16 responses

  1. Mike Marquis
    July 22, 2010

    Another item to consider buying from the street markets, are beautiful hand made weavings (for wall display or table runners, etc.).
    There is a caution though. Since these items are wool, and they are in an outside market, they will have critters in them. We had small moths flying thru the house, cocoons from the ceiling, and worms eat patches of the weavings.
    Put your purchase into a plastic (trash) bag for transport back home. On arrival, fold the item and microwave it on low for 2 minutes to kill the hitchikers, or take it to the dry cleaners, and then iron it well.

    Good shopping. Mike

  2. Pepe
    July 23, 2010

    @Mike – great tip on the hand-made weavings, especially the microwave trick. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Debby
    July 24, 2010

    Pepe, I,m getting all kinds of ideas for my next trip to Chile! Thanks, Debby

  4. Pepe
    July 28, 2010

    @Debby – I’m glad to help. Enjoy your trip!

  5. Tyffanie
    August 19, 2010

    I am glad you included the Indio Picaro on the list of must-haves!

    Me falta un moai…I’ve seen some awesome wood ones at Los Dominicos. I just need to go buy one!

  6. Lynn
    January 4, 2011

    We are so excited about going to Temuco Chile on Feb 3 rd we are spending a month with friends there. We do not speak much spanish is that going to be a huge problem? our friends are Chilieans so this will help us. We cant wait to go
    Lynn and thanks for the tips of what to pick up for our friends and family :)

    • Pepe
      January 5, 2011

      @Lynn – Chileans are very patient and understanding when it comes to those that can’t speak Spanish. Yes, you’ll be at a disadvantage but if you are with friends they will definitely be helpful and sympathetic to your situation.

      I talk about the nuances of Chilean Spanish in my culture guide:

      Additionally, this book on Chilean slang is fantastic:

  7. Laurie
    July 29, 2011

    I just came across this post in my search to replace a souvenir I got in Chile years ago that was recently broken. While living in Chile I noticed that all the homes I visited had three small stone elephants always facing as if they are entering the home and with a rolled up bill through the lead elephants trunk. I was told that they represented financial prosperity coming into the home. I bought a set but, as I said, one of them broke recently. I’ve tried to find them online but have had no success. I’m wondering if you know of them or if they have a certain name that I should be searching for. I love your suggestions above. While in Chile I either purchased or seriously considered purchasing every item you listed.

    Thank you.

    • Pepe
      August 1, 2011

      @Laurie – I too have seen those little elephants in Chilean homes. Elephants seem to be a symbol of prosperity in more than just Chile. You can probably search for stone elephants or find some at a local antiques or trinkets store. I even saw some stone elephants on Amazon.

  8. melanie
    July 15, 2012

    i would add pisco the typical chilean drink and something made out of alpaca wool (a poncho maybe or traditional hat!)

    • Pepe
      July 16, 2012

      @Melanie – Pisco is a favorite although you’ll need to pack it carefully. An alpaca wool poncho would be great. It is sometimes hard to tell if they are made in Chile or Peru though.

  9. Ricky
    November 1, 2012

    You should do the microwave trick before leaving Chile, you don’t want to spread all the pests, critters and other corrupt hitchhikers throughout the world.

    Be sure to take a photograph of our president Piñera. You won’t be seing another president like that one again in our government.

  10. Barbara
    January 14, 2013

    Cookies and herb tea from Chile are great, cheap souvenirs to bring back. Packaged food can get back through US customs without a problem.

  11. gia brown
    March 22, 2014

    i am going to be an exchange student in chile for a year, and i had a couple of questions if you don’t mind about the country and people of chile :)

  12. Dave Moore
    April 5, 2014

    Where can I buy an Indio Picaro statue? I don’t plan on traveling to Chile and want to purchase one online.

    • Pepe
      April 14, 2014

      Hey Dave, you might try ebay but I haven’t found a consistent source of them online.

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