Pot luck in Pomaire

Need to escape the city, but only have a day? Eager to update the crockery set, but short on cash? Feeling peckish, but can’t find anything that satisfies? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then Pomaire is the place for you.

Photo by Elaine Madrigal
Photo by Elaine Madrigal

Just an hour away from Santiago lies the quaint and quirky town of Pomaire. As soon as you hop off the bus, the village greets you with its community atmosphere, friendly locals and the smells of the countryside and home cooking.

Photo by Elaine Madrigal
Photo by Elaine Madrigal

Never will you be so spoilt for choice when it comes to ceramics. Walk along the main street and you’ll stumble upon packed store upon store with incredibly cheap clay ceramics in the form of crockery, ornaments and statues.

Among the stacks of clay objects, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the same two pieces. Each one is handcrafted with its own spot of color, rustic texture, imperfect shape and interesting detail; you’ll be sure to take home a unique piece of Pomaire. Step into a workshop and watch the clay process unfold or even give it a go yourself: never will you be so close to making that famous scene in Ghost a reality.

Who’s hungry? Your stomach will be rumbling on full volume as soon as you catch a glimpse of the 1kg empanadas famous to the village. Yes, they are as enormous as they sound. Baked in a stone oven, empanadas don’t get much better than this and if you’re lucky you might even catch the baking in action. Choose from the traditional Chilean pino empanada (onion, meat, a boiled egg and an olive) and the tasty but simple cheese empanada, or why not try both if your stomach can handle it?

Weaving in and out of the ceramic shops you’ll also find plenty of souvenirs, artisan gifts and beautiful jewelry using gems and stones, including Chile’s Lapis Lazuli.

Photo by Elaine Madrigal
Photo by Elaine Madrigal

But whatever you do, don’t leave without one of the famous Pomaire pigs. Unique to the village are the lucky three-legged clay chanchitos (little pigs) that come in all shapes and sizes and are perfect as a quirky present.

Chanchito in hand, you might be lucky enough to come across the local cowboy posted in the village car park, offering a horse ride for CP$1,000 . Keep your head high and you’re riding in the Chilean countryside, but look down and you’re, well...riding around a car park. But there’s no complaining for that price.

After that strenuous exercise, save just enough room for one last stone baked empanada to keep your stomach satisfied for the journey home.

So where’s that checklist? Full stomach; check, lucky charm; check, new addition to the crockery set; check. Plus, if something should happen to the unique, one of a kind, Pomaire ceramics (like accidentally dropping them on the floor), just remember: in this town, there’s plenty more where they came from!

Direct buses to Pomaire destination Melipilla
From terminal Borjas Santiago
Metro Estacion Central, line 1
Approximately a 1 hour journey

Alternative bus from terminal Borjas to Melipilla
Bus from Melipilla to Pomaire

The ticket prices are CP$1,200 pesos normal price and CP$700 pesos reduced

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