Botica Salcobrand – Valparaiso, Chile - Atlas Obscura

Botica Salcobrand

Buying your medicine at this particular pharmacy is like taking a trip back in time.  


There are more than 300 Salcobrand pharmacies scattered across Chile, all of which are what you’d expect from a typical modern-day drugstore. All, that is, except for one: Botica Salcobrand on Plaza Aníbal Pinto, where picking up a prescription is like taking a trip back in time.

The opening of a new Salcobrand pharmacy in Chile would rarely garner much attention. But when the Botica Salcobrand opened in a historic building on Plaza Aníbal Pinto in 2012, residents of Valparaiso, along with local media, were eager to pop in for a look. This was all thanks to the design of the new drugstore, one which recreated the look and feel of a pharmacy from the 1900s.

The Botica Salcobrand sells the same drugs, toothbrushes, shampoos, and sunscreens as all the other stores in the chain, but everything else inside reflects a bygone era.

The shelves and stands are all made of wood, and atop the wooden counter sits an antique cash register. Old glass bottles and containers, typical of pharmacies from the early 1900s, sit in rows between antique lamps. Even the staff is dressed in old fashioned uniforms, and if you speak to the make-up department, you’ll be invited to sit in and old barber’s chair to discuss your pending purchase.

It’s a real trip back in time and a stark contrast to typical drugstores with their bright lights and clinical aspect. Even better, there’s a tearoom further inside where you can sit back, relax, and sample more than 60 varieties of tea.

Know Before You Go

The Botica Salcobrand on Plaza Aníbal Pinto is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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