Some Of The Top Art And Craft Souvenirs From Colombia

Colombia is a beautiful country in South America, which has a rich and diverse culture. Steeped in this culture is the vibrant arts and crafts scene for which Columbia is renowned. The art in Colombia has over 3500 years of history and covers a range of styles including Spanish Baroque devotional painting to modern sculptures and paintings. One of the famous artists is Fernando Botero, who was well known for sculptures and political art.

The craft sector in Colombia has an amazing heritage too with the history being traced back to the stone age. With over 1 million people working in this industry and many fairs and festivals every year, the craft sector is well represented in every city, town and village, bringing money into the local economy. 

Of course supporting these local artisans, by buying a souvenir or gift for loved ones back home is so important when you visit a destination, so here are some of the top art and craft products in Colombia, South America.

Mochila bags

These Mochila bags are known throughout the world and are a gorgeous distinctive and colourful souvenir of Colombia.  The most famous of these bags, made by the indigenous people of Colombia are the bags made by the Wayuu people, a Native American ethnic group of the Guajira Peninsula in northernmost part of Colombia.  Craftmanship is everything to these people and all the bags are unique and designed with tassels, geometric patterns and details inspired by folklore and legends. 

Caribe Chairs

The Colombian people are famous for their weaving and for their colourful designs. The outdoor Caribe chairs are traditional chairs made with weaving techniques. Today the Tucurinca people,  From Santa Marta, a city in the north of Colombia have revived these techniques and are making the chairs with non-traditional materials, including plastic cords and strings. The resulting chairs are suitable for outdoor and indoor use and a beautiful design feature in the home. Of course, you can't get this chair in your hand luggage, but check on the price of shipping a work of art like this home and you may be pleasantly surprised. 

Turned Hats

This traditional hat from Colombia - Sombrero Vueltiao, is a recognised symbol of the country. The words Sombrero Vueltiao are Colombian Spanish for 'turned hat'. Made of a type of cane, the more flexible the hat, the more strips of cane in it, the better quality the hat is. Making the hat is a lengthy process, the cheapest hat 'quincianos' take three days to make and is the cheapest type of hat and the most expensive 'veintisientes' takes up to thirty days to make but will last much longer.

Filigree jewellery

Filigree jewellery from the small riverside town of Mompox is much coveted around the world. The finely detailed jewellery made usually of silver (and sometimes gold) makes a great gift.   The fine threads of the metal are weaved by artisans to create elaborate and stunning jewellery. The Spanish colonial town of Santa Cruz de Mompox to give it its full name is beautiful too and well worth visiting. The historic centre of Mompox is also a UNESCO world heritage site. 

Ruana poncho

The Ruana is a type of poncho from the Boyaca region of Colombia not far from Bogota. The word Ruana means "Land of Blankets". You may think of Colombia as a country that has universally hot weather but it had mountainous regions where it can be very cold. These ponchos are very practical for the weather in the mountains. There are many factory-made Ruana ponchos around but the authentic handmade ones are pricey but so much better quality. You can buy authentic Ruana ponchos is in northern towns such as Raquira.

Werregue baskets and bowls

Werregue baskets are a distinctive souvenir from the indigenous community of the Wounaan. Handwoven with care the baskets are highly patterned and interesting in their design. Made from the Werregue palm, the material is dyed with natural pigments. If you want to take one home, these can be bought from the Choc√≥ region in Northern Atlantic Colombia or in the craft markets such as those in Bogota. The baskets can take anything from 30 days to make to 6 months depending on the skill of the maker, and thus prices will reflect that. The designs can be geometric or reflect nature in their design or can have images of daily life, past or present.

So as you can see Colombia has many beautiful arts and craft items and many skilled artisans are producing authentic locals products on a daily basis. If you seek out the handmade items you will be supporting small producers and their families and putting money back into the local economy. 

Let me know what you think of the Colombian craft designs.

*Collaborative post


  1. I love the Mochila bags, so bright and colourful!

  2. Oh wow i love how bright and colourful the souvenirs are. I really love bringing home a piece of the place I've been to. Although Its hard to find genuine articles like some of these. I was in the Maldives a few years ago and bought a beautiful souvenir only to find a 'made in china' sticker on it!! xxx

    1. Yes, its important I think to check where the souvenirs are made so you are supporting the local community.

  3. I love the colours, the first thing to stand out to me and I love the outdoor chair!

  4. these all look great, the colours are so bright :) I love that chair!