Chile is rightly famous for its wines and the main Aldeasa duty-free store with its Cava Del Vino stocks a pretty good range (Aldeasa’s duty-paid shop in the domestic area of the terminal also stocks wine). Cooled by winds from the Pacific, volcanic soil in abundance and basked in sunshine for much of the year, Chile is a wine grower’s paradise. The country now has an excellent worldwide reputation for producing good wines in contrasting styles at good value prices. The country makes top-notch cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay, and is now experimenting with other varietals.
What wines to go for? Well, that’s a tricky one as Chile produces such a variety of styles, but a few wine labels that have performed consistently well in recent years, winning medals in international competitions, include Augostinos, Almaviva, Anakena, Casa Lapostolle, Concha y Toro, Errazuriz and Kuyen.
In both the international and domestic sections of the terminal there are a good range of souvenir and gift shops although prices are unlikely to be as competitive as the country’s many excellent craft markets. A typical Chilean souvenir is jewellery made with lapis lazuli, a blue semi-precious stone that is only found in Chile and Afghanistan. Stores selling this type of jewellery include Morita Gil, one of the country’s best-known jewellers, who has stores in the domestic and international departures lounges, and Gundert in the international area.
Chile is renowned for its high quality handicrafts, many of which are made by the country’s indigenous Mapuche Indians. Popular souvenirs include decorated copper plates, ponchos and ‘gorro chilote’, a sort of traditional woollen hat worn by the Mapuche, and Moai statues from Easter Island, which although located hundreds of miles off the Chilean coast, is considered as Chilean territory. Lastly, wooden toys such as spinning tops and ball-and-cup games are also popular.
Before we finish our shopping tour at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez international we must mention three new outlets that have opened up in 2012. HBC Boutique in the international lounge is a luxury watches store selling makes such as Cartier, Omega, Baume Mercier, Tissot and Montblanc. On a different note, La Fête Chocolat at Gate 18 in the international lounge sells more than 40 different types of chocolate, while Juguetería Alemana, another recently opened outlet, is a great toy model shop selling replica cars, trains and planes (see http://www.ja.cl/)
All in all, Santiago airport offers a great range of shops for such a comparatively small airport, and with the first phase of the airport’s expansion programme due to be completed in 2014, things are only going to get better.
Santiago airport official shopping website (English version)