Artesanías de Chile

The nonprofit Artesanías de Chile was launched a decade ago by Luisa Durán, the wife of former President Ricardo Lagos. The fair-trade organization sells extraordinarily well-made arts and crafts by some of the most skilled artisans from all of Chile. The selection of colorful and attractive handicrafts at their two main locations (plus a location in the international wing of the Santiago Airport, for last-minute purchases) includes woven blankets and ponchos, wool shawls, traditional Mapuche nickel and silver jewelry and brooches, Pomaire-based clay kitchenware and hand-carved, wooden plates and utensils. In addition to representation in the stores, artisans occasionally hold workshops and exhibits to educate others about traditions that have been passed down to through generations.

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Barrio Italia

The antique and the chic converge in Barrio Italia, where design-oriented shopping galleries are interspersed with refurbished furniture stores and beautiful old family homes. The charming neighborhood, which was saved by fashionable entrepreneurs who stymied the lean toward industrialization, is Santiago's most up-and-coming area, with a delightful bohemian spirit. Most of the stores repeat the same layout: a handful of independent vendors sell clothing, furniture, interior décor items and jewelry, and there's a café in what was once the home's interior patio. The main street is Avenida Italia, but don't miss the peripheral streets such as Sucre or Girardi streets. For quality leather goods, clothing and arts and crafts, try Estacion Italia (Av. 1439), or Bazaar de la Fortuna, with a warehouse-sized barn filled of furniture and home décor (Av. Girardi 1560). There are a few restaurants worth visiting while here, such as the Xoco por Ti (Av. Italia 1634) for chocolate and chocolate beverages made from high-quality cacao; or Casa Luz for the antique interiors and bucolic outdoor patio (Av. Italia 805).

Exterior View - Faba Artesanía Fina , Santiago, Chile

Faba Artesanía Fina

Chile is the land of lapis lazuli, and Faba is the place to buy it. This family-run business, now in its third generation, sells jewelry and decorative items made predominantly of sterling silver and the emblematic blue stone, which is known as a symbol of purity, health, luck and nobility. Additional materials on display at Faba include copper, jasper, turquoise and other semiprecious gems. Choose from necklaces, rings, bracelets and cuff links where traditional designs and motifs are simplified for a more modern appeal.

Exterior View - Los Domínicos, Santiago, Chile

Los Domínicos

Designed to resemble a colonial village, this walled-in shopping center is a rabbit's warren of tiny shops selling all manner of Chilean crafts, woolens, clothing, wooden toys and jewelry. The setting makes for a quiet, enjoyable ambiance to lose yourself discovering souvenirs. The dirt paths, a few "free-range" chickens and amiable cats give the setting a rural feel. Most of the artisans on-site can be seen making their wares. There is a café that sells excellent meat pino empanadas in the center of the "village." While haggling is not necessarily expected, don’t be afraid to try to talk down a price, especially when purchasing more than one item.

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Luis Hey

Creating original carvings based upon prehistoric sculptures, Luis Hey is a true artisan, and highly successful. His is the workshop to visit if looking for an authentic (and pricey) memento.

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Mercado Artesanal

Located at the corner of Roa Rakei and Tu’u Koihu, this artisan’s market sells hand-made crafts including moai statues and jewelry.

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This two-story yet miniscule store next to the Cerro Santa Lucia is one of the best purveyors of Chilean fine arts and crafts, with beautiful jewelry, sculptures, carved wooden plates and utensils, hand-knit sweaters and shawls and ceramics. The items sold here have the look and feel of traditional Chilean artesanía, however each item bears the artisan's unique flair and artistic sensibility. Keep an eye open for jewelry and ornaments made of crin, or horsehair dyed and woven into little figurines.

Interior View - Parque Arauco Design Center & Luxury Center, Santiago, Chile

Parque Arauco Design Center & Luxury Center

Parque Arauco is a hodge-podge shopping mall (close to the Grand Hyatt and across Ave. Kennedy and the Alonso de Córdoba shopping area) that looks like it was built in a dozen stages, and it was. The newest add-on is a third-floor Luxury Center that abuts the Design Center, both offering upmarket stores like Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera, and Burberry. Next door, the Design Center is focused on home decor and furniture, such as the Popular Design and Muebles Sur, with a few freestanding booths selling novelty items and bric-a-brac. This is a good one-stop shop for known brands, however there are few Chilean or local goods to be found in this shopping mall.

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Patio Bellavista

Patio Bellavista is a lively complex of restaurants and souvenir stands in the heart of the Bellavista neighborhood, and its convenience makes it a good place to buy gifts. There are dozens of arts and crafts shops (some better than others), 20 casual restaurants, ice cream stands, cafés, and often live music in the tiny plaza. Patio Bellavista also has the most reliable ATMs in the area, as well public restrooms and a parking garage. Although it’s not necessarily a destination unto itself, this tourist hub has become something of a go-to addition to any visit to Bellavista.

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Interiors at Pura , Santiago, Chile


At Pura, traditional artisanal garments and objects are elevated to pieces of wearable art. Each item is a product of time-tested handicraft techniques updated with an eye to contemporary design. The shop sells clothing, home décor, toys, travel accessories and more, all made from traditional materials such as naturally dyed sheep and alpaca wool, fine leather, stone and clay. Immerse yourself in the sophisticated textures and elegant colors of Pura to find the perfect gift or accent piece to take home from Chile.

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