The spectacular setting on a windswept ocean headland makes it easy to understand why Isla Negra was Pablo Neruda’s favorite house. Built by the poet when he became rich in the 1950s, it was stormed by soldiers just days after the 1973 military coup when Neruda was dying of cancer.
Overenthusiastic commercialization gives a definite Disney-Neruda vibe to visits here as the house is surrounded by countless gift stands and themed cafes. Yet, the audio-guided tours now allow you to linger longer over the extraordinary collections of shells, ships in bottles, nautical instruments, colored glass, fine art and books. The seemingly endless house (Neruda kept adding to it) and its contents are awe-inspiring. On the terrace outside you'll find Neruda’s tomb and that of his third wife, Matilde, overlooking the sea.