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Isla Negra and Pablo Neruda

Near Las Cruces and Punta de Tralca, in the coast near Santiago, you can find Isla Negra (Black Island). With dark sand and a good gastronomic offer, Isla Negra is a small place that has managed to be notorious for being the chosen place of poet Pablo Neruda (Nobel in Literature), to vacation and rest.

Although its main attraction is Neruda’s house, Isla Negra is an ideal place to cover on foot. You can go deep into forests or walk by the beach, stumble upon crafts fairs and try typical food in one of the many restaurants of the main avenue that connects all the beaches in the area.

A winding road by which pine trees cover the ski, take all visitors to the house inhabited by Pablo Neruda for over thirty years, the last refuge of the Chilean poet. It is unfathomable to talk about Isla Negra without mentioning Neruda, who left a unique mark in every last corner of all his houses.

With a wonderful view of the Pacific Ocean, Pablo Neruda’s house in the island is unique. Built with very specific instructions from the writer, it was constructed according to plans for ships so everything in it reminds you of the sea. There are bottles with hidden messages by the windows, huge masks that adorn the bar with their lost eyes, and narrow halls that increase the look of being inside a ship, everything denoting that Neruda loved the Ocean and, although he also feared it, he dreamt of living under its water.

Although he arrived with nothing but the intention of finding a place to write comfortably, Neruda fell in love with the place, with the Ocean, with the rocks. Soon, he bought a small house made of rocks that he later would modify at will, turning it into a personal refuge.

Pablo Neruda Foundation, which is in charge of the house now, turned it into a museum where you can also visit a small store. There, you can buy books of poetry and photography, bookmarks, t-shirts, bags, key chains and all sorts of souvenirs and memorabilia of the island. The museum’s administration also offers movie festivals and literary workshops, where participants can find all kinds of inspiration with a wonderful view of the sea.

The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, beginning the work day at 10 in the morning. All visits are guided, an important characteristic for your trip, so you can understand why every object is placed where it is, how Neruda obtain them and what they meant to him. It is not just a place filled with eccentricities; every object and gift holds a special quality that made Neruda keep it, and you can find out more about them just by asking your guide.

Neruda died over thirty years ago and you can see his grave by the house in Isla Negra, right in front of the ocean. Looking out at the horizon Neruda rests, right by his beloved Matilde, listening to the infinite sound of the Ocean, caressing the sand and playing with the rocks.

Writers, politicians, actors and royalty; they have all been enchanted with Isla Negra, seeing more of Neruda’s legacy and the place where he found the ultimate inspiration.

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  • 30, 1899, 00:00

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