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What Are The 10 Things to Buy When in Santiago, Chile

| Uncategorized | April 9, 2019

Unlike the late 20th century, when Chile was largely associated with oppressive regime, today’s Chile is known primarily for its premium wines and colorful crafts. If you’re fortunate to visit the country’s capital city Santiago de Chile, you will find yourself spoiled for choice with a variety of local stuff asking to find a place in your luggage en route back home. Indeed, you should try hard and clear some space in the suitcase for the gifts that might be plenty. To find out which exactly, check out this list of 14 gift ideas!


1. Huaso – Chilean Cowboy – Outfit

Huaso – Chilean Cowboy - Outfit

Image Courtesy of: Hector Melo A.If you are going dance cueca, the national dance of Chile, you must be dressed appropriately. You will need a razor sharp straw hat, a colorful poncho, and a stylish huaso jacket. The black knee-high boots with spurs are also part of the equation. On top of that, the full kit includes traditional huaso riding saddle and a horse. And surely, no cowboy is complete with out a cowgirl, in Chile she is called “Huasa.” The huasa must be dressed in a colorful traditional country dress with ruffles. A basic Huaso outfit starts at about $100 USD. Huasa dresses start at $30 USD.Where to find it:An easy place to find traditional huaso and huasa clothing is Catron with four locations:

San Diego 1020 (con Avenida Matta)
Phone/fax: 698-9095
Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-7:30pm; Sunday: 10am-2:30pm

Los Cobres de Vitacura
Vitacura 6780 Modulo E Local 5
Phone: 219-2042
Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-7:30pm; Sunday: 10am-2:30pm

Mall Sport
Avenida Las Condes 13.451, Local 210
Phone: 361-1065

Deportes Catron
San Diego 1037 (con Avda. Matta)
Phone: 698-9863
Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-7:30pm; Sunday: 10am-2:30pm

La media Luna
Avenida Quilín 4387 Macul
Phone: 319-16-51
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30am-2pm – 3pm-6:30pm

In the end, don’t forget to visit the Casa del huaso while you’re out and about

Casa del huaso
Calle San Diego 175
Phone: 672-4478Offline reading and travel directions:You can carry this article in your mobile device to read offline and create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured herein with the GPSmyCity App (available on iTunes App Store or Google Play Store).


2. Alpaca

Alpaca

Alpaca is a very fine and soft wool that comes from a smaller relative of the Chilean lama, bred specifically for its fleece. Lama (pronounced in Spanish as “Ya-Ma”) is known for being stubborn and also for its ability to spit. The fickle alpaca’s fleece is well adapted to the cold Chilean Andes mountainous climate. Alpaca wool is traditionally used in colorful scarves, ponchos and jackets. The soft Aplaca clothing quickly earned reputation as a favorite winter apparel for locals and visitors alike. Scarves start at $4 USD, Colorful jackets are around $40 to $60 USD, and traditional ponchos start at $50 USD.Where to find it:You will find a good selection at the following places:

Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos
Avenida Apoquindo 9085, Las Condes
Phone 02-248-2295
Metro station: Los Dominicos
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:30am-8pm

Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia, at the foothills of Cerro Santa Lucia
Alameda 510
Phone 02-632-3668
Metro station: Santa Lucia
Hours: Daily: 10am-7pmOffline reading and travel directions:You can carry this article in your mobile device to read offline and create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured herein with the GPSmyCity App (available on iTunes App Store or Google Play Store).


3. Prensado de Flores y Frutas

Prensado de Flores y Frutas

A nice gift to bring back from Chile can also be trays and kitchenware decorated with thinly sliced and preserved fruits and flowers, which give a unique artistic touch to everyday kitchenware. Oranges, kiwis, lemons, cherries, mushrooms and tomatoes are just some of the fruits and vegetables used in this farm-fresh art form. The latter includes everything, from trays, napkin holders, coasters to bottle holders and even earrings made with real fruit slices! Expect to pay from $10 to $60 USD for trays and most of the art work. A nicely decorated Pisco sour pitcher and matching Pisco glasses sell for about $130 USD.Where to find it:There are two good places in Santiago to find Prensado de Flores y Frutas:

Arte y Estilo, Local #9 at Patio Bellavista
Constitución 30 – 70, Providencia
Phone: 02-249-8700
Hours: Daily: 11am-10pm

Local #6 at Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos
Avenida Apoquindo 9085, Las Condes
Phone: 02-248-2295
Metro station: Los Dominicos
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:30am-8pmOffline reading and travel directions:You can carry this article in your mobile device to read offline and create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured herein with the GPSmyCity App (available on iTunes App Store or Google Play Store).


4. Chilean Wine

Chilean Wine

With over 90 wineries, Chile is the 5th largest exporter of wine in the world. The secret to the rise and quality of Chilean wines is the Carménère grape. Thought to be extinct from disease in Europe for over 150 years, it was rediscovered thriving in Chile. Carménère is the deepest, darkest, and purplest of all red grapes, with similar characteristics to Merlot. Initially, it grew as Merlot until was officially recognized in 1998. While Chile produces all the popular varieties of wine – Pinot noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc – Carménère is truly a Chilean wine. Very nice Chilean wines are available for $10 to $20 USD per bottle. If you want a premium or prize winning wine, prices start at $200 USD per bottle.Where to find it:The best place to buy Chilean wine in Santiago is as the name states, “El MUNDO del VINO”, they have three locations in Santiago:

mall Parque Arauco, Local 379
Las Condes
Phone: 02-580-3548
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10am-9pm; Sunday: 11am-9:30pm

mall alto Las Condes, Local 2038
Las Condes
Phone: 02-580-3548
Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10am-10pm

MALL COSTANERA CENTER
Avenida Andrés Bello 2524, Local 1162, Providencia
Phone: 02-2899-7030
Hours: 10am-9pm

Wain is a very interesting place to sample wine before you buy
Wain
Nueva Costanera 3955, Vitacura

You can also try Club de Amantes del Vino with two locations:

Avenida La Montaña 776, Lampa
Phone: 393-8000

CAV Mirador del Alto, Alto Las Condes
Avenida Kennedy 9001 local 3253, Las Condes
Phone: 213-1248
Hours: Monday-Friday: 9am-7pm


5. Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli

The lapis stone is considered the master of light. It is the stone of wisdom, friendship, truth, integrity and lighting. Lapis builds relationships of love and friendship, and helps express feelings and emotions. In the Middle East, lapis was even thought to have magical powers. Countless signet rings, scarabs and figures were shaped from the deep blue stone which Alexander the Great brought to Europe. There, the color was referred to as ‘ultramarine’, which means ‘from beyond the sea’. This opaque, deep blue Chilean gemstone has been used by ancient Latin American civilizations for at least 3500 years. Presently, in Chile, it is the national stone. Lapis lazuli is used in key rings, Moai statues, necklaces, earrings and cufflinks. Prices for lapis lazuli depend on the cut and quality of the stone itself and whether it’s being used with silver or other precious metals.Where to find it:You will find art work made with lapis lazuli at all major shopping areas in Chile. My favorite locations to browse are the three major arts and crafts centers is Santiago:

Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos, with 180 shops, it is simply the biggest and the best place to shop in Santiago for Chilean crafts
Avenida Apoquindo 9085, Las Condes
Phone: 02-248-2295
Metro station: Los Dominicos
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:30am-8pm

Patio Bellavista is a wonderful mix of 20 trendy restaurants and 50 fine crafts shops
Constitución 30 – 70, Providencia
Phone: 02-249-8700
Hours: Daily: 11am-10pm

Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia, is 150 fine crafts shops in the center of Santiago, at the foothills of Cerro Santa Lucia
Alameda 510
Phone: 02-632-3668
Metro station: Santa Lucia
Hours: Daily: 10am-7pmBuy It on Amazon:


6. Rapanui (Easter Island Moai Miniature Statues)

Rapanui (Easter Island Moai Miniature Statues)

Image Courtesy of: Ik TEaster Island is the remotest inhabited place on Earth, and it has been part of the Chilean heritage since 1888. The Moai represent ancestral chiefs who were believed to be descended directly from gods and whose supernatural powers could be harnessed for the benefit of humanity. The massive stone figures were generally erected facing inland to keep watch over the local community. The Moai are characterized by long sloping noses, strong brows, deeply inset eyes, and prominent chins. Some figures also wear a hat-like cylinder made of red stone on their heads. While the original moai are made from volcanic rock, gift moais’ are made from copper, wood, lapis lazuli and many other beautiful stones. Key-rings with Moai figurines start around $2 USD. If contemplating a life-size Moai statue, be careful with your weight limit while traveling, original Moai’s weight over 10 metric tons.Where to find it:The best place to buy a Moai statue is on Easter Island itself, however in Santiago I recommend the following Arts and crafts markets:

Patio Bellavista is a wonderful mix of 20 trendy restaurants and 50 fine crafts shops
Constitución 30 – 70, Providencia
Phone: 02-249-8700
Hours: Daily: 11am-10pm

Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos
Avenida Apoquindo 9085, Las Condes
Phone: 02-248-2295
Metro station: Los Dominicos
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:30am-8pm

Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia, is 150 fine crafts shops in the center of Santiago, at the foothills of Cerro Santa Lucia
Alameda 510
Phone: 02-632-3668
Metro station: Santa Lucia
Hours: Daily: 10am-7pm


7. Copper Art and Jewelry

Copper Art and Jewelry

The atomic number for copper is 29, however in Chile, copper is number one. Being the country’s major export, copper affects every facet of the Chilean economy. With a long history of mining copper, Chilean craftsmen traditionally have made copper art and jewelry for generations, hence the variety of high quality and affordable copper items, such as rings, wind chimes, necklaces, earrings, murals, coasters, statues, key rings, bracelets and even masks on offer. Prices start at about $2 and upwards, depending on the size and quality of the artwork.Where to find it:Simply put, you will find copper everywhere in Chile. My favorite locations to browse are the three major arts and crafts centers is Santiago:

Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos, with 180 shops, it is simply the biggest and the best place to shop in Santiago for Chilean crafts
Avenida Apoquindo 9085, Las Condes
Phone: 02-248-2295
Metro station: Los Dominicos
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:30am-8pm

Patio Bellavista is a wonderful mix of 20 trendy restaurants and 50 fine crafts shops
Constitución 30 – 70, Providencia
Phone: 02-249-8700
Hours: Daily: 11am-10pm

Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia, is a compilation of 150 fine crafts shops in the center of Santiago, at the foothills of Cerro Santa Lucia
Alameda 510
Phone: 02-632-3668
Metro station: Santa Lucia
Hours: Daily: 10am-7pm


8. Mapuche Woven Fabrics

Mapuche Woven Fabrics

The indigenous Mapuche Indians were nomads who needed quality rugs, ponchos and clothing to face the cold Chilean winters. Renowned for their complex textures and patterns, Mapuche fabrics have been in use since as early as the 1300s. It is even part of the Mapuche tradition to increase the amount of the dowry paid by a man, if a woman was a good weaver. The Mapuche women transmitted their knowledge orally from generation to generation for many years. The colorful designs and symbols found in Mapuche fabrics pay tribute to the culture and traditions of these people. Well designed colorful ponchos and rugs start at $30 USD.Where to find it:There are several shops with Mapucho fabrics at

Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos
Avenida Apoquindo 9085, Las Condes
Phone: 02-248-2295
Metro station: Los Dominicos

You will also fing Mapucho fabrics at

Feria Artesanal Bellavista
corner of Avenida Bellavista and Pio Nono, next to the river Mapucho


9. Leather Goods

Leather Goods

Among the things Chile is famous for, handcrafted leather goods aren’t the last. These days, in Santiago it seems like everyone has been wearing leather shoes, judging by the number of shoe shine stands scattered all over the city. This may be unwelcome news for someone with the more traditional views, but leather isn’t just for shoes and wallets anymore. You can find leather wine holders, leather backpacks, leather cooking aprons and even leather coasters. In fact, leather can provide added touch of elegance to anything. Hand-made leather crafts always make for treasured gifts which are both durable and practical. The variety of premium leather items that can be found in Santiago is truly magnificent and includes briefcases, purses, belts, jackets, wallets, computer bags, gloves, hats, pants, even leather jewelry holders. You can find leather at very attractive prices, but bear in mind that prices depend on the quality and size of the leather goods in question. If you want the best price available, get rid of that touristy look on your face and always ask if they can offer a better price.Where to find it:Maleteria Evelyn has been fabricating leather goods for 45 years and has four locations in the city:

Ernesto Pinto Lagarrigue 60, Recoleta
Phone: 777-8207, 737-1204

Huerfanos 1055, Local 1050, Santiago Centro
Phone: 698-1501

Apumanque, Local 90
Las Condes
Phone: 211-1934
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10am-9pm; Sunday: 11am-9pm

Mall Plaza Vespucio, Local 113
Phone: 586-3243
Hours: 10:30am-9:30 pm

M.A Cueros has been fabricating and selling leather goods for 35 years. Visit their store, conveniently located on
Chiloé 1167-1169, Santiago Centro
Phone: 02-554-1582

A good selection can also be found at

Artensina en Cuero, Patio Bellavista, Local 45
Providencia
Phone: 762-1122
Hours: Daily: 11am-10pm


10. Traditional Masks

Traditional Masks

These traditional masks represent the native Ona or Mapucho people who once lived in the southern part of Chile. The Ona people were famous for their black and white body paint and scant clothing. Barefoot, they used to walk among the penguins in Southern America’s southernmost tip – the Tierra del Fuego islands, the area in which they settled over 10,000 years ago. Their extinction was caused by western settlement in the late 1800s. Because of their location, the Ona tribe turned out to be the last indigenous people on the American continent to be colonized by Europeans. Detailed accounts of their customs and ceremonies are well documented. The last full-blooded Ona tribe member died in the 1970s. Their traditional masks, usually made out of wood, were used among other items in the ceremony of Nguillatun, the main religious celebration during harvest season, in which the Ona thanked and asked deities for common welfare and prosperity.Where to find it:Unique masks can be found at

Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos, local #57
Avenida Apoquindo 9085, Las Condes
Phone: 02-248-2295
Metro station: Los Dominicos
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:30am-8pm

Don’t forget to stop by Local #46 in Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia

Centro Artesanal Santa Lucia, Local #46
Alameda 510
Phone: 02-632-3668
Metro station: Santa Lucia
Hours: Daily: 10am-7pm

Top 10 Traditional Bulgarian Things To Buy From Sofia

| Uncategorized | April 3, 2019

Bulgaria’s capital has a lot of stories to tell, and each historic attraction will give you a new perspective on Sofia’s complicated past. Take the churches here that have spent several centuries of their existence as mosques, the overbearing soviet architecture or the Roman history that is still being uncovered and blends with the modern city. If you plan your trip to Sofia, here are list of 10 traditional bulgarian things to buy.

Sofia Center


1. ROSE OIL – Rose oil is the most famous Bulgarian export, but the prices for a small bottle can reach 50 euro. Rose water, a byproduct of rose oil production is a lot more affordable and often comes in a souvenir bottle holders.

Rose Oil

2. ICONS – The iconographic tradition in Bulgaria is alive and kicking, and it is easy to find icons of all sizes and quality. A high-quality icon can easily cost over €250, but street artists and gift shops offer much cheaper options. 

Bulgarian Icons

3. CERAMICS – The hand-painted Troyan-style ceramics are sold and used everywhere. If the traditional green, brown, and ochre are not to your liking, go for the more contemporary-looking ceramics sold in art galleries.

Bulgarian Ceramics

4. KILIMS (carpets) – The double-sided flat woolen rugs with colorful motifs can cost up to €500, but a good kilim is expected to last for generations. Ask about cleaning instructions before buying. Most kilims cannot go in the washing machine.

Carpets from Bulgaria

5. COPPER ITEMS – Copper items of all shapes and sizes make a good souvenirs. If you would like to be more practical go for cezve (a pot for boiling Turkish coffee), serving trays, or small cups for rakia.

Traditional Bulgarian Copper Item

6. WOODCARVING – Woodcarving is a traditional Bulgarian craft, one in which local craftsmen still excel. Anything made from wood, from cooking spoons and jewelry boxes to elaborate wall pieces, makes a wonderful gift.

Woodcarved Ceiling Rosette from Bulgaria.

7. WOOL – The hand-knit terlitsi are woolen socks still worn around the house in the winter.

Terlitsi is a traditional Bulgarian craft

8. JEWELRY – From copies of Thracian jewelry to the creation of young artists, Bulgaria is a great place to fill up your jewelry box.

Jewelry stand in Sofia, Bulgaria

9. TABLECLOTHS AND DOLLIES – Tablecloths and dollies handmade by local grandmas come in thousands of shapes and sizes.

Knitted Curtain From Bulgaria

10. BELLS – Originally worn by the freely grazing livestock, bells are now a decoration in countryside houses and traditional restaurants.

Cow Bells From Bulgaria.