Cusco Weather

15°C

Local time Cusco

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Shopping in Cusco

In Cusco, the handicrafts industries of all Peru converge to take advantage of the country's tourist capital. The benefit for the tourist is that a wide range of regional goods, from the Andean zampoña (pan flute) to the beautiful manta baby carriers, are available in abundance and often for very reasonable prices.

Key areas

San Blas is Cusco's artisan quarter and there are a number of workshops here worth visiting, including Galeria Arte Olave and Museo Taller Hilario Mendivil on Plaza San Blas, both of which sell striking artefacts, sculptures, colonial religious images and icons, ceramics and earthenware. Check out Galeria de Arte Primitiva, Hatunruniyoc 495, for contemporary Peruvian art.

Several of the streets near Plaza de Armas are packed with shops selling clothes, bags and rugs. Calle Procuradores is particularly good, and although the prices aren't the cheapest you'll find, the quality is usually decent and few items are very expensive.

Markets

Centro Artesanal is the best craft market in town can be found at the southern end of Avenida El Sol, near the bus station. Known as the Red Market, it's quieter than the historic centre with a wider range of quality goods. Do bear in mind that the sellers are often shrewd businesswomen and are usually not to be bargained with.

Shopping centres

Those wishing to satisfy their shopping centre needs should head over to Real Plaza San Antonio on Avenida de la Cultura. The brand new Centro Comercial de Cuzco is a huge, shiny mall with three levels of spending splendour.

Opening hours

Standard hours are Monday to Saturday 0900-1800. Shops are often open on Sunday too, but hours are limited.

Souvenirs

As Peru’s biggest tourist hub, Cusco is overflowing with potential souvenirs. Gold jewellery is a popular memento with pieces of varying price and quality sold across the city. Traditional textiles can be found at the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco, Avenida El Sol 603A, where visitors can see how they are made but will have to pay for the privilege.

There’s a wealth of Alpaca and llama products available in the city and Kuna, which has branches in Plaza de Armas and Plaza Regocijo, sells top quality clothing as well as super soft items made from the rarer vicuňa and guanaco.

On some streets you’ll find workshops with local craftsman stitching together boots using genuine Cusqueñian textiles. Relatively cheap and knocked up in a day, all you have to do choose the material and leather. Try the zapatería (shoe shop) on Calle Herrajes 144 and ask for Mariano Lloclla Camilla.

Tax information

The standard VAT in Peru is 18% and is usually included in price.

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Featured Hotels

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Inkaterra La Casona

Cusco's first luxury boutique hotel is located in what is probably Cusco's first Spanish construction. The colonial courtyard is surrounded by 11 sumptuous suites furnished with antiques and all mod cons imaginable. Brilliantly located for the arty San Blas district and Plaza de Armas, Inkaterra La Casona is a quiet oasis of serenity with an eco conscience.

Palacio del Inka

Just moments from the Plaza de Armas, the Palacio del Inka combines utmost luxury with an Incan and Spanish twist. Expect framed dark ochre (a nod to Andean spirits), gold and burgundy furnishings that reflect the conquistador influence and original artworks. There are 203 wonderfully fitted rooms to choose from and all boast handcrafted furniture, huge beds and historical décor, along with fast internet, LED TVs and big bathtubs. The Inti Raymi Restaurant downstairs plates up remarkable Peruvian fine dining and there is a tranquil spa onsite as well.

Hotel Monasterio

Located two blocks from the Plaza de Armas, this is the best hotel in Cusco. A sensitive conversion of the 16th-century Seminary of San Antonio Abad, this former monastery has retained its original infrastructure and colonial décor but is now a 5-star international hotel boasting a gilded chapel, superb fine dining and oxygen-enriched air in every room. The therapy suite is also ideal for those returning from a long Machu Picchu trek.

Hotel Costa del Sol Picoaga

Formerly the colonial home of the17th-century Spanish noble, the Marqués de Picoaga, this top-end hotel in Cusco close to the heart of the city makes the most of its handsome colonnaded courtyard, beautiful stone columns and elegant archways. Service is excellent and the hotel has its own bar and high-quality restaurant.

Mama Simona

Quite frankly the coolest hostel in town, Mama Simona (named after one of the mountains in the Scared Valley range) is a clean, kitschy hostel that offers private rooms and dormitories. With varnished wooden floors, comfy beds and artworks adorning the cream walls, those that stay here could quite as easily be bedding down in a New York apartment. Free Wi-Fi and a decent breakfast buffet come as standard with the odd live music night providing the ideal opportunity to make friends too.

Hostal Suecia II

This friendly, budget Cusco hotel option is set in a colonial-style building located two blocks from the Plaza de Armas. Its 16 rooms are set around an attractive interior courtyard and are basic but spacious, clean and comfortable. A safe, sociable, economical option, this hostel has a family atmosphere and is particularly popular with backpackers, especially as Wi-Fi is now available. Ask for a room away from the street. No breakfast.