La Chascona#7 in Best Things To Do in Santiago
For literary aficionados, no trip to Santiago would be complete without visiting La Chascona, the former residence of Noble Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. Named "La Chascona" — or the "Woman with the Tousled Hair" for Neruda's third wife, who was characterized by her red, wavy strands — the converted museum today houses a rare collection of Neruda's personal possessions, including a portrait of Neruda's third wife painted by Diego Riviera.
While you're free to explore the museum on your own, previous visitors recommend taking advantage of the audio guide tour (included in the cost of admission), which provides a rich background of Neruda's life. "The audio tour gives great historical context and, although it took years of repairs to restore the home, it feels as though Neruda has just stepped away," said one TripAdvisor user.
La Chascona sits at the edge of St. Christopher Hill in the Bellavista neighborhood. If you're relying on public transit, you should hop off at the Baquedano stop (accessed via metro Line 1 or 5), located about half a mile south of the museum. From March to December, La Chascona is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; the museum stays open until 7 p.m. in January and February. Admission costs 4,000 CLP (about $7 USD). For additional information, visit the Fundación Neruda website.
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Beckoning to an artsy crowd, the Bellavista neighborhood features graffiti-lined streets with cafes, art galleries and boutique shops. Here, you'll find inventive cocktail bars and eclectic eateries rubbing shoulders with antique homes and colonial mansions. Spend some time exploring La Chascona — the former home of celebrated poet Pablo Neruda — before scouring the Patio Bellavista shopping area for souvenirs. Also be sure to continue north to take in the scenery from Santiago's crown jewel: St. Christopher Hill, a nearly 3,000-foot high hill tucked inside Metropolitan Park.
The creative energy, trend-setting boutiques and laid-back vibes found in Bellavista make this a popular hangout spot among travelers and locals alike. And according to some recent visitors, the best way to experience it all is by wandering away from the main drag, Pío Nono. "This place is like an outdoor art museum. Between the colorful houses and the street art there seems to be a surprise around every corner," one TripAdvisor user said.
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