Tips to buy souvenirs in Chile
Something I always do on my trips is searching for that special thing that will always remind me of the place I have visited. I have a huge collection of travel magnets but I also like to get scarves or tote bags. I do this research because I don’t like to go shopping. Weird, isn’t it? I avoid as much as possible crowded shopping areas. If I want to buy something, I go straight to the store and get it. Done, in probable less that 20 minutes.
So whenever I travel I ask for tips so I know upfront where I can get those special souvenirs to bring back home. That’s why I asked some fellow local bloggers from ACHILETB, the first Chilean Travel Bloggers Association, to give me their best tips on where to get those special gifts without wasting time.
Daniela Kemeny is currently living in China and she blogs about travelling with kids in her bilingual blog A Baby Abroad.
I always make sure to choose age appropriate souvenirs for children that will teach them a bit about Chile in a creative way. I recommend the story books of the publishing house Amanuta. They have children’s books about legends and folk tales about Chilean indigenous people and important Chilean characters such as Pablo Neruda, Violeta Parra and Gabriela Mistral.
The illustrations are beautiful and they will make the perfect, most creative and culturally aware gift for any child under 10 years of age, even if they can’t read Spanish.
Another souvenir I recommend are the music DVDs by Tikitiklip. They are creative and fun and they tell stories about Latin American cultural groups and traditional Chilean customs. All the characters in the videos are made by Chilean hand crafters, using traditional materials such as clay and wicker. Kids will love the songs and surely so will adults!
Mi Chilito is a store that is trying to revive the experience of visiting Chile through stationary and illustration. Here you will find personalised maps or customised illustrations of yourself in them, and they also have illustrated recipes of typical Chilean dishes —because you will miss some of our delicious meals, that’s for sure!
This store was created in 2011 by the designer Verónica Bazán. She was so passionate about working with paper that she found the way to create original and lightweight souvenirs for a fair price.
Claudia Corvalán from the blog Coreanizada has been living in Korea for 7 years, but she still remembers one of the classic spots to get local souvenirs: the feria Santa Lucía or Craft Fair Saint Lucia.
Variety and good prices, you can have both in the Feria Santa Lucía. The fair is composed by all kind of stores so you can find any souvenirs from typical wool clothing to small typical Chilean jewelery in silver or copper. The best is that is located right in front of another very popular landmark in Santiago, Cerro Santa Lucía or Santa Lucía Hill. One of my favourite tours with foreign friends in Santiago is spending the evening in the hill, then do some shopping in the fair and walk all the way to “Lastarria Neighborhood/Barrio Lastarria” to enjoy the evening on a nearby coffee shop or bar.
María Elena Álamo is a local journalist who writes the blog De Viajes y Rutas.
In Paseo Las Palmas, store #20, you can find Liqen Chile and gifts for every taste and budget, from keychains and pens to fine art crafted in wood and lapislázuli. They also have bags and other fun products from our beloved local character, Condorito. You can exchange a flag or product from your own country for something from the store or even get a discount.
Andrea Mujica is a Chilean American girl absolutely in love with Chile, and she writes in English in her blog Where She Goes Today.
When I travel I try to find a souvenir that I know I will use every day. I bought my Chacha backpack last year and I use it all the time. I discovered this small store one day when I was exploring the city and I fell in love with everything in there. I was talking with the owner and explained to me that everything they sell is created and handmade in Santiago by Chilean designers. Now I take a piece of Chile with me all over the world and I’m supporting a small business.
Jesús Osilia is a Venezuelan living in Chile —yeah, there are some foreigners in ACHILETB!— and his blog is Explorando Rutas.
Pueblito de Los Dominicos (Los Dominicos Town) is another classic crafts market and popular tourist shopping destination. It’s the biggest artisan center in Santiago and an excellent option to visit and find a souvenir from Chile. This little town was created in the 80s with parts of the old stables and cellars of a colonial farm to recreate the particular beauty of the old towns. Here you will find a big group of local artisans creating and selling their products, like leather accessories, copper products, glass and lapislázuli. Also clothing made of wool and alpaca.
Mappin rescues and promotes the Chilean heritage through maps created by local illustrators, providing character to any room. There are also maps from other latitudes. Currently they also produce totes bags with typical slang and ecological designs. They promote Chileanism in a creative, playful and sustainable way.
Tiqui Taca is mostly an online store but it sells in other retail outlets all over Chile. They want to strengthen our identity and the country image by designing and producing objects that highlight those things that make us unique. They have lines of coasters and keyrings with Chilean slang like “pololo” (boyfriend), “fome” (boring), piscola (pisco mixed with Cola) or “altiro” (now), in addition to kitchen and home articles. Undoubtedly, a unique souvenir to take a bit of Chile abroad.
I love this store and this is my personal recommendation !
The owners are two siblings that happen to be graphic designers, Claudia and Felipe Arriagada. Indigo de Papel was born in 2005 and today are one of the most remarkable stationery stores in Chile. Their line of products are quite extensive, but if you have spent a while in Chile and understand some of our slang, you will like to get some of their products, like these fun tags.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
AMANUTA – They are located in different stores and libraries throughout Chile. Find the addresses in their website.
CHACHASTORE Italia #1392, Barrio Italia, Providencia, Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 a 20:00 hrs.
MI CHILITO – They are located in different stores and libraries throughout Chile. Find the addresses in their website.
LIQEN CHILE – Paseo Las Palmas (nexT to Los Leones subway station) store 20, Providencia, Santiago.
PUEBLITO DE LOS DOMINICOS – Av. Apoquindo 9085, Las Condes, Santiago.
MAPPIN – They are located in different stores and libraries throughout Chile. Find more information in their website.
TIQUI TACA – They sell online. More information in their website.
INDIGO DE PAPEL – Parque Arauco Av. Pdte. Kennedy Nº5413, Las Condes. Santiago Chile.
Do you have more suggestions? Leave them in the comments!