FIVE VIS­UAL TREATS ON THE ROAD THROUGH CHILE

The Sunday Telegraph - Travel - - Cover Story -

THE SOUTH­ERN CROSS, VALLE DE ELQUI

The skies above this long arid val­ley are among the clear­est in South Amer­ica, ideal for spot­ting kite-shaped “Crux” aka the South­ern Cross. One of the largest, Cen­tau­rus, is close by and con­tains Al­pha Cen­tauri, the star sys­tem clos­est to the So­lar Sys­tem.

THE BEACH AT ISLA NEGRA,

Pablo Naruda had a beach house just south of Val­paraíso. The pow­er­ful break­ers of the Pa­cific Ocean crash­ing onto black rocks were a muse and in­spi­ra­tion for much of his po­etry. Like him, seek sanc­tu­ary on the shore.

PRESENCIAS TUTELARES

(Guardian Pres­ences). These 30-foot high desert sculp­tures at a spot called Pampa de Acha on the Pana­mar­i­can High­way south of Arica were made by Chilean artist Juan Díaz Flem­ing in 1996. His in­ten­tion was to pay homage to the indige­nous dwellers, but lo­cals say the tall fig­ures have para­nor­mal pow­ers.

LA SE­BAS­TIANA VAL­PARAÍSO

Naruda’s city home is now a de­light­ful house-mu­seum, full of an­tique maps, art­works, Asian screens and nos­tal­gic knick­knacks. The view over the city is won­der­ful as is the nearby area, com­plete with a statue of Neruda in his flat cap.

OSORNO VOL­CANO

Osorno is the most pho­to­genic of all Chile’s vol­ca­noes. Ris­ing above the cold wa­ters of Lago Llan­qui­hue, it’s topped by glaciers and deep snow in sum­mer and all white (and ski­able) in win­ter. It hasn’t erupted since 1869; Dar­win and FitzRoy saw it “in ac­tion” on 19 Jan­uary 1835 dur­ing their Bea­gle voy­age.

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