Shopping in Chile
If you are looking for souvenirs from Chile you should read this.
If you don't know what to buy in Chile, read our tips and advice! In Chile, there are plenty of typical products and souvenirs you can bring back as travel gifts. You can also take advantage of your trip to buy at a good price in the new Miami.
Buying souvenirs and handicrafts in Chile is very easy, as there are many places to find these products. Of all the cities in the country, Santiago is the best place to buy all kinds of Chilean handicrafts. Here you can find a sample of all the regions of the country without having to travel too much. But let's see which souvenirs of Chile will give you the most out of your purchases.
Among the most representative products of the country is lapis lazuli. This mineral is a semiprecious stone of intense blue colour and of great aesthetic value. Lapis lazuli is typical of Chile, so you will find many handicrafts made with this mineral.
This stone is used in all types of handicrafts, but especially in jewellery. Silver bracelets, rings and pendants with lapis lazuli are also beautiful, the perfect gift as a souvenir of your trip to Chile.
Another of Chile's most emblematic typical products is copper. Chilean handicrafts use copper in many of their traditional works. In fact, Chile is the world's leading producer of copper.
Chilean artisans create objects of great value such as pots, vases, kitchen utensils and copper jewellery. Such is the mastery of their work that their products are in high demand. Chile doesn't just export copper, but also makes copper handicrafts and objects for the rest of the world.
If you want a traditional Chilean souvenir, Mapuche craftsmanship won't let you down. Inspired by the native peoples of the country, they are mainly working in silver. The objects you will find are mostly reproductions of typical silverware used by the Mapuches.
Also within this typical craft are pots, plates and other kitchen utensils, made of ceramics and clay. Greda is a sandy clay used to make pots, pitchers, glasses and other objects.
Rapa Nui Handicrafts
Although this type of craft is not easy to find outside Easter Island, in Santiago de Chile there are small reproductions. You can take home a replica of the famous stones of the Moais, the giant sculptures characteristic of the island.
You can also buy bone crafts, wood carvings and other souvenirs. If you can't travel to Easter Island, you can at least take a souvenir with you. Although it is in Polynesia, Easter Island belongs to Chile, so don't miss the chance to get yourself a typical gift.
Traditional fabrics and ponchos
In Chile, just like the rest of South America, ponchos and woven blankets are also made. Wool and cotton are characteristic of traditional chamantos and ponchos. These garments together with the blankets are one of the most typical products of the country.
They also work with leather, with which they make wallets, purses and belts. Anyone of them can be a good buy, both as a gift and for personal use.
The Naughty Indian
There is a souvenir that has become very popular in the past few years, and that is the Indio picaro (naughty Indian), a wooden figurine. This wood carving represents a Mapuche Indian who, when lifted, shows a sizeable male attribute.
It must be said that this Chilean souvenir is more of a popular souvenir used as a joke than a sample of the country's craftsmanship.
Now let's see what the best places are to buy handicrafts and typical products from Chile.
Where to buy in Chile
Los Dominicos is a small village where you can find all kinds of handicrafts. The village was created in the eighties to house craftsmen and artists. Its fame increased and now there are not only handicrafts but also antiques and gourmet products. And speaking of gourmet products, it's the perfect place to try traditional dishes of Chilean cuisine.
Another perfect place to find a great variety of handicrafts is Patio Bellavista. You will find a wide range of typical Chilean products in the heart of the Bellavista district. Here you can buy everything from lapis lazuli to textiles, including leather work.
Continuing with the places where you can do your shopping, under Cerro Santa Lucía, you will find the Santa Lucía Handicrafts Fair. It is a small fair where you can find Mapuche crafts and souvenirs of Easter Island. In addition, there is a larger fair in front of that one where you can buy leather objects, silver and a variety of souvenirs.
Now you know what to buy and where to buy souvenirs from Chile. When planning your trip, remember to leave time on your shopping itinerary.