Chile Gift Giving Customs

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Flag of Chile sm.jpg

Flag of Chile Officially the Republic of Chile[1]

  1. Capital: Santiago
  2. Official Language: Spanish
  3. Currency: Peso (CLP)
  4. Nickname for Citzens: Chilean
  5. National Holiday: Fiestas Patrias, Independence from Spain, 18 September (1810)

More Chilean Holidays

Business Gift Etiquette

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Business card etiquette dictates that you have the cards printed in both your native language and Spanish. If you have a local contact, write that information on the back of the card.

Business gifts in Chile are not expected until the relationship becomes close. The best moment to give a gift is when the conversation has become relaxed. At the end of a lunch following a meeting is an ideal time.

Appropriate business gifts can include leather business items, pens, cigarette lighters, and fine whiskey.

Select good quality gifts, but do not give anything that is so expensive as to be mistaken for a bribe.

Social Gift Giving in Chile

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Easter Island statues sm.jpg

When greeting friends in Chile, men will usually shake hands. Women generally pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder.

The most common greeting in Chile among friends and relatives is the abrazo[2]. It consists of a handshake and hug for men, and sometimes with a kiss to the right cheek for women or close family members. Argentina also uses the abrazo greeting.

Never go empty-handed to anyone's home. Always bring a host and hostess gift. Suitable gifts are candy, wine or bread. A gift of flowers should be sent in advance. Birds of paradise are the preferred flower for a hostess gift. If there will be children present, bring them a gift also.

Good quality chocolates are a good dinner party gift.

Casual conversation should always avoid politics and religion. Concentrate on recent economic trends and popular local sports such as soccer. Easter Island is always a point of interest and is territory of Chile. Many people do not realize that there are several types of Penguins[3] that can be found in southern Chile.

Feel free to compliment the hostess on the meal, and be sure to extend a either verbal or written thank you afterward.


Tipping is expected in restaurants and for other services. A tip of 10 percent is usual in restaurants. If a taxi driver helps with the luggage then the fare is usually rounded upward.

Gifts to Avoid

  • Avoid giving yellow roses, as they are considered a sign of contempt.
  • Do not give purple or black flowers as they symbolize death.
  • Do not use black or purple wrapping paper. These colors are only used during the Holy Week of Easter, or Semana Santa, which begins on Palm Sunday and goes through Easter Sunday.


  1. |Wikipedia - Republic of Chile
  2. Customs of Chile
  3. Penguins in Chile

Related Items

International Gift Customs
Host/Hostess Gifts
When you Should Give a Gift