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cat_lover Aug 29th, 2009 12:23 PM

Best shopping pricing and selection in Peru?
We are traveling to Peru in early October, and I wondered if anyone could offer advice about where to find the best selection and also cheapest pricing (based on the quality, of course).

I have a habit of wanting to see everything first, then going back to make purchases. Since we're going to several cities, I fear that I'll pass on a purchase early on and then never find another one (of whatever it is) at that price, or at all. The flip side is buying things early on the trip, only to find a better selection and/or pricing later in the trip.

Can you tell me which of the cities below I should focus on for shopping?

Here are the cities we're going to in order:
Puno/Lake Titicaca
Sacred Valley (Moray/Maras)


crellston Aug 30th, 2009 12:40 AM

Cusco will probably your best bet for diversity, price and quality (particularly good for high end Alpaca products. Pisac has a lot of good stuff in the Sunday market - great qulity in most cases but unsurprisingly priced for the tourist market.

Olly is not great for shopping although there are one or two specialist shops on the street between the Plaza de Armas and the ruins which offer exceptional quality but at premium prices. Hearts Cafe on the square sells decent enough stuuf for a cooperative in the mountains and supports the local community

No shops in Moray or Maras that I remember. Cinchero had a great market just outside teh famous church with quite a few artisan type shop along the road up from the main squrae

Puno has a wide variety of shops and stalls and there is a lot of unique stuff for sale direct from the families on the islands on the lake.

Finally, "I have a habit of wanting to see everything first, then going back to make purchases" Just like my wife!! Drives me crazy!! Seriously though, we missed out on some good stuff thinking we could get it later better or cheaper.

qwovadis Aug 30th, 2009 05:04 AM

and markets around Lima

had best value when I was there.

mlgb Aug 30th, 2009 09:49 AM

There were a few vendors at the top of the ruins in Moray that had some hand weavings at excellent prices. They may or may not be there when you visit.

I thought the Aguas Calientes covered market was pretty good for general mass produced items.

The area around Cusco and Pisac will be very good for handcrafted weavings, also some wood carvings. That stuff is mostly lightweight so if you see something you like I would buy it.

I went to a few Miraflores markets but didn't see anything else that I needed to have. The silver jewelry was a little better in Lima.

cat_lover Aug 30th, 2009 11:25 AM

This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Keep the great advice coming!

kywood1955 Aug 31st, 2009 09:58 AM

In general, I'd focus on Cuzco (in/around the sqaure) and Pisco market for shopping. With that said, if you're going to Nazca, there some different textiles, masks, etc. And the Lake Titicaca also has different textiles. So, the rule of thumb is -- if you like it, buy it now -- you may not see it again! Happy Travels! We LOVE Peru!

mlgb Aug 31st, 2009 01:19 PM

I thought of something that I wish I had bought more of..the Inka Cola T-shirts!

I found some stores in the vicinity of the area between the Governor's palace, the old station and the San Francisco mission. They were priced at 3 for $10. Should have bought a bunch for gifts!

barefootbeach Aug 31st, 2009 07:48 PM

I really liked the ceramics at Pablo Seminario in Urubamba....biggest selection and best prices...altho you can find his stuff in Lima and at the airport gift shops. Wish I had bought more.
Also, if you like to cook, I loved " The Art of Peruvian Cuisine" author's last name, Custer. Saw it in a bookstore in Lima, and then later at the Brit Shop in Lima airport, $35 each place, but it's a large hard-cover and I didn't want to carry it, and was sure I could get it cheaper at Amazon....wrong! They only had used ones at about $140! And couldn't get it anywhere else. So, should have bought it at the airport and carried it on.
However, I did find the book's website and they had many recipes on their site, which I printed out.
I didn't really like the shops in Lima very much....had been shopping baby Alpaca sweaters...and actually found good prices and same merchandise at some of Lima's airport shops....they have a nice selection, but you're risking not finding something on your way home.
We were delayed there so often (coming and going) so had plenty of time to shop.

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