Travel Tips

Published on December 12th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut


Holiday Gifts on the Fly: 4 Great Airports for Shopping in Latin America

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, and if you’re rushing around like a typical frequent flyer, you might have trouble finding time to go to the mall or even go online and wait for your shipment to arrive. With the right strategy, however, an otherwise boring airport concourse can turn into a Christmas wonderland, filled with memorable gift ideas.

The key to successful holiday shopping in airports is to look for unique, regional items — things that couldn’t come from anywhere else. Sure, you can buy a bottle of cologne or imported chocolate just about anywhere. But a beautiful handmade sweater, a piece of original artwork or some locally produced candy are all more likely to bring a sparkle to the eyes of your loved ones. To get you moving in the right direction, here are four airports in Latin America that offer great options that go far beyond the generic, duty-free experience.

Mariscal Sucre International Airport
Quito, Ecuador
The brand-new airport that debuted just a few month’s ago outside of Ecuador‘s capital may be further from the city than its predecessor, but the new airport’s array of unique, destination-specific shopping options is truly noteworthy. Beyond security, the first — and largely unavoidable — retail space is a giant Attenza duty-free store. But soldier further toward the gates at the Quito airport and you’ll find additional options, including República del Cacao, which sells upscale chocolate products; Taller Guayasamín, which stocks clothing, frameable art and other gifts inspired by Ecuador’s most famous artist; I Love Roses, which features flowers from a family-owned plantation called Nevado Roses; and Tikuna, which features upscale handicrafts and clothes.
MORE ECUADOR TRAVEL TIPS: Top 5 Reasons to Visit Quito, Ecuador

Ezeiza International Airport
Buenos Aires, Argentina
At the largest airport in Argentina, you can bring joy to your futbol-loving family members when you snap up a few soccer-related gifts at the Boca Shop, located in Terminal A. For loved ones with an eye for design, pay a visit to Alma Pampa, located in both Terminal A and Terminal C, which features products from companies including Objetos Curiosos, a company that makes home decor items including serving trays and business card holders made from leather.
MORE ARGENTINA TRAVEL TIPS: How to Tour Argentina Like Pope Francis (Almost)

Benito Juárez International Airport
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico is a country with rich cultural traditions, and in Mexico City airport’s Terminal 2, which serves Aeromexico and its Skyteam partners, you’ll find several interesting retail establishments. For inspiration, you can survey ceramics, jewelry and clothing from the Museo de Arte Popular (Museum of Popular Art) at its museum shop, or textiles, figures and other artesanía at the shop run by FONART (Fondo Nacional para el Fomento de las Artesanías; the national fund for the promotion of handicrafts).
MORE MEXICO TRAVEL TIPS: New Hotels, Restaurants, Tours & “Tax Back” Make Mexico City More Alluring

Jorge Chavez International Airport
Lima, Peru
The international airport serving Peru‘s capital has several opportunities to buy local specialties — including Britt Shop Peru, which sells art, woodcraft, hand-painted decor and even the popular local drink called chicha morada. El Rincón del Pisco is the place to stock up on the ingredients for Peru’s most famous cocktail, the pisco sour.
MORE PERU TRAVEL TIPS: 5 Mouthwatering Peruvian Food Ingredients You’ve Got to Taste

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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