Chile // Valparaíso, Viña and the Central Coast //

Casa Museo Isla Negra

From 1939, poet Pablo Neruda spent forty years of his life, on and off, in the village of Isla Negra, enlarging his house and filling it with the strange and beautiful objects he ceaselessly gathered from far-flung corners of the world. The Fundación Neruda, acting on the wishes of the poet’s widow, Matilde Urrutia, transferred Neruda’s and Matilde’s graves to its garden and operates the house as the Casa Museo Isla Negra. Inside this museum, the winding passages and odd-shaped rooms are crammed full of fascinating exotic objects like ships’ figureheads, Hindu carvings, African and Japanese masks, ships in bottles, seashells, butterflies, coloured bottles, Victorian postcards and a good deal more.

There’s little else to Isla Negra save a small, pretty beach, which makes a great picnic spot.