Chile — Shopping and Leisure
The Feria Municipal and Bellavista districts in Santiago are good places to pick up handicrafts and souvenirs. Andean style silver jewelry is popular, particularly pieces incorporating lapis lazuli, a blue stone found only in Chile and Afghanistan. Copper is one of Chile’s major exports and tourists will find everything from flat bookmarks and maps to pots and bangles made out of the metal. Wooden items such as spinning tops, crude smiling Indio Picaro statues or Emboque, a game where you try to swing a ball into a cup attached to a string, are all common. Key-rings, earrings or necklaces bearing miniature replica Easter Island Moai statues are also standard Chilean souvenirs. Specialty clothing items include alpaca wool sweaters and handmade leather shoes.
Delicious Chilean food and wine are also sought after gifts. Visitors on wine tours leaving from Santiago can buy the best right from the barrel to take home. Concho Y Toro’s Terrunyo Cabernet Sauvignon is one of Chile’s favorites. Punta Arenas in the Chilean Patagonia region is known for handmade chocolates, with those produced by Norweisser being the most coveted.
Besides markets, Chile also has many modern malls, with Parque Arauco (Av. Presidente Kennedy 5413, Santiago) the largest chain. International brands, department stores, fast food, and entertainment such as bowling, movies or ice skating can all be found here. The malls are a good place to pick up an official soccer (fútbol) Jersey, as a remembrance of your visit to Chile.
The natural healing properties of the many thermal springs across Chile have given birth to a thriving spa industry featuring a number of resorts with top quality facilities. Termas Los Pozones at Pucon has six natural pools of different temperatures where visitors can soak away any aches and pains in a relaxing environment. Alternatively, the impressive five-star resort at Termas de Puyehue, 47 miles east of Osorno has natural mineral waters, a variety of heated pools, and full spa facilities in a luxurious environment.