Isabel Allende ChileThe author Isabel Allende was born in Chile and worked there as a journalist between 1964 and 1974, before she went on to write such highly regarded and successful books as The House of the Spirits and Ines of My Soul–which takes place in Chile. Here newest book is a memoir, The Sum of Our Days.

Geographic Expeditions runs an online literary travel publication called Reece and they recently ran an article where Allende discusses her homeland: My Chile.

She gets right to the point as to why this is a good country for travelers. “Good coffee and clean bathrooms and clean water everywhere. No scorpions or poisonous snakes or gorillas.” She notes that the food is not all that sophisticated, but that’s because “we have so many great raw materials. Everything is fresh and wonderful.”

In the conversational article, she describes some of her favorite places in the country, including spots in Patagonia. “The full moon between the two incredible mountain towers of the Cuernos del Paine, reflected on the lagoon, is an unforgettable sight. The air is crispy, like paper, so that you feel you can cut it with scissors.”

And here’s something you won’t hear from many Chileans: you get better wine for the money in California. “In Chile you can get excellent wine, but you have to pay more for the very good ones, and the other ones are not that good.” We can assume Ms. Allende will not become a corporate spokesperson for Concha y Toro anytime soon.