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Peru Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Peru

If you are looking for souvenirs to remind you of your trip to Peru, there are many attractive Peruvian handicrafts such as alpaca wool sweaters, alpaca and llama rugs, Indian masks, colourful weaving and silver jewellery. These are widely obtainable all over the country – they are generally cheaper in small villages but the major cities sell items of the highest quality.

Galleries and handicraft shops abound in Cusco and the Miraflores, Pueblo Libre and downtown districts of Lima. Big handicrafts markets in Lima are located in Miraflores (Avenida Petit Thouars, blocks 52 to 53) and Pueblo Libre (Avenida La Marina, blocks 8 to 10).

If you are shopping in Cusco, you’ll find a popular handicrafts markets on Avenida El Sol, and Arequipa sells souvenirs in the streets leading from the main plaza and tiny stalls accessible from the main plaza which expand into huge areas full of things to buy as you go further in. All of these stalls expect gentle haggling, especially in the form of discounts for multiple items. When haggling, it is important not to be aggressive and not to expect massive reductions.

You can generally find the best deals at outdoor Andean craft markets in places such as Pisac near Cusco and the Mantaro Valley near Huancayo.

For more standard shopping fare such as clothes, the Miraflores district of Lima contains plenty of shops. For designer clothes and shoes at cheaper prices than you’ll find at home, there is Lima’s Mercado Central.

Shopping Note

Be very careful with what you try to take back – cultural artefacts are prohibited from being taken out of the country, as are some natural products, including feathers and animal skins.

Shopping hours

Hours vary significantly, but the standard is Mon-Sat 1000-1300 and 1600-2000.

Nightlife in Peru

Nightlife is varied throughout the country. There are many good bars, pubs, discos and casinos in the major towns and tourist resorts. Peñas (clubs with traditional music and dancing) always serve snacks and some serve full meals. Here you can enjoy criolla or folk music, especially at weekends. Nightlife in Lima and Cusco has a wide array of choices, as do the beach towns of Asia and Máncora.

Tourist bars set up by both locals and expats abound in the more popular traveller destinations, with happy hours. Such places usually function as cafés during the day serving food designed to appeal to foreign taste buds, and providing free Wi-Fi. Strict dress codes and entrance prices that go as high as 50 Soles are common in upscale Lima nightspots, while in other towns standards and prices are considerably lower. Most discos, peñas, pubs and karaoke bars are open until 0300 or 0400.

In smaller towns and villages throughout the country you’ll find local bars serving glasses of beer and Peruvian wine of varying qualities. Establishments that function as restaurants during the day and evening often stay open later for those wishing to stay and drink. There is a culture among the younger Peruvians to go out for salchipapas (sausage and chips) as an evening out or as a prelude to further entertainment.

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