Chile - Understanding Pablo Neruda Through His Houses

by Littleangeldenise on April 15, 2011

Chile - Understanding Pablo Neruda Through His Houses
Photo courtesy of Silvia O.G.

If you go to Chile, don’t miss the Neruda houses, the homes of well-known Chilean writer and poet, Pablo Neruda. I have to say, though, (not loudly) that I really didn't know who he was before I visited his houses. Now after the visit, I understood more, and I'm really interested in reading his books.

In Chile, Neruda had three houses: La Chascona in Santiago, La Sebastiana in Valparaiso, and the best one, Isla Negra, which is located in a little fisher town south of Santiago. The well-qualified guides will give you all the information about Neruda, so you can understand a bit about who he was and how he lived. To visit the museum website, go to

La Chascona

La Chascona is the nickname Don Pablo gave his wife, then mistress, because of her hair, which was never tidy. To see La Chascona, you have to go to Plaza Italia (Metro Station Baquedano), cross the bridge, go straight ahead until you see the entrance to Cerro San Cristobal. Turn right and follow the signs.

La Sebastiana

To visit La Sebastiana, you have to go to Valparaiso by bus. The bus terminal is above the metro station at Estacion Central. There are two bus companies: Tur Bus, the cheaper one, and Pullman, the safest one.

In Valparaiso, I stayed at Residencial Eliand, owned by a sweet old woman in a historic palace. It's located at Avenida Victoria 2387, just a few blocks from the bus terminal, and is nice, quiet, clean and tidy. Call 32/2229289 or write to For a double ensuite, expect to pay 30-35 euros. Breakfast is not included, but you can use the kitchen, which has everything you need.

Isla Negra

From Valparaiso, I took the Pullman Bus to Isla Negra, a small town built along the main street. There you will find the best of the Neruda houses. You will also find his tomb, which faces the sea.

In Isla Grande, you will understand that Pablo Neruda was a collector of everything, no matter what he bought and started to collect. You also can feel his love and fear for the sea. Yes, fear--he never entered the water!

Chile is a wonderful country. During my travels there, I found it to be the quietest and safest country in all of South America.

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