Saturday, November 7, 2009

Peru: Shopping

One of the side benefits of going to Peru is getting to go shopping. It's a lot of fun. When we were there the Nuevo Sol traded for about three soles per U.S. dollar.

We thought we'd done quite a bit of shopping, but when we added everything up for US Customs we realized we hadn't really spent much. Of course, sometimes it seems like work to shop when you have to haggle in the marketplaces.

I sure wish that I had purchased more of the fine, intricate weavings on the Island of Taquile or some of the other places we visited.

lovely vendor in Arequipa who we bought hats from

Where do you shop in Peru? EVERYWHERE. You don't even have to go shopping. Sometimes the shopping comes to you. Musicians in restaurants will want to sell you their CDs, ladies will try to sell you sweaters in the streets, artists will hound you to look at their portfolios in the plazas and at every pull off on the road there might be vendors with their wares spread out on a blanket.

vendors on the road from Arequipa to Chivay

Various items that old ladies managed to talk Dan into buying--he's such a pushover. Some of these will decorate our Christmas tree.

beautiful girl at a roadside scenic overlook near Chivay--I purchased an ocarina from her

Above: hand-guided machine embroidered items I bought beside the road from the lady who made them in Colca Canyon. They depict the huge humming birds and the condors we had just seen that morning.

Uros Islands

Uros Islands--the little one will be a Christmas decoration

Jewelry co-op near Sicuani

Raqchi Tambo




The following pictures are from Pisaq which is known for it's colorful market:


Ollantaytambo--these girls followed Dan all the way to the vehicle trying to get him to buy

I think that Chinchero was our favorite market. We were only there for a few minutes. We actually went to see the highly decorated church, but we were able to quickly purchase a couple of calabazas from this man below and a woven belt from the lady in the next photo as well as one other weaving. All were purchased directly from the craftsperson--the best way to buy in Peru!



We didn't do much shopping in Cuzco, but we did find this very interesting textile co-op that had a great small museum with it.



Copyright 2009 text and photos. All rights reserved.


  1. Oh MY! What an experience! I love shopping in third world market places, part of my struggle in asking the "going rate" for my work is having so much experience seeing astounding work for next to nothing! I grew up overseas and I've always seen such beautiful work for so little, it's crazy. Yet with fair trade working so hard for so many people they now actually make good money, but their work is still so cheap! It's just such a different reality.
    Thank you for sharing your experience, your pictures are stunning!!

  2. I feel like I have been to Peru! Thank you so much for the tour of the market places =) Lucious!!!

  3. Oh my heavens! Now I am crying again!! You have made me so homesick - what wonderful photos. I lived in Peru as a young girl and have always wanted to return. I still keep in touch with several of my friends from there, but the marketplaces and scenery are such "old hat" to them that they laugh when I ask them to get out and about and send me photos! Thank you SO much for this trip down memory lane - and thanks to my dear friend Kathy at Tapestry316 for sending me the link to your blog.

  4. You all are very welcome. It was such a wonderful trip. I have a couple more blog posts to write--so much to share.