Cusco is Peru’s shopping hotspot for handicrafts, textiles, ceramics, art and jewelry, and the best place to shop for this booty is in the markets.
There are several open-air and undercover shopping and market areas to browse, including several areas dedicated to Quechua handicrafts and textiles.
To visit the workshops and showrooms of local craftspeople, head for Plaza San Blas. Traditional weavings and textiles are also displayed at the Center for Traditional Textiles. The Centro Artesenal Cusco is a good place to pick up souvenirs and alpaca wool handicrafts.
Must-have purchases include brightly colored woven alpaca scarves, gloves, socks, ponchos, throws and rugs. Also look out for painted pottery and ceramics featuring Inca motifs, woven hats, silver jewelry, Peruvian dolls and carved wooden utensils.
Pick up fruit and vegetables at the produce market, the open-air San Pedro Mercado Central, near the train station and the central Plaza de Armas, plus street food and drinks to sustain you while shopping.
Just outside Cusco, the Quechua mountain town of Pisco has a popular Sunday market, with stalls filled with woven alpaca throws, souvenir dolls and ceramics. The town of Chincheros is also known for its Sunday market, and Pisac hosts three markets a week, including one on Sundays.