Chilean Adventures in the Spirit of Neruda and Mistral

3 Sep

HispanicLondon is about to undertake a voyage… to Chile!

It’s the wrong time of year for it- Santiago’s cold winter is turning into spring and a snowy view of the Andes is on the cards. But what better way to spend two weeks than backpacking around Chile, from Santiago to the Atacama desert in the north.

Santiago en invierno

The trip starts in Santiago where the schedule is packed and adventurous. There’ll be horse riding in the Cascada de las Animas and mountain walking in the Cajon de Maipo– hopefully with a visit to the hot springs! Pablo Neruda, the famous Chilean poet, had a summer house at Isla Negra outside Santiago, which should be well worth a visit for its “spectacular setting on a windswept ocean headland”, according to the trusty Lonely Planet. It was in this house where Neruda died of cancer after it was ransacked by soldiers loyal to Pinochet after his coup in 1973.

From there it’s onto Valparaiso and its steep hills stacked tall with colourful buildings, and the white sandy beaches of Vina del Mar.


Then to the equally beautiful beaches of La Serena and the home of another poet Gabriela Mistral, Vicuña. After many hours on buses, the final destination of the trip beckons, the sparse desert of the Atacama.

Stay tuned for news of this blog’s voyage to the land of Neruda and Mistral, of Allende and Pinochet, of  Michelle Bachelet and Sebastian Piñera, and feel free to share your Latin American travelling experiences.

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