Over the years, I’ve picked up a lot of amazing souvenirs from Chile, from copper pans to lapis lazuli. So I wanted to write on the best Chilean souvenirs, and tell you exactly where to find them.
And you don’t even have to go all the way to Santiago to buy them! Luckily, can buy many of these souvenirs from Chile online.
The 7 best Chile souvenirs:
1. Lapis Lazuli Jewelry
Lapis lazuli is a beautiful, azure stone that can only be found in Afghanistan and Chile. In Chile, it’s relatively inexpensive — this pendant cost around $30 USD.
Where to buy it: You can buy Chilean lapis lazuli jewelry at the Lapis Lazuli House in Santiago (where I bought this pendant).
2. Greda (Handmade Chilean Clay Pottery)
Greda is a Chilean clay that works well for cooking. Like cast-iron, it retains flavor over time. Many traditional Chilean dishes, such as pastel de choclo (Chilean beef and corn casserole), should only be cooked in greda.
Where to buy it: You can buy greda at Pueblito Los Dominicos, an artisanal market in Santiago. If you want to buy greda at cheaper prices, you can visit Pomaire, a tiny town about an hour and a half from the center of Santiago. The town has one dirt road and shops with stacks and stacks of greda. It’s very breakable, so be careful on the ride home!
3. Pablo Zabal Ceramics
Pablo Zabal has been making these handmade ceramic figurines since 1970. You will see these animal figurines including birds, frogs, and elephants, all over Chile.
Where to buy it: You can buy Palo Zabal ceramics at 945 Madrid in San Isidro, Santiago.
4. Copper Cookware
Did you know Chile is the world’s largest producer and exporter of copper? It’s one of the reasons Chile has the strongest economy in South America. What does this mean for tourists like me and you? Inexpensive copper pots and pans! I bought this pan in Puerto Varas, Chile for only $40 USD.
Where to buy it: You can buy copper cookware at the Feria Artesanal Santa Lucía, a handicraft market in Santiago. It’s located in the San Isidro neighborhood.
Merkén (or Merquén) is smoked chili pepper seasoning that is native to Chile. It yields a spicy, smoky flavor and is used in many traditional Chilean dishes such as curanto, a Chilean meat, seafood, and potato stew.
Where to find it: Merkén hard to find outside of Chile, but it is now available on Amazon.
6. Chilean Wine
Chilean wine has a worldwide reputation for excellence and is especially well-known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Franc varietals. I especially recommend Carmenère, a medium-bodied red wine similar to Merlot.
Note: Chilean beer is also delicious due to a large influx of Germans after WWII. My favorites are Austral and Kuntzmann Miel.
Where to buy it: You can pick up a bottle of Chilean wine from any wine shop or grocery store in Chile! Internationally, most popular Chilean wine is Casillero del Diablo.
7. Neruda Poetry Books and Paraphernalia
You can’t visit Chile without stopping by one of Pablo Neruda’s homes, Chile’s most famous poet. Eccentric and brilliant, Neruda used the fish emblem on this box because he loved the sea more than anything else.
Where to buy it: You can buy Neruda books and trinkets at any of his three homes: La Chascona in Santiago, La Sebastiana in Valparaiso and Isla Negra. I highly recommend visiting all three, and especially loved Isla Negra (it has a room exclusively designated for antique mermaid figureheads!).
You can also buy Neruda’s poetry books on Amazon: you can find a bilingual edition of his love sonnets here.