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.
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.
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.
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.
Standard hours are Monday to Saturday 0900-1800. Shops are often open on Sunday too, but hours are limited.
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.
The standard VAT in Peru is 18% and is usually included in price.