Peru is famous for its handicrafts, such as handwoven textiles and painted ceramics. Some of the most sought-after souvenirs from Peru are the brightly colored ponchos or the thick woolen sweaters with different motifs typical of the country. Chullos (a traditional hat that covers the ears), scarves, and socks can be found in most stores in Peru and make the perfect souvenir or gift from the country. If you prefer pottery, you can find a great variety of products when shopping in Cusco, Peru, and other parts of the country. They are often reddish, typical of the Moche pottery, or use black clay with Inca motifs or Nazca designs. Other products in great demand are musical instruments such as ocarinas, pan flutes, or panpipes. Whatever you want, you can be sure that there is a shop in Cusco or Lima for purchasing your desired items. Many traditional gifts 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 region: Cusco, Arequipa, or Huaraz, where there is an excellent variety of craft shops with local products. Prices in Peru are reasonable, and expect to bargain in the markets, part of the shopping experience. Here is our best Peru shopping list when traveling to the country.
Peruvian clothing is one product that generates the most interest in shopping around the country. Your eyes will be drawn to great, intricate ponchos, the woolen sweaters called "chompas," the hats, gloves, scarfs and whatever else can be knitted! The best place to get these products is in the Andean region, where most of them are manufactured. For example, in the small artisan shops of Arequipa, Huaraz or Cusco, many women still use these unique colorful garments. Some of the clothes are made with wool from the first shearing and are somewhat cheaper. Also, tapestries are another of the items most sought after by travelers. These can be found in many of the mountain villages, as well as in any Peru shopping mall. Textiles also include wall hangings, tablecloths, blankets, bags, and many other items that will brighten up your home on your return.
The camel's South American cousin, Peruvian cultures, have woven delicate garments from alpaca wool for thousands of years. "Baby" alpaca, the first shear of the young camelid, is the most valuable, and sweaters, hats, and socks woven from their soft wool range from a few USD to hundreds. There are many Alpaca stores in Lima, Peru and Cusco for your Peru shopping list.
Ceramics are another typical Peruvian product to look for in stores in Peru. Peru has a rich pottery-making tradition, with groups like the Chavín, Moche, Nazca and Wari preserving their techniques over hundreds of years. Replicas of the Moche "huacos eróticos" (erotic vessels) and Bulls of Pucará are among the most common souvenir-related ceramics. Still, there are plenty of other types from which to choose.
Peruvian paintings are characterized by their vivid colors. Many of them are watercolors, and others have geometrical patterns and designs. They are one of the most original and sought-after products for travelers and can be found both in the Andean regions and in most stores in Lima, Peru. In the Central market, there are some art stalls. Also, several art stores and galleries are selling Peruvian paintings in the Fevacel market in the capital and in the Miraflores neighborhood. In Cusco, every street corner has original pieces of art on sale, and they will even help you ship the paintings back home.
Peru is the home of many distinctive musical styles with roots in Indigenous, African, and European traditions. These unique sounds are made possible thanks to many homegrown instruments that cannot be found outside the region. The most famous of these is the Andean flute or quena, but the charango, zampona, and cajón are other interesting instruments used in Peruvian musical traditions. If you are interested in music, don't miss the chance to buy a unique instrument in specialist stores in Peru to add to your collection.
Jewelry is another product traditionally found in Peru. The best place to buy jewelry is in Lima, the capital. The Central Market, located in the center of Lima next to Abancay Avenue, has a variety of reasonably priced shops. In craft fairs such as La Marina or Nazca, you can also find a diverse array of jewelry, often with intricate designs and colored beads. To confirm that they are original pieces, always ask for a guarantee. You can also find top-grade silver jewelry with different gemstones in the Pisaq market and other traditional markets in The Sacred Valley.
Nutrient-rich crops like quinoa, kiwicha, and sacha inchi have been staples of Peruvian diets for, well, ever. Locally grown, organic edibles make for great gifts… And, the colorful packaging on many a superfood means no need to gift wrap!
Peruvian beans-to-bar chocolate is gaining momentum, and exports of this delicious product have increased steadily since 2001. Dark, milk or white, coconut or coca-filled, handmade or made-by-you, the choices of Peruvian chocolate are seemingly endless. Peru produces some of the purest cacao in the world, and you can find this sweet delicacy in most stores in Peru.
Peruvian masks are usually used in traditional celebrations since they are linked with Peru's rich cultural heritage. Most of the dancers in parades or folk festivals of the country wear them. Many of them are made by hand with 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 masks made from totora reed.
Peruvian coffee beans feature an aromatic, flavorful coffee with a hint of natural acidity. Bright and vibrant in flavor, Peruvian coffee beans are perfect as hot morning brews to start the day. The taste notes and body are distinct per region, and you can experience the flavors in every cup. People can enjoy this great-tasting South American blend in different ways. It can be purchased in any Peru shopping mall or any Cusco shop, especially products from the Quillabamba coffee-growing region. Peru is the top producer of organic coffee beans and is Fairtrade coffee-approved. The coffee beans are cultivated by people who experience coffee as part of their national identity and form an essential part of Peruvian culture.