Torres del Paine National Park

Pomaire, Clay Pottery and Gastronomy near Santiago

Pomaire, Chile, crafts.

If you are looking for a day trip from Santiago that combines culture, cuisine and nature, you might want to visit Pomaire, a small town famous for its pottery and giant empanadas (Chilean turnovers). Its population is around 10,000 inhabitants and is located in the commune of Melipilla, 50 km. West of Santiago. Access is via Ruta 78, highway also known as Autopista del Sol.
Its history dates back to pre-Hispanic times, when the Inca and Diaguita natives settled in the area and discovered the richness of the land. Its name could come from the Cunza language or from Quechua and Aymara, and means "assailant" or "puma". 

Nowadays, Pomaire is an ideal tourist destination for those who want to learn about Chilean culture and folk art. The place is well known among Chileans for being a town of great tradition and very close to Santiago, the capital city, but for the majority of the foreign tourists, Pomaire is still a place to discover. Its main attraction are the pottery workshops spread throughout the town.


Piggy banks, handicraft
Since ancient times, clay pottery has made this village famous, surrounded by hills that have provided the necessary raw material for centuries, this has been the main activity since before the arrival of the conquistadors. Along its main streets are the workshops where thousands of artifacts are manufactured and offered.   Many are the shapes that can be modeled with this noble material, from large "cantaros" (jugs), cookware, dishes, flowerpots, to small "chanchitos de greda" (clay piggy banks), which constitute an excellent souvenir, you can choose from a variety of shops and prices.

"El Cototudo" Restaurant 
But Pomaire is not only known for its handicrafts, it also offers delicious typical food,  with "cazuelas"  (hen, pork or beef soups), Chilean "empanadas", "arrollado" (meat roll), "perniles" (pork leg), "pastel de choclo" (corn pie), "chancho en piedra" (a traditional Chilean sauce) and also the yummy "humitas" as its most famous exponents.

The "empanadas", one of Chile's most representative foods, are turnovers that can be filled with meat, cheese, seafood or vegetables, baked in a clay oven. And Pomaire's empanadas are huge, weighing up to a kilo each! 

In addition, it is worth mentioning that Taste Atlas, an online platform that provides information on traditional food and beverages from different regions of the world, chose the "Chancho en Piedra", also mentioned above, as "The Best-Rated Salsa in the World 2023".  Just like the main streets of the town, Roberto Bravo and San Antonio are full with pottery shops, restaurants also abound here, which compete with each other to attract the diners.

Other tours that can be done near Pomaire are the so-called Rutas del Vino (Wine Routes), where you can visit wineries and taste high quality Chilean wines. And although there is a distance of just over 70 km, you can also inquire about tours that include both the town of Pomaire and a visit to the house of Nobel Prize for Literature Pablo Neruda in Isla Negra on Chile's central coast.

Pomaire is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in art, food or nature, you will find it in this charming town. Don't miss the opportunity to discover Pomaire on your next trip to Chile!