Colombia is a country with a rich culture and plenty of history, so it can be tough to choose the perfect souvenir to bring back home.
Of course, there’s always the typical postcards, keychains and magnets, but there are also many other unique souvenirs to buy when travelling.
From handicrafts and jewelry to coffee and chocolate, here are 15 unique souvenirs from Colombia to buy when you visit this beautiful country.
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Just be sure to leave plenty of room in your luggage to bring some of these souvenirs from Colombia home with you!
But if you find you don’t have enough room, or you’re travelling with carry-on only, you can find some of these souvenirs online.
While it’s not exactly as authentic as picking them out yourself while on vacation, and it’s always better to buy local, you can purchase many of these souvenirs from Colombia on Amazon.
We’ve included Amazon links to products that are authentically Colombian, and will save you the hassle of trying to figure out how to get everything home.
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15 Unique Souvenirs from Colombia
First, there are emeralds. Colombia is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of emeralds and they are one of the top souvenirs to buy.
In previous decades, conditions for mining emeralds weren’t great and the Colombian emerald trade was compared to the South African diamond industry.
But in 2005, the government intervened to improve conditions and now, the Colombian emerald industry is much more regulated and you can feel good about buying emeralds that were mined ethically.
While you can find emeralds all over Colombia, the best place to buy them is in the city of Bogotá.
At the Emerald Trade Center, close to the Museo del Oro in Bogotá, you’ll find dozens of vendors selling emeralds in all shapes and sizes.
You’ll also find emeralds sold on the street, but these may be of lower quality or imitations and you don’t have the same guarantees as you would if you buy from a reputable vendor.
If you’re interested in learning more about emeralds and what to look for when buying them, this emerald tour takes you through the Emerald Trade Market and shows you what to look for and how to identify authentic stones.
Another great souvenir from Colombia is coffee. Colombia produces some of the best coffee in the world, and it’s a product that’s very closely associated with the country.
You can buy coffee in shops and supermarkets throughout the country, however check the label carefully as most of the preground coffee in the supermarket is second-rate, and less expensive coffee, that the locals drink, called Tinto.
One of the most well-known Colombia coffee brands that you’ll find in supermarkets is Juan Valdez.
But for the best coffee, you’ll want to visit the plantations in the Zona Cafetera near Medellin. The Zona Cafetera is one of the most scenic regions in Colombia and produces some of the best coffee beans in the world.
On a coffee tour, you’ll learn about the different types of Colombian coffee, how it’s grown and harvested, and of course, you’ll get to taste some of the best coffee in the world.
And of course, you’ll be able to pick up fresh coffee beans to bring back home.
Another good souvenir to buy in Colombia are mochilas, a kind of woven handbag that are popular throughout Colombia.
Handwoven by indigenous women in Colombia, these bags can be expensive when purchased from abroad, but they are less expensive when you buy them in Colombia and you support the local women.
They’re one of the most popular souvenirs from Colombia and they also make a great gift for someone.
While you can find plenty of mochilas in markets throughout the country, quality will also vary, so if you’re looking for a good quality one, expect to pay a bit more.
Some mochilas, like the ones made by indigenous Wayuu, will have colourful geometric designs, which are specific to different areas of Colombia, while others made by the Arhuaco near Santa Marta are a single, solid colour, usually in earth tones.
You can also find mochilas on Amazon if realize once you’re home that you wished you’d bought one.
Another traditional Colombian souvenir are ruana ponchos. These woolen ponchos are typically worn in the cooler mountain regions of Colombia but you’ll see plenty of people wearing them in cities like Bogotá and Medellín.
Ruanas are really warm and practical if you are visiting the mountainous regions of Colombia.
Authentic ones are handmade, and while they are a bit pricier than the factory made ones, they are good quality and a worthwhile purchase.
Either way, they’re great souvenirs from Colombia and a practical one if you’re returning home to a cooler climate.
You can find ruana ponchos in markets and shops throughout Colombia, but the best place to buy them is in the mountainous regions where they are made, such as Villa de Leyva or in Bogotá.
There are two popular types of hats in Colombia. One is the Vueltiao hat, which has become a national symbol of Colombia. These hats are made from a type of grass or cane and are worn throughout Colombia, especially in the hot Caribbean regions.
Vueltiao hats are comfortable, protect you from the sun, and make great souvenirs. You can find them in markets and shops throughout the country, but they are especially popular in Cartagena and Barranquilla.
The price and quality of vueltiao hats will vary depending on how many strips are used to produce the hat. It can take anywhere from 3 to 30 days to make one hat!
Of course, the longer it takes to make one means it’s a better quality and these hats will be more expensive but can be folded up without any damage to the hat.
Which is a good thing to consider when considering you’ll have to pack it to bring it back home.
The less expensive hats can still be folded, but won’t last as long.
Either way, vueltiao hats make great souvenirs from Colombia.
Also known as Panama hats, the aguadeño hats are the other popular type of hat you’ll see in Colombia.
As with vueltiao hats, prices and quality will vary, depending on the number of stitches.
There are plenty of colours to choose from, but a white hat with a black band is the traditional one.
You can find these hats in Aguadas, or if that’s not on your Colombia itinerary, you can also find them at the Sunday market in Bogotá.
Woven bowls are another great souvenir to buy in Colombia. Often called Guacamayas bowls, as this is where they originated from, these bowls are woven into intricate designs.
They’re distinctive with bright colours and patterns and generally form a spiral shape out from the center of the bowl.
They make beautiful decorative pieces and can be used for serving food or storing fruit and other objects.
There are also coasters, napkin holders, and vases made in the same syle.
You’ll find these handicrafts all over Colombia, as well as in Bogotá at the craft market next to the Gold Museum. If you’re in Bogota on the weekend, be sure to stop in at the Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquén on Sundays.
Pottery is another popular handicraft in Colombia and La Chamba pottery is one of the most distinctive and well-known.
It’s simple, yet elegant and handcrafted from black clay in the village of La Chamba. These plates, bowls and dishes are perfect for cooking or serving food and look great in any kitchen.
Pottery isn’t the easiest souvenir to bring back, but if you pack it carefully, it’s one of the best and most useful souvenirs from Colombia that you’ll find.
You can also find La Chamba cookware on Amazon, if you prefer to buy it once back home and avoid the fear of breaking it on the journey back.
Colombian women are known for their large and colourful earrings, which are often handmade.
You’ll find earrings for sale at many market stalls, ranging from colourful flowers to large tassel type earrings.
They’re one of my favourite souvenirs to buy when we are travelling, and quite often my kids will pick them out, which makes for some interesting earrings sometimes!
We bought miniature chiva bus earrings (see below for the Chiva bus) and black flower earrings as our souvenirs from Colombia.
Whether you’re purchasing for yourself or someone else, earrings are a unique souvenir and will remind you of your travels whenever you wear them.
Colombia is also one of the world’s largest producers of cacao, so it’s no surprise that Colombian chocolate is some of the best in the world.
You can find chocolate in supermarkets and shops throughout the country, but for the best quality, head to a local chocolatier or a cocoa farm. On this chocolate tour in Medellín, you’ll learn about the process of making chocolate from cocoa and then make some chocolate yourself to bring home – if it lasts that long!
Just keep in mind that it’s best to buy chocolate when you are in cooler places, like Bogotá or be sure to keep the chocolate refrigerated!
Chiva buses are bright and colourful, and a common way of travelling in rural Colombia.
Whether or not you get a chance to travel on one, the ceramic replicas are popular souvenirs that you can find everywhere in Colombia; market stalls, souvenir stands or even in the airport.
They make a great souvenirs for kids, or as gifts to bring back for family.
Hammocks are common throughout Colombia, especially on the coast. You’ll find a variety of beautiful designs and most have been handwoven, so you know you’re getting a good quality hammock.
The hammocks made by the indigenous Wayuu can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to make, but every hammock is different and a work of art.
You can find hammocks for sale in most towns and cities, as well as at the Sunday market in Bogotá. If you’re travelling to Cartagena, be sure to check out the hammocks in Getsemani, where you’ll find some of the best selection and quality.
Aguardiente is a popular Colombian liquor made from sugar cane and anise and is usually between 24- 29% alcohol.
The word literally means “burning water” and it’s one of the national drinks of Colombia.
Locals sip it at the beach, or drink it to warm up on chilly nights and it’s also used to make many cocktails in Colombia.
You can find bottles in supermarkets or shops throughout the country.
A bottle of aguardiente is a great inexpensive present or souvenir from Colombia and will remind you of your travels when you mix a drink back home (although local Colombians drink it straight).
While cocoa tea isn’t specific to Colombia, you’ll find it throughout South America.
Cocoa tea is known to help with altitude sickness, so it would a good idea to try it when you’re in Bogotá, which is one of the highest capital cities in the world.
But it’s delicious to drink, whatever elevation you are at, so pick up a box of cocoa tea at the supermarket to enjoy at home.
If you loved arepas and want to try some Colombian cooking at home, pick up some arepa flour to bring back. The flour can also be used to make empanadas, tamales, tortillas and many other Colombian food and can be found in any supermarket.
Alternatively, this corn flour makes a good substitute and can be found on Amazon if you find you’re craving arepas once you are back home!
Artwork is another great souvenir to buy whenever you are travelling.
Colombian art is bright and colourful, and will certainly add a touch of Latin America to your home.
As with many tourist destinations, you’ll find art sold in the market, in the public squares, and almost anywhere touristy.
Choose a piece that speaks to you, and will remind you of your vacation once you’re back home.
These are just a few ideas of what souvenirs from Colombia you can bring home with you. Whether you’re looking for something to eat, drink, or simply to decorate your home, you’re sure to find something to remind you of your travels in Colombia.
Do you have any unique souvenirs from Colombia that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.
For more Colombia travel ideas and inspiration, be sure to check out these posts: