Shopping in Cuzco

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Cuzco is a buzzing, vibrant city that has an interesting mix of the ancient Inca culture and the more modern European culture. Its shopping scene is diverse and filled with eclectic gifts including traditional clothing, collectibles, games, and foods. Most items are sold in large, colorful, open air markets, while others are simply sold by street vendors. As for boutiques or luxury shops, there really aren't any. This town caters to adventurous tourists, so for the most part, these tourists want unique gifts specifically from the area; however, don't be mistaken, local products sold in Cuzco are often of a very high quality, despite their cheap prices.

Special Items From Cuzco

There are several items typical of the city that tourists often seek when they visit. Most recognizable is Andean textile art, which is famous worldwide. With their intricate designs, often reproduced from existing designs in Andean paintings and Inca monuments, these shirts, ponchos, bags, pants, hats, and tapestries are made from either fine alpaca or sheep wool. These are usually sold at low prices but are of a high quality.

Jewelry is also sold at cheap prices in Cuzco. It is usually modeled after pieces found in various Incan tombs. In other words, the jewelry has very traditional designs. Again, just like the textile art, it is high quality work despite the inexpensive prices. The silver work is especially good. Some places offer guarantees on their jewelry, and those more reputable places are obviously the best for buying your jewelry. Pottery and colorful plaster figures called retablos are also common souvenirs. The pottery usually displays patterns, designs, and figures of jungles as well as Incan myths and legends.

Where And How To Shop

In Cuzco, most of the artesan fairs sell all of these products. There are tons of these markets centered around almost every plaza in town, as well as in the more rural surrouding areas such as the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Even if you're not planning to buy anything, these places are entertaining to walk through and offer a unique cultural experience. They are filled with colorful displays of alpaca clothing, hats, ceramics, pottery, and jewelry. Be aware that sometimes being a foreigner will cause local venders to tell you a higher price for an item than the actual price. Don't be afraid to bargain a little bit, it is very common and accepted form of shopping in Cuzco.  

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