Though it’s faltered in recent years, Punta Arenas’s major shopping destination is the duty-free Zona Franca, four kilometers north of downtown but easily reached by taxi colectivo from Calle Magallanes. Electronics were once the big attraction—Santiaguinos even flew here for the bargains—but price differentials are smaller than they used to be. Motorists, though, can find replacement tires and similar items cheaper than in Argentina or mainland Chile.
For crafts such as metal (copper and bronze), semiprecious stones (lapis lazuli), and woolens, visit Chile Típico (Ignacio Carrera Pinto 1015, tel. 061/225827). For books (including some local guidebooks and travel literature in English), maps, and keepsakes, try Southern Patagonia Souvenirs & Books, with outlets at the airport (tel. 061/211591) and the Zona Franca (tel. 061/216759).
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition