The Central Market (Mercado Central) offers a glimpse of the Chilean agricultural production. All types of fruits, vegetables, seafood are displayed here. The lively staff and the onlookers offer a cordial setting for tourists. The market is featured with a lofty steel structure prefabricated in England and assembled in Santiago in 1868 and is an amazing sight. Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s one of the three homes, claimed to be his secret hideaway to spend time with his mistress Matilde Urrutia for whom he apparently built La Chascona (red tousled hair).
Poet Neruda admired the sea and the dining room is themed around a ship cabin, and the living room resembles a lighthouse. This home is filled with a treasured glass collection, regal furniture and artworks that was lost during a dictatorship raid.
The Neruda Foundation (Fundación Neruda) manages the property and the artefacts.
La Merced Museum possesses valuable collection of Barroque, pre-Columbian and Polynesian art for public viewing, and depicts the development of the Order of Mercy in Latin America. Exhibition starts with explaining Easter Island and several encounters between aboriginal and European travellers.
Outside the city
Alhué, as per Indian tradition is referred to as a town of ghosts is located 150 km from Santiago. Prior to an earthquake that occurred in 1985, almost 90% of homes were built in adobe, and even today, some remnant stones are visible, at street corners. This town is dirt-filled and dusty and offers a very different impression than Santiago.