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Shopping in Peru

Peru is known for its crafts, especially handmade textiles and ceramics. Some of the most sought-after products by travellers are the brightly coloured ponchos or the champas, the fat wool jackets with different motifs typical of the country. Also, caps, backpacks and vests are some of their best-selling garments.

In ceramics, you can find a great variety of products. They are often a reddish colour, typical of the Moche pottery, or black in colour, with Inca motifs or Nazca designs. Other products in great demand are musical instruments such as ocarinas, pan flutes or panpipes. Many of these products can be easily found in the capital, Lima, in its Central market, although prices will be somewhat higher than in some towns.

Some of the best places to shop in Peru are in the Andean area: Cuzco, Arequipa or Huaraz, where there is a great variety of craft shops with local products. Prices in Peru are quite cheap and, although there are some shops and businesses where there is haggling, the discount is usually not worth the hassle of bargaining.

 

Ceramics

Ceramics are another of the products that can not be missing in your suitcase when you return from Peru. There are different types traditionally made in Peru: reddish, typical of Trujillo; black, that imitate the chimú designs; bright colours, like those in Nazca; or with Inca motives, more typical of the Cuzco area. The paradise for ceramic lovers, however, is located in Ayacucho. Here large industrial quantities are produced, so the prices are somewhat lower and there is great variety in terms of shape and design. In Junín there is also an ‘artisan route’, where you can discover the many different ceramic styles.  

Jewellery

Jewellery is another product traditionally found in Peru. The best place to buy jewellery is in Lima, the capital. In the Central Market, located in the center of the city next to Abancay Avenue, is where there is a variety of shops with reasonable prices. In craft fairs in locations such as La Marina or Nazca, you can also find a diverse array of jewellery, often with intricate designs and colour beads. To confirm that they are original pieces it is advisable to always ask for a guarantee.  

Masks

Peruvian masks are usually used in celebrations since they are linked with mysticism. Most of the dancers in parades or folk festivals of the country wear them. Many of them are made by hand with materials such as wood, cloth, plaster, tin, copper, silver or gold. The latter is typical of the Chimú and Mochica cultures and can be found in cities such as Trujillo or Chiclayo. Puno, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, is another well-known place for mask selling where you can find unique ones made from totora reed.  

Musical Instruments

Ceramics are another of the products that can not be missing in your suitcase when you return from Peru. There are different types traditionally made in Peru: reddish, typical of Trujillo; black, that imitate the chimú designs; bright colours, like those in Nazca; or with Inca motives, more typical of the Cuzco area. The paradise for ceramic lovers, however, is located in Ayacucho. Here large industrial quantities are produced, so the prices are somewhat lower and there is great variety in terms of shape and design. In Junín there is also an ‘artisan route’, where you can discover the many different ceramic styles.  

Paintings

Peruvian paintings are characterized by their vivid colours. Many of them are watercolours and others have geometrical patterns and motifs. They are one of the most appealing products for travellers and can be found both in the Andean area and in the capital, Lima. In the Central market there are some art stalls, and also in the Fevacel market. In Miraflores, there are several art stores and galleries selling Peruvian paintings.

Textiles

Peruvian clothing is one of the products that generate the most interest when it comes to shopping around the country. Most of the attention goes to the ponchos, the wool jackets known as champas, the hats, gloves, vests and backpacks. The best area to get these products is in the Andean towns since that is where most of them are manufactured. For example, in the small artisan shops of Arequipa, Huaraz or Cuzco, where many of the women wear these unique colourful garments. Some of the clothes are made with wool from the first shearing, and they are somewhat cheaper. Also, tapestries are another of the items most sought after by travellers. These can be found in many of the mountain villages.