Argentina is a country that is rich in natural resources. Visitors to Argentina will have no difficulty finding a wide variety of high quality products to bring home as souvenirs from their trip or gifts for family and friends.
Weekend markets in Recoleta and San Telmo have a wide range of items, from touristy trinkets to carefully hand crafted artisanal goods. Buenos Aires also has excellent shopping, with designer boutiques throughout Palermo Soho and a variety of chain and independent shops along major streets such as Santa Fe and Corrientes.
Certain items sold at the tourist markets can be found throughout the world and are not unique to Argentina, but if you’re looking for a souvenir that you’d be unlikely to find elsewhere, you’ll have plenty of options.
At the weekend ferias in Recoleta and San Telmo, vendors sell a variety of jewelry, ranging from antique and vintage pieces to hand-made specialty pieces. Many pieces are made from silver and you’ll notice one stone that is particularly popular: rodocrosita, Argentina’s national gemstone. Rodocrosita is a pink stone that is often striped with thin white lines. The clarity of the stone varies depending on the quality – and price also increases accordingly. Some cuts of rodocrosita appear more orange or coral in color. You can choose a rock and setting depending on your preferences.
Another Argentine item you may want to take home is a mate gourd. When visiting Argentina, you’ll learn how important mate is in Argentine culture. Groups of friends gather in parks on the weekends to share a mate and enjoy spending time together, and you may want to take this custom home to share with your friends and family. Mate gourds are abundantly available at any touristy attraction, but you can also find them in most supermarkets and any store that sells kitchen supplies. You can buy a variety of types of mates; traditionally they’re made from an actual gourd, but more modern versions may be made of plastic, glass, wood, or other materials. They’re usually more expensive at the ferias, but they’re also more ornately decorated than the simple mates you would find in your local supermercado. If you’re looking for a bargain, you may want to try to learn to speak like a porteño (local) with Spanish lessons in Buenos Aires.
Finally, Argentina is world renowned for its beef, and this cattle production also results in some very high quality leather goods. Purses, jackets, and even leather notebooks are sold at the weekend ferias and in stores throughout Buenos Aires. Quality varies, as does price, and to avoid getting ripped off-particularly at ferias or other touristy locations-you’re better off negotiating the interaction in Spanish. If you learn Spanish in Buenos Aires, you’ll be able to find some great deals on high quality leather items and impress your friends with your Argentine souvenirs!