Chile, a port country par excellence, is home to two "zonas francas," or duty-free ports. They're found at the opposite ends of the country, in Iquique (to the north) and Punta Arenas (to the south), and offer perfume and electronics at very reasonable prices.
All of Chile's main cities are home to large malls which offer a variety of shops, movie theaters, restaurants and cafés. They're every bit the equal of their counterparts in the United States, and a number of them are found in Santiago.
Certain Santiago neighborhoods have established themselves as unique shopping areas. For example, the international luxury brands are found on Calle Alonso de Córdova in the neighborhood of Vitacura, which also has a number of elegant boutiques and design shops. In the bustling neighborhood of Providencia, you'll find a wide variety of shops offering music, books, design, fashion and crafts. Meiggs and Patronato have hundreds of stores that offer domestic and imported products available at low prices.
If you're in the market for handicrafts, head to the Pueblo de los Domínicos in Las Condes and the shops of Patio Bellavista in the heart of the city's artsy district. The downtown areas of Bellas Artes and Lastarria have become highly fashionable in recent years, with a number of stores offering independent design and fine crafts.
The small bay of Angelmó – located in Puerto Montt in southern Chile– hosts a large crafts fair where you can find products made with Chiloé wool, regional cheeses, smoked salmon and condiments, as well as a market featuring restaurants that serve traditional fare.
On the island of Chiloé, Castro is home to a varied and extensive crafts fair where you can find all kinds of souvenirs, including wools, traditional island liquors and local fruit.
In La Serena (in northern Chile), visit the famed Recova, a colonial building where merchants sell their wares. It now features a number of crafts stands and tourist-friendly restaurants. A perennial favorite is the La Serena papayas.
|Iquique||La Serena and Coquimbo|
|Highlights of the Central Valley||Chillán and Concepcion|
|Pucón, Villarrica and Temuco||Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt|