Lonely Planet review for La Chascona
When poet Pablo Neruda needed a secret hideaway to spend time with his mistress Matilde Urrutia, he built La Chascona (loosely translated as 'messy hair'), the name inspired by her unruly curls. Neruda, of course, was a great lover of the sea, so the dining room is modeled on a ship's cabin and the living room on a lighthouse. Guided tours take you through the history of the building and the collection of colored glass, shells, furniture and artworks by famous friends that fills it – sadly much more was lost when the house was ransacked during the dictatorship. The Fundación Neruda, which maintains Neruda's houses, has its headquarters here and runs a lovely cafe and gift shop. Book at least one day ahead using the online form or by calling directly.