• Photo: ene / Shutterstock


You can easily spend a morning or afternoon wandering around the quaint village of Pomaire, a former settlement of indigenous people comprising nothing more than a few streets of single-story adobe dwellings. On weekends Pomaire teems with people wandering around, shopping, and having lunch in one of the country-style restaurants with red-and-white checked tablecloths and clay ovens that specializes in empanadas and other typical Chilean foods.

Pomaire is famous for its brown greda, or earthenware pottery, which is ubiquitous, in one form or another, throughout Chile. Order pastel de choclo and it is nearly always served in a round, simple clay dish—they're heavy and retain the heat, so the food is brought to the table piping hot.

The village bulges with bowls, pots, and plates of every shape and size, not to mention piggy banks, plant pots, vases, and the unmissable "chanchito de la suerte," three-legged pigs that make great souvenirs. Most of the shops at the top of the main street sell the work of others; walk farther down or into the side streets and find the workshops from which they buy. Prices are cheaper there.

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