As South America’s culinary capitol, Peru has some of the best markets on the continent. While planning your next adventure to Peru, come see what we have put together as our top can’t-miss markets in Peru!
1) Surquillo Market, Lima
Off the beaten tourist path, the Surquillo Market in Lima, is the best place to mingle with local limeños on their lunch hour from work and try some of the best and freshest ceviche in the city. Surquillo Market is a never-ending maze that embraces all the senses. Feel the sea breeze as it makes its way through the cobblestone streets, listen to vendors shouting out the day’s deals on vibrant produce, smell juicy limes as they are squeezed over tantalizing ceviches, taste the freshest catch of the day from any one of the local food stalls and witness the lively rhythm of life in the heart of Peru’s coastal capitol! (Our favorite ceviche stand here is: La Picanteria- absolutely cannot be missed!)
2) Chinchero Market, Sacred Valley
Nestled between Cusco and Urubamba, Chinchero Market is a bustling center for locals and tourists alike. The village of Chinchero is home to numerous weaving communities and the market is centralized around this traditional art form of the area. Produce, clothes, and a wide range of other local handicrafts are also available. The market is bordered by an impressive Incan wall, believed to be part of a former Incan Palace. Peaking over the walls of the market is a 17th century Spanish colonial church built upon Incan ruins. The best days to visit this market are Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
3) San Pedro Market, Cusco
San Pedro Market is a cultural cornerstone in Cusco. Expanding over three city blocks, this massive complex is Cusco’s largest food market. Vendors crowd themselves in to sell their wares from every nook and cranny in and around the building. Colorful blankets are strewn out on the ground, with cheerful elders sitting atop small wooden stools selling spices by the pound. Across the aisle joyous towers of carefully stacked fruits of all shapes and sizes beckon as a round grinning vendor offers curious patrons slices of sweet citrus or meaty avocado. Besides, the typical produce and meat, Cusco’s central market has numerous oddities for sale as well. Tourists and locals alike, have fun trying to find more obscure items for sale in this Andean crossroads.
4) Pisac and Pisac Market, Sacred Valley
Pisac, a picturesque Andean village, is located just 45 minutes from Cusco and home to the most famous market in the Sacred Valley. Its main square is dominated by a leafy pisonary tree: the heart of the town and market. In spite of its popularity, the market retains much of its local charm; vendors from countless villages flock here to barter and sell their wares and produce. Behind the village, a road winds slowly uphill ending at the ancient ruins of Pisac. The ruins are some of the finest and largest in the entire valley. Despite the excellent condition of many of the structures, little is conclusively known about the site’s actual purpose. It appears to have been part city, part ceremonial center, and part military complex. It might have been a royal estate of the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Visitors to this market should not miss out on these incredible ruins. Not to mention the hike down boasts breathtaking views of the outstretching Sacred Valley.
5) Mercado Central, Arequipa
Mercado Central is Arequipa’s principal farmers market and excellent place to mix with arequipeños and try some of the region’s best food! The market spans several blocks and has a second level filled with small food carts and cafes. One of the best times to visit is in the morning for breakfast; the second floor cafes are a preferred local hotspot and great for people watching.
Your friendly South America expert,