Article Updated April 2016
Pomaire is a small town about an hour (60 kms or 37 miles) south of Santiago. The two main streets are filled with tons of pottery (greda) and souvenir shops, which the town is known for, and restaurants. It’s a nice place to stop, wander around, pick up some souvenirs and grab lunch. Quality varies, so if you see a style of cookware or decorative piece that you like, shop around for your best options. There are lots of different types of pottery, from pure decoration to hard-core cookware. If you’ve been eating in local restaurants in Chile, you may have already eaten out of some.
I bought one of their famous clay pigs (chanchito) that I fell in love with. There are so many things to choose from: you can get a nativity display or a steer head, candle holders, bowls, kettles, turtles, fire hydrants… The options are endless.
Some days you may see the potters making their wares in the backs of their shops; we went on a Saturday and didn’t see any. Weekends are generally busier as people get out of the city but the crowds weren’t too overwhelming. Avoid going on a Monday as the potters are off that day and you may find a lot of the shops closed.
They are also famous for the 1.5kg empanadas, though we saw ones weighing 10kgs! They also have regular sized lunches but feel free to split a giant empanada with your friends, or try out pastel de choclo, a sort of shepherd’s pie dish topped with a corn mixture instead of potatoes. Outside of the shops and restaurants there’s not much going on in this sleepy little town, but it’s a nice shopping and eating break between wineries!
Tip: If you’re going in May check out the dates of la semana Pomairina, their annual festival which also celebrates their beginning of chicha production. Chicha is an alcoholic drink usually made from fermented grapes or apples.
Getting there by car
Take the Autopista del Sol (Route 78) south- west, take the Pomaire exit, turn right and the road takes you right into the town. Don’t forget to bring some cash for the tolls. If you rent a car, you’re covered for the tolls through the city but once you hit the toll booths you have to pay yourself and they only take cash. If you’re just going to Pomaire $4,000 CLP should be more than enough.
Getting there by bus
Take the Metro (red line) to Estación Central. Buses to Pomaire or Mellipilla (the closest big town to Pomaire) leave from Terminal San Borja. There should be several bus options to Mellipilla but look for the booth that says Pomaire and ask about direct trips there. If you can’t find a direct bus leaving for Pomaire shortly, you can take one to Mellipilla and take a short taxi ride or a local bus on to Pomaire.
For more photos of Pomaire check out our Facebook Album.
Things to do nearby
Viña Undurraga is about 20 minutes north of Pomaire, it’s a good vineyard to hit before lunching in Pomaire.
Isla Negra, one of Pablo Neruda’s houses, is about an hour and half drive from Pomaire. You can spend the afternoon on the beach after visiting the museum.
Valparaíso is about an hour and half north of Isla Negra. There are a few accommodation choices in Isla Negra but if they’re full, you have a lot more options in Valparaíso.
If you want to return to Santiago it is about a 1 hour drive from Pomaire, a 2 hour and 15 minute drive from Isla Negra and about an hour and a half drive from Valparaíso.
Note: This article was accurate when published. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the sites in question before planning your trip.
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