Buying high-quality alpaca-wool clothing or a colourful hand-painted ceramic bowl in Peru is an immensely popular thing to do. Yet just because you’re happy to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a quality souvenir, it probably doesn’t mean you also don’t want to bring home a few extra pieces that would make for great gifts to friends and family. This is where Peru’s best local markets come in! Not every item has to be of the highest quality, right? Sometimes, you’re just happy to fill your suitcase with a host of totally fun, incredibly unique and always colourful Peruvian souvenirs that are guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone’s face. If that’s the case then check out Peru’s best local markets for souvenirs.
When shopping in Peruvian souvenir markets, don’t forget to brush up on your bargaining skills. The vendors will be disappointed if you don’t fight for a better deal!
Best Souvenirs to Bring Home from Peru
Anything made of colourful alpaca-wool or wool-mix is the prime souvenir target for most visitors. Think clothing, accessories, cushion covers, backpacks and chullo beanies with those ridiculous ear flaps you’ll love to wear up in the freezing high Andes. More discerning travellers may wish to splurge on textiles and wool yarn instead, preferring to spend more on quality items which they can then weave or knit themselves in whatever styles they prefer.
Paintings, drawings and tapestries are also immensely popular and, although they seem overwhelming when seen all together in a market stall, they make for fantastic feature pieces on bare walls back home.
Silver jewellery is exceptionally inexpensive in a country once renowned for being the mining capital of the world. Hand-made jewellery in Peru boasts unique designs and, once again, although they may lose their distinctiveness when seen bunched up together on one table, singular pieces can be very beautiful, especially when they include the unique Inca cross.
Visit the Andes and you’ll no doubt fall in love with the classic sound of panpipe music and you wouldn’t be a visitor to Peru if you didn’t want to bring a hand-made wind instrument home. Because, really, can you even say you’ve been to Peru if you don’t have an Andean panpipe hanging somewhere in your house?
Even non-practising Catholics have been known to fall in love with the many nativity figurines and Christmas tree decorations made in Peru.
How adorable can a souvenir get?
Pucara bull figurines may not be nearly as cute as those chubby saintly ones, but considering this is the country’s favourite good-luck charm, it makes for a great cultural souvenir.
And for the discerning drinker in us all, a leather-bound bottle of Pisco sour ought to go down a treat. This is one souvenir you may not want to give away.
OK, so you may not want to buy a replica piece of erotic Moche pottery for your mother-in-law. But goodness, wouldn’t it be a hoot if you did?
And when in doubt…a fluffy llama doll will do!
Here are Peru’s best local markets for souvenirs:
Mercado de Artisania, Pisac
About an hour’s drive outside of Cusco, the base town for Machu Picchu adventures, is where you’ll find the market of Pisac, arguably the most famous and most vibrant in the whole country. We absolutely love this place and although a visit is included with many tours of Inca ruins nearby, dedicated shopaholics ought to include a whole-day visit in their itinerary. Once you cast your eyes on the wares on sale here, you’ll probably forget all about the ancient Incas!
The markets of Pisac are held daily, with the greatest show planned for Sundays, when all the region’s best artisans head to town to showcase their treasures. Inexpensive souvenirs, gorgeous silver jewellery and alpaca-wool clothing is sold in open stalls, which a huge array of alpaca and baby-alpaca wool yarns making for an ideal present for the knitting fanatic in your life. if you’re into knitting and prefer to spend more on quality fibres and have the joy of knitting your own pieces back home. You’ll find an array of colours and fibre quality to choose from.
Centro Artesanal, Cusco
An easy 15-min walk from downtown Cusco, this artisanal market boasts friendly vendors, plenty of snacks for in-between rests and a load more souvenirs than you could ever desire. A great and very convenient market that’s well priced and quite perfect if you just didn’t have enough time in Pisac to buy all you wanted.
Inka Market in Miraflores, Lima
Love the bargains or hate the crowds, Lima’s Inka Market is the one place you buy something for every single human being you know for very reasonable mula but also boasts stalls with quality items. If you’ve seen something on sale anywhere in Peru during your travels, you’ll likely also find it on sale here.
San Francisco Galeria Artesanal, Lima
Lima’s historical centre, around the Church of St Francis, is home to an array of great souvenir markets and these offer the best-priced souvenirs in the whole city. The San Francis Galeria Artesanal is only one of many and we’ve included it to give you a good idea of where you should head to find so many more. Nevertheless, these markets boast great stalls selling mid-range as well as high-quality gear, with fabulous and unique jewellers and artisans holding dedicated stalls.
Mercado de Artesanaria, Arequipa
Home to the resplendent Monastery of Santa Catalina, Arequipa – or the startling White City of Peru – is one of the country’s most beautiful cities. Lucky, then, that it also hosts one of its best souvenir markets! Arequipa’s artisans are on par with Cusco so it’s here that you can find equally stunning local souvenirs, including all our fave pottery, clothing, textile and carved-wood figurines.
Taquile Island, Lake Titicaca
Peru’s colourful textiles are all unique and wonderful but there’s something special about the local treasures found on Taquile Island. Make sure to pack an extra shopping bag when you visit Lake Titicaca and head to Taquile and its small but exceptional market stalls for very special purchases. Naturally, the souvenirs here are slightly more expensive than those you find in other markets but for unique value alone, they’re priceless.
Visit ChimuAdventure’s Peru Tours Page to see our exciting itinerary options. Come discover all this incredible country has to offer and include as many dedicated shopping days in your tailor-made plans as you like. Our bespoke, dedicated tours offer you the freedom to go where you like and do only what you enjoy best. For more information all tours of Peru and all other brilliant destinations all over Latin America, we are here to take your call.
Read our shopping guides for more inspiration:
- Best Places to Buy Quality Alpaca-wool Clothing in Peru
- Latin America Travel – Best Souvenirs That Won’t End Up in a Drawer
Author: Laura Pattara
“Laura Pattara is a modern nomad who’s been vagabonding around the world, non-stop, for the past 13 years. She’s tour guided overland trips through South America and Africa, travelled independently through the Middle East and is now in the midst of a 5-year motorbike odyssey from Germany to Australia.”