Isla Negra

Metal scultpture in Pablo Neruda's house museum.

Metal scultpture in Pablo Neruda's house museum.

Isla Negra is located 2.4 miles to the south of El Quisco, on a promontory, at whose foot runs the Córdoba marsh that ends in a lagoon next to the beach. The place is quite and homely, and welcomes you to visit around. Its streets and houses form a harmonious neighborhood according to the topography covered by vegetation. Some of the big houses are high above the sea and have an ocean view, particularly stormy in this stretch.

Isla Negra has three beaches: Las Conchitas on the north side, with few sand and with rocky places, which is accessed on foot through a trail; Pablo Neruda, on the south side, it can be accessed through different streets passing by houses, and the agate beach (playa de las ágatas), where Neruda used to pick up these stones to decorate his house. Its ocean is not apt for swimming because of the strong waves. Parking fee is $300 per half an hour.

On the south side of the Isla Negra seaside resort there’s the Córdoba lagoon and gore. Up the marsh there’s abundant native vegetation and pools from natural springs, such as Coipo, ideal for picnics. The Embroiderers of Isla Negra (Bordadoras de la Isla Negra) offer their traditional creations in very colorful wool with marine and rural themes, depicted with grace and ingenuity; these can be acquired at the small crafts fair next to the Eladio Sobrino square, on the way to Neruda’s house, in the lodging house La Candela or at the embroiderers´ houses.

The coastal sector of Isla Negra has been declared Typical Zone (Zona Típica), in order to conserve the environment of Neruda’s house. From the beach you can appreciate the seaside resorts houses, standing out the large tower of stone of Pablo Neruda’s House, declared national monument. The poet lived here part of his life. His grave is situated in its gardens. Pablo Neruda personally built this residence, where he kept his collection of figureheads and diverse nautical objects. Visits begin at the house next door, where there’s a showing room, a bookstore with the Neruda’s work and a nice place for having lunch or a coffee. There are guided tours for eight persons starting every 10 min, which last 30 min. You must register previously. This place can be visited in January and February, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 7:30 pm. The rest of the year is from Tuesday to Sunday, form 10 am to 6 pm. Monday is closed, unless it’s a holiday, in which case it remains open and closes the next day; it’s closes on May 1, December 25 and January 1. The admission ticket costs $2,500. Seniors and children from 7 to 18 pay $1,300, children under 7 don’t pay. Tours in English, German or French costs $3,100 per person.

The Poets Route

Many tourism companies in the area have organized the Poets Route between Algarrobo and San Antonio. It´s a cultural and gastronomical circuit related with three of the most important Chilean poets: Vicente Huidobro, Pablo Neruda and Nicanor Parra. The tours vary and include visit to the houses and graves of Huidobro and Neruda. Besides, it can be combined with other activities such as mountain bike, motorboat trips and gastronomical tourism, introducing Neruda’s favorite plates prepared with seafood and fishes and prepared by the most prestigious restaurants in the area. More information available in Sernatur.

There’s only one hotel at the resort, which is owned by the folkloric singer Charo Jofré and the musician and filmmaker Hugo Arévalo.