Tracing the Steps of a Nobel Prize-winning Writer in Chile

In the world of Latin American literature, few names are more prominent than Pablo Neruda. This Nobel Prize-winning author, born in 1904, has influenced generations of writers and society in general, through his writing as well as his work as a diplomat and politician. And it’s surprisingly easy to learn about his fascinating life by visiting his homes during a Chile vacation. 

Coddiwomple Journeys offers impressive itineraries in Chile can tailor itineraries to fit your budget and interests. So, if the idea of following the life of world-famous Pablo Neruda piques your interest, here are some of the best ways to do it.

Check Out the Pablo Neruda Foundation

Founded in 1986, the Pablo Neruda Foundation is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the works and ideas of the Chilean writer, poet and politician. The Foundation publishes the Nerudiana journal and offers poetry workshops in La Chascona, Isla Negra, La Sebastiana and Temuco. The organization also awards the annual Pablo Neruda Award for Poetry to poets under age 40, and operates a cultural program that stages poetry competitions, exhibits, seminars and festivals.

The Pablo Neruda Foundation also operates multiple museums and former homes that belonged to the writer and are now open to the public; read on for details about how to step inside these interesting venues.


Wander La Chascona Museum House in Santiago

Located in the upscale Barrio Bellavista district in Chile’s capital city of Santiago, La Chascona was built in 1953 for Matilde Urrutia, who was Neruda’s secret love. Here, you can learn about the writer’s life during guided tours, while also viewing collections of paintings by Chilean and international artists. Also noteworthy is the African carved wood collection, furniture and objects from the Italian designer Piero Fornasetti, and the original china and cutlery from Neruda’s dining room. 

Since Santiago is the nation’s main international gateway, La Chascona is Chile’s most easily visited Neruda attraction.


Wander La Chascona Museum House in Santiago

Located in the upscale Barrio Bellavista district in Chile’s capital city of Santiago, La Chascona was built in 1953 for Matilde Urrutia, who was Neruda’s secret love. Here, you can learn about the writer’s life during guided tours, while also viewing collections of paintings by Chilean and international artists. Also noteworthy is the African carved wood collection, furniture and objects from the Italian designer Piero Fornasetti, and the original china and cutlery from Neruda’s dining room. 

Since Santiago is the nation’s main international gateway, La Chascona is Chile’s most easily visited Neruda attraction.

Enjoy the View at La Sebastiana Museum House in Valparaíso

The historic Pacific port city of Valparaíso — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is a true coastal treasure, packed with noteworthy architecture and graced with stunning views. For literature lovers, its top attraction is La Sebastiana, a hilltop house named for its original owner, Sesbastián Collado. At this scenically positioned home, Neruda wrote and hosted New Year’s Eve parties; the home’s antique maps and art recount his extensive international travels.

Visit Isla Negra Museum House in Valparaíso 

Also in Valparaíso is Isla Negra, a beachfront spot where Neruda started building a small getaway home in 1944 (although it took some 20 years to complete). Only a few people at a time are allowed into this home, for guided tours that showcase the writer’s interests in travel, art and clothing. You’ll see some of his own personal effects as well as the large bar that served as a gathering place for social events.


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