The handcrafts trail
What does it mean?
The handcrafts trail provides information on the different regions and the unique types of handcrafts that tourists can enjoy in a specific region so that they can experience the best of all our traditions.
If you are in Chile’s First Region you should visit the famous Lirima hand woven fabrics which are located 49 kilometres from the city of Iquique in the village near Pozo Almonte.
These woven fabrics, named after the village Lirima, were first created by some Aymara families and are a way and means of maintaining Aymara traditions, particularly the weaving of spun and hand dyed wool.
A few kilometres away, you will find the beaches of Iquique, with their warm water all year round; the Humberstone Saltpetre Office which is a World Heritage Site and National Monument and the National Reserve Pampa del Tamarugal.
La Ligua is 164 kilometres from Santiago and is well known in Chile for its large industry of machine woven fabrics which are sold throughout the country. The shops in the main streets called Ortiz de Rosa, Portales, and Papudo are open to the public every day of the year. The town also offers its visitors a wide variety of restaurants with traditional food and desserts.
Cerámica de los Andes (The Andes Pottery)
Cerámica de los Andes is another good destination in the 5th region which is located 80 kilometres from Santiago travelling in the direction of the Andes. Here, visitors can walk around the different handcraft factories where the following items are manufactured: hand painted pottery, jugs, plates, Chilean figures and enamel objects.
Besides the Pottery, you will also be able to enjoy the Santuario de Santa Rosa and the Thermal Baths called Las Termas Del Corazón, as they are located along the same road – the latter provides accommodation and a spa.
The Dominican Village handcraft centre (Pueblito de los Dominicos) is located 8 km from the city’s main square la Plaza de Armas, right in the middle of the city.
Situated at the far end of the Avenue known as Avenida Apoquindo, it houses 180 workshops which provide visitors the chance to observe and buy different national handcrafts. You will also be able to visit a botanical garden and an antiques sector.
Nearby you can travel out of the city to: the park called Santuario de la Naturaleza Yerba Loca and the Farellones, Valle Nevado and La Parva Ski Centres.
Pomaire is a town about 50 kilometres from Santiago, which is famous for its ceramic and clay handcrafts.The towns’ traditions have been kept alive for generations.
The typical products can be categorised into: miniatures, representing mainly religious and rural traditions; practical objects, jugs and different household utensils (pots, serving/oven dishes, flower pots, etc); and miscellaneous decorative objects.
The town is also famous for the traditional Chilean food like el chancho en piedra (pig in stone) and the famous one kilo empanadas.
This area is located just 32 kilometres from Rancagua and it specialises in the manufacturing of important, traditional items of clothing used by the huaso (Chilean cow boy) like ponchos and shawls. The items are hand woven using wool and silk and can take up to four months to complete allowing 8 hours work per day.
The clothing tends to have details like flowers, thorns, leaves as well as other images and is double-sided so that one side can be used during the day and the other at night.
They are very expensive and tend to be used by huasos on special occasions like rodeos or galas or they may be given as presents to presidents and leaders who are visiting Chile. It is a family custom for a son to inherit one from his father.
The handcrafts made in this town, 39 kilometres from Curicó, are sold all over Chile. When travelling there you will come across the village Pelequén which is famous for its stone handcrafts and excellent quality brushes.
Chimbarongo’s workshops are located right along the edge of the Carretera Panamericana. You will be able to find an amazing selection of wicker items, from baskets to sofas and the shops are open Mondays to Sundays from 10:00 to 19:00 all year round.
This village is located 44 kilometres from Chillán and is famous for its figurine handcrafts which are the black, clay pigs and guitars you will see in many of the street stalls. You can also visit some of the artists at work as they fire their items in homemade ovens.
It is 27 kilometres from Chillán and it is famous for the wood carving technique it uses to manufacture tables, carpets and throws. If you want to see or purchase any of these crafts you can do so at the entrance of the town.
This town is located 24 kilometres from Concepción and is an important fruit producer but it is better known for its manufacturing of coiron baskets and dyed coiron.
The village’s town council is surrounded by a church and colonial houses. It is a popular picnic location.