Souvenir shopping in Colombia

Take me home: Delightful and unique South American souvenirs to take back home

Buenos días amigos! Let’s dive into the sensational Latin American culture and talk a bit about shopping. You can find some truly intriguing South American souvenirs – beautiful textiles, quality leather goods, traditional handcrafts, artwork, soccer jerseys, coffee, and much more.

Read on for our list of the best buys when shopping in South America. What would you like to bring home as a reminder of your amazing adventure?


Peru is a bit like Sapa in Vietnam – lots of local people trying to sell you something bright, beautiful and unique. You’ll know when someone has been to Peru because they will return with clothes a-plenty made from alpaca textiles with Andean patterns. The alpaca textiles are affordable, beautiful and locally sourced. You can choose from jumpers, chullo beanies, socks, slippers or scarves. The ultimate in South American souvenirs.

Did you know that quinoa, maca, cocoa, pisco, and cacao, all have a Peruvian origin? Depending on customs regulations, they may make great souvenirs from Peru for your own kitchen. In addition, painted wooden bowls are popular and beautifully traditional items you can stock up on from Peru. For jewelry lovers, the Inca Cross is traditional jewelry that is a popular buy. In many markets, you will see woven friendship bracelets that make the perfect gift for friends and family.

What magnificent adventures await in the panoramas of Peru?

The Uros people of Lake Titicaca

The Uros people of Lake Titicaca

Souvenirs - direct from the artisan in Peru

Souvenirs – direct from the artisan in Peru


If you are a coffee lover, or you have a coffee lover in your family, you can get some of the world’s best coffee beans or ground coffee Colombia. You can also find popular, hand-made Colombian fabric bags called wayuu mochila. You can buy wayuu mochila shoulder bags, woven by the indigenous Wayuu people of the desert of the Guajira Peninsula, directly from the weavers in many markets. The Ruana Poncho is another popular item. They are a gorgeous woollen poncho-like garment produced just to the north of Bogotá. The word ruana comes from the indigenous word meaning ‘Land of Blankets’. The finest ones are not cheap, but the quality and originality make it more than worth the money and a beautiful choice for South American souvenirs.

Alternatively, if you have spare space in your bags and enjoy a relaxing moment, then a hand-made hammock is one item you should consider buying in Colombia. Finally, for the suave members of your family, check out the Aguadeño hats, Colombia’s answer to the Panama hat.

Discover what a holiday in Colombia has in store for you.

Hand woven bags, South American souvenirs

Hand woven bags

Street markets in Colombia, South American souvenirs

Street markets in Colombia 


In Argentina, you can go and buy a mate… no, we aren’t talking about a new friend – a mate gourd is a traditional teacup filled with the popular Yerba tea. If there were one Argentinian habit that catches the curiosity of travellers the most, it would be Mate. The drink is shared using the same straw and is a symbol of friendship and family. Argentinians will share a mate will anyone! Alfajores and Dulce de Leche are popular sweets that accompany your tea.

In addition, don’t miss Fernet Branca and Malbec wine – the red wine in Argentina is some of the world’s best. Also keep your eyes out for leather goods, just make sure you check the quality. Remember also to look for something silver as Argentina has rich silver resources as its name suggests – Argentum, means silver in Latin.

View our astounding Argentina tours

Share a 'mate' with a mate in Argentina

Share a ‘mate’ with a mate in Argentina

World-class wines in Mendoza

World-class wines in Mendoz


Like Peru, also Chile has popular Alpaca textiles, handicrafts and leather goods, which all are all popular Chilean souvenirs. Some uniquely Chilean options are Lapis Lazuli, a deep, celestial blue stone, with a strong symbolism of royalty, honour, power, spirituality, wisdom, and truth. It is thought to bring inner peace and to awaken the third eye. Copper jewelry is also popular. Do not forget about the well-known Chilean wines or Pisco, which is a beloved brandy, made by distilling fermented grape juice.

Here’s how to get ‘wild’ in Chile

Lapis Lazuli jewelry, Chile

Lapis Lazuli jewelry, Chile

Pisco Sour anyone?

Pisco Sour anyone?


Brazilians love the beach and you like your swimwear “brief” there are beautiful Brazilian bikinis and swimsuits and the well-known thongs, Havaianas, which originate in Brazil. Cangas is a lightweight, cotton-fabric beach scarf – also used as a beach towel, dress or skirt. To delight your taste buds Brazilian sweets are great souvenirs and the most popular is Brigadeiro.

Sweet delights of Brigadeiro in Brazil

Sweet delights of Brigadeiro in Brazil

Of course, Brazilians also have their own popular spirit, Cachaça, made from fermented sugarcane juice. Lastly, you can find Guarana, a superfood, which gives you energy; also coffee which, like in Colombia, is a specialty in Brazil. A final popular keepsake in Brazil is soapstone. These striking carvings are a work of art that comes in different forms such as candles and boxes.

Learn more about a brilliant Brazil holiday

Travel Tips for buying South American souvenirs:

  • Always keep in mind the customs restrictions of your country – you don’t want your brand new South American souvenirs taken off you on arrival home.
  • Do not be fooled by street vendors and pay overpriced costs if you are not sure about the quality
South American souvenirs - so many to choose from!

South American souvenirs – so many to choose from!

Visit our website to see our amazing South America adventures. Check out our Special Offers and keep reading for some of our most popular blogs:




2 thoughts on “Take me home: Delightful and unique South American souvenirs to take back home

  1. We have done two Wendy Wu tours, China and Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. We thinking of visiting South America and Central America in March 2019. Could you please email me the cost with number of days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *