Situated 30km from the city of Concepción and 545km from Santiago, between the Gulf of Arauco to the east and the Cordillera of Nahuelbuta, Coronel has a population of 95,374.
The city was originally built near to the old Carbonífera Schwager Company, and is today an active center for the fishing industry and a timber port.
Coronel features various natural resources including a sheltered harbor, coal, soils with potential for agriculture and cattle-raising, becoming more widely involved in forestry. The climate, which is characteristic of the Cordillera de la Costa, of wide-reaching moderate air-currents, favors human settlement and the development of various marine activities.
The port of Coronel is an exceptional bay. It is geographically located in the Gulf of Arauco.
Tourist Attractions to visit in the city of Coronel
Port of Coronel
The most recent and most modern port built in the south of the country. Only a few steps from the center of the city, it’s easily accessible on foot or by car.
Library of Coronel
Found in calle Manuel Montt, unnumbered, on the corner with Darío Salas. Cultural activities take place here such as exhibitions, talks, meetings, workshops and courses.
Church of Schwager
Built at the height of the coal-mining boom, this church still reflects and conserves the splendor of that era.
17km from Coronel. According to experts, this is one of the best places near Concepción to fish for corvinas and róbalos (both types of sea bass).
A place by the sea, with lukewarm waters, that has all necessary commodities to spend the whole day there, or camp overnight.
It comes fully equipped for tourists, with 10 casinos, 4 discotheques, toilets and showers, car parking, lifeguards, and an emergency medical center with first aiders.
In the summertime, many recreational activities are organized on the beach, and shore fishing here offers great results for fishermen hoping to catch sole – you can find lots here, and well-sized.
There is public transport available from the region of Arauco and from Concepción, every three minutes. The road there (Ruta 160) is in perfect condition and there are service stations along the way.
Isla Santa María
It used to be known as la Isla de Tralca or Penequén when et was inhabited by indigenous tribes, until 1587, the year in which it became known by its current name.
It’ is situated in the Gulf of Arauco opposite two important urban centers – Lota and Coronel, 32 km away. It is high and rugged, with tall reefs and a more or less flat surface, with sparse trees and abundant pastures and waterways.
This is an island where the marine fauna stands out, with fantastic seafood available. The island has a population of around 2,500 inhabitants.
Los Chiflones de Puchoco
In 1881 the flood of the first coal deposits worried the population. However, the persistence of the miners and the determination of investors, such as Federico Schwager, meant that years later they found the main vein in the flooded mines.
Casa de los Huéspedes
Federico Schwager built his house on the high part of his deposit in Maule. This is the only building still standing that belonged to one of the first coal investors.
Records state the house as being there since 1870, but its present architecture dates from 1933 when it was remodeled.
Known as the “Casa de Huéspedes”, the building sits in 7 hectares of grounds, with a surface area inside of approximately 1,500m2, including: a reading room, billiards room, camellia balcony, central hall, main lounge, main dining room, 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, 12 chimneys, kitchen, service area, service patio, an underground room for the boiler and other smaller rooms.
Chiflón Nº 4 and Pique Santa María
These mine entrances appeared in 1866, they are located on the coast of Maule and they were built in the live rock. This building site was like a prophesy of the future, for it foresaw the prosperity that lay in the underwater coal of the area. In 1876 extraction on a grand scale began at the [chiflón Santa Maria] and a little after, the exploration of [chiflón No 4]
Tower and Plaza 21 de Mayo
This simple structure is symbol of the city and was created as a tribute to the heroic deed of the Chilean Armada in the War of the Pacific. Erected in 1879, it was donated by the British government, to mark the economic bond between these two countries. A Mozarabic bandstand stands next to the tower, used for open air band concerts, and there is also a carillon that still works today. The plaza retains part of its original décor, like the enameled ceramic flowerpots and the [solerillas refractarias], the flowerpots of rough stone and the hundred-year old conifers and palm trees that are planted there.
Molino de Tomas North
The mill was built in 1880. In its time it was the biggest and most modern steam mill in America. It provided for the markets of Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Europe.
Pique Arenas y Administración
In 1953 works were started to install the extractor machine of mine shaft number 1, and its highest point was in 1962, when the old mine was united with Schwager’s new one. The new mine started to produce on 14 May 1962. A modern building was built for the administration of the new mine, it was designed in 1950 and is a neoclassical structure of 1,130m2 on two floors. Outside there is a huge bronze statue of Federico Schwager.
Sitio del Suplicio de Galvarino
Although Coronel owes its consolidation to coal, the region was witness to some important events during the War of Arauco (the period of time of the Spanish Conquest of the overseas territories in the 16th Century). Some of them are described by Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga, who mentions that in this place, then called Lagunillas, the hands of the Araucan Galvarino were amputated.