Shopping in Lima
Lima’s shopping scene is very much one of two sides. On the one hand, the city’s modern collection of sleek shopping malls are bursting with designer clothing, trendy home ware and high-tech gadgets; on the other, markets and small, independent craft sellers are in rich supply of traditional and beautifully made Peruvian handicrafts. Compared with other capital cities, Lima isn’t going to be classed among the greatest shopping destinations on earth, but it certainly isn’t bad at all.
Miraflores has several handicraft shops around Avenida La Paz and in the large emporia on Avenida Petit Thouars 53-54, a block from the Miraflores roundabout. One of the best is Kuntur Wasi, Calle Ocharan 182, which has an English-speaking owner. Antisuyo, Javier Tacna 460, Miraflores, is an indigenous cooperative that sells pottery from all over Peru. A good place for fine crafts and indigenous painting is Agua y Tierra, Javier Diez Canseco 298, Miraflores.
Alpaca III, Avenida Larco 671, Miraflores, with other branches throughout the city, has a fine selection of woven or knitted alpaca goods, as does Inkantations, Avenida Larco 1180, Miraflores. All these shops offer a whole range of silver and gold artefacts, locally made woven textiles, alpaca goods, colourful ponchos, rugs, coats and blankets.
Pretty Miraflores has a daily crafts market in Parque Kennedy, open 1700-2300. However Lima's biggest crafts market is Feria Artesanal, Avenida La Marina and Avenida Sucre in Pueblo Libre. It is open daily 1200-2000, sprawling along Avenida La Marina from the sixth to the 10th block.
For more international shopping in Lima, visitors should head to the modern Ripley department store on Parque Kennedy, Miraflores and also at Calle Las Begonias 577, San Isidro. The biggest shopping mall, Jockey Plaza, Avenida Prado Este, Surco, has many top designer shops, while by the sea in Miraflores, embedded in the cliff side, is shiny shopping mall Larcomar (www.larcomar.com). Inside this retail emporium find trendy clothing and accessory boutiques, stylish home ware, restaurants, cafés, a multiplex cinema and even a 10-pin bowling facility. Its location means once you’re tired of shopping, there is plenty choice in restaurants overlooking the water for a picturesque post-purchase meal.
On the whole, shops are open Monday to Saturday 0930-1230 and 1500-2000, with many shops open Sunday with restricted hours.
Lima specialises in arpilleras: colourful hand-sewn fabric collages depicting typical Peruvian life. These are typically made by local women, and can be picked up at markets. Lima is also where arts and crafts from across Peru are sold, from the mountains to the jungle, so if you missed that special something from another Peruvian destination, there is a good chance it will pop up in one of Lima’s traditional craft hubs or on a market stall – from alpaca rugs and clothing to weavings, pottery and silverware.
At present there is no tourist rebate on the 18% sales tax, unless goods are bought at the international departure lounge of Jorge Chavez Airport.