Trip to Santiago: 8 Souvenirs to Bring Back22 April, 2021
Seasoned travelers will tell you that a trip isn’t really complete unless you collect enough souvenirs to bring home to your people. Speaking of souvenirs, you need to pick up only the things that your host country is primarily identified with. The next time you visit Santiago de Chile, therefore, be sure to sample the wide variety of local crafts, wines, and wall art canvases for your trip back home. Without a doubt, Santiago is a great place with some of the best memories you will ever have in life. That is to say that besides the physical gifts that you will carry home, you will have a rich memory full of exciting stories to tell your grandkids.
Plan before the trip
It is, however, worth noting that you will only have a great time in Chile if you pack the right items before you take off from home to Santiago. Without the right hiking boots and clothes, for example, it might be hard for you to collect souvenirs from the Andes. That is why you should ensure that you acquire all the necessary stuff prior to your departure.
Throughout the Andes, you might want to use this opportunity to mountain bike on a sophisticated bike with a motorized bicycle kit, it will be worth a shot. Or if you are less of an adventurous person, you might want to simply drive around the place. In such cases, just make sure that you have your international driving permit with you.
Back to the souvenirs, here is a list of 8 original Chilean items that will help you bring some Chilean vibes into your home:
1. Lapis Lazuli
For $50 USD or less, you can bring home unique and stunningly beautiful jewelry made from Lapis Lazuli. This azure stone is magical and will make any average jewelry look irresistible. Gift shops across Santiago stock up on these pieces of jewelry, but if you are looking for better prices, look for it in any of the major Chilean open-air markets. The Bellavista district in Santiago is one of the surest places to acquire cheap Lapis Lazuli souvenirs.
2. Some copper
Chile’s economy relies greatly on the sale of copper and copper products. Why not bring home a piece of one of the most valuable exports Santiago boasts of? Anything made of copper is fine, from simple bookmarks and chains to large carvings and wall hangings. Your budget will be your only limit in this case. For more personalized copper souvenirs, you can buy a copper plate of whatever shape and then hire an artisan to draw a map or put your initials on it.
3. Traditional Chilean outfit
If you love to dance, Chile has a lot of dancing opportunities for you. The good thing about this South American nation is that every dance has its own unique outfit. Cueca dance, for example, requires you to be dressed in a colorful poncho, a straw hat, knee-high boots, and a huaso jacket. And because this dance is the nation’s unofficial national dance, each of these items is hand-made to make it unique and stylish. You will never find them anywhere else in Latin America.
Note that Hausa is to women what Huaso is to men. On top of the hat, boots, and poncho, women dress in a colorful country dress with high ruffles. All these are good souvenirs to bring home. What’s more, you will get the entire outfit for less than $300 USD.
When visiting Patagonia, don’t leave without a stuffed figurine. These stuffed animals are made by local artisans from the Ona community as a representation of their dancing tradition. You can also find nice ones that are made in the shape of iconic Chilean destinations and legendary people.
Alpaca wool is used to make ponchos, scarves, cardigans, and jackets. The wool comes from the Chilean lama that lives in the cold regions of the Andes.
6. Hand-made pottery
If you are looking for a nice gift for your mother, a clay pot will do. Greda, as the traditional clay utensils are fondly known in Santiago, is firm and durable, without forgetting that they retain dish flavor with every use. And because there are specific meals Chileans cook using greda, be sure to bring home some of those foods. You can even learn their recipes and cook some for your loved ones once you get home.
7. Vuelvo al Sur
Vuelvo al Sur hats, socks, and gloves are mostly found in Santiago. They all have unique designs that are inspired by the ancient Chilean culture and fabric patterns.
8. Moai Statue
First, ensure that you pay the Moai statues a visit, and then secondly buy earrings or key chains made from mini Moai statues. Try to document this experience by taking as many videos and pictures as you can. After you get back home, you can share these memories with your loved ones by sending files virtually.
After bringing home tons of gifts for everyone, did you remember to buy something for your home decoration? If you haven’t, don’t start panicking just yet. Simply order a wall art canvas that will act as your constant reminder of Santiago’s beautiful skyline and landscapes.
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