Fodor's Expert Review Casa-Museo Isla Negra

Isla Negra House/Mansion/Villa Fodor's Choice

Perched on a bluff overlooking the sea, the house is a shrine to the life, work, and many passions of the Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda. Throughout the house, you'll find displays of treasures—from bottles and maps to seashells and a narwhal tusk—he collected over the course of his remarkable life. Although he spent much time living and traveling abroad, Neruda made Isla Negra his primary residence later in life. He wrote his memoirs from the upstairs bedroom to the sound of the crashing waves and dictated the final pages to his wife there before departing for the Santiago hospital where he died of cancer. Neruda and his wife are buried in the prow-shaped tomb area behind the house.

Just before Neruda's death in 1973, a military coup put Augusto Pinochet in command of Chile. He closed off Neruda's home and denied all access, but Neruda devotees still chiseled their tributes into the wooden gates surrounding the property. In 1989 the Neruda Foundation, started... READ MORE

Perched on a bluff overlooking the sea, the house is a shrine to the life, work, and many passions of the Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda. Throughout the house, you'll find displays of treasures—from bottles and maps to seashells and a narwhal tusk—he collected over the course of his remarkable life. Although he spent much time living and traveling abroad, Neruda made Isla Negra his primary residence later in life. He wrote his memoirs from the upstairs bedroom to the sound of the crashing waves and dictated the final pages to his wife there before departing for the Santiago hospital where he died of cancer. Neruda and his wife are buried in the prow-shaped tomb area behind the house.

Just before Neruda's death in 1973, a military coup put Augusto Pinochet in command of Chile. He closed off Neruda's home and denied all access, but Neruda devotees still chiseled their tributes into the wooden gates surrounding the property. In 1989 the Neruda Foundation, started by his widow, restored the house and opened it as a museum. Here his collections are displayed as they were while he lived. The living room contains—among numerous other oddities—a lapis lazuli and quartz fireplace and a number of figureheads from ships hanging from the ceiling and walls.

You can visit the museum with an audio guide tour, available in English, Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese (included in the admission price) that describes Neruda's many obsessions, from the positioning of guests at the dinner table to the east–west alignment of his bed. Objects had a spiritual and symbolic life for the poet, which the tour makes evident. Reservations are not required for the tour, but space is filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so plan on coming early and be prepared for a long wait during the busy summer months.

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House/Mansion/Villa Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Isla Negra, Valparaíso  Chile

35-246–1284

www.fundacionneruda.org

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: 5,000 pesos, 7000 pesos, Closed Mon.

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