the florid desert in Northern Chile.

The hike became more intense. In this kind of unstable land, it is ideal to go up in a zigzagging pattern. As we reached the top of the dune, we set our eyes on the endless horizon, which seemed to hold hands with the sea. Watching the vastness of the sandhills made us feel as if we were immersed in a large desert.

Concón Dune Field

After a few seconds of beholding, we toured around several nooks in the dune field and we began to go down. In the distance we could make out some youths practicing sandboarding on a steep sand slope. Undoubtedly, the sanctuary of nature in Concón has become a living territory for dwellers and visitors to Concón, Reñaca and Viña del Mar.

As we went down the large dune, we learnt that there are significant economic interests to change this natural sanctuary into a real estate area to build apartments overlooking the sea. Let’s hope, for the sake of its fragile ecosystem, that everyone interested in its preservation may get together in a joint effort to foster the appropriate development of this zone and thus guarantee its permanence as geological, ecological and social heritage. Our children and the children of our children will appreciate it.

Concón Dune Field
Welcome Chile - Outings in Concón
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It depends on the time you will spend in the area. You will need at least 45 minutes to go up.



Tour type


Useful Data

How to get there

It may be accessed through the road joining Concón and Reñaca, but it is ideal to reach it through the paths opening up by the road, on the coastline.

Opening hours

There is no specific time to go up or down as this activity is done on your own.

Bear in mind

We recommend to go up the steep road that opens right opposite the Oceanic Rock. Carry water and wear sunscreen.

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