Shopping in Peru could end up being one of the highlights of your trip so remember to set aside space in your luggage for some wonderful souvenirs. This South American country offers covetable items on almost every street corner. Apart from fine fabrics and colourful clothes, there’s delicious food and drink, and a wide variety of meaningful crafts. Here’s our round up of the best gifts and souvenirs to look for when shopping in Peru.

Shopping Advice and Etiquette

Although longer opening hours often apply in the capital and main tourist hubs, most shops and services in Peru open Monday to Saturday 9am-5pm or 6pm. Many are open on Sunday as well, if just for a few hours. Also bear in mind that shops in large and small towns commonly close at midday, from 1pm-3pm or 2pm-4pm. Bargaining is considered acceptable in markets, but prices elsewhere are generally fixed. Certain items are best avoided when shopping in Peru, for example, it’s illegal to remove items of archaeological or historical value from the country. Many of the jungle crafts which incorporate feathers, skins or shells of rare Amazonian animals are also banned for export, so it’s best not to buy these if you’re in any doubt about their scarcity. 

Shopping in Peru: What to Look For

Traditional Textiles

Beautiful, bright, bold textiles can be found all over Peru, particularly at local markets and where possible, look out for hand-woven pieces. Weaving is a skill that has been passed down through the generations, and many of the designs reflect native beliefs and sacred animals. Woven goods include tablecloths, placemats, rugs, throws, wall hangings and much more.

Clothes and Accessories

Jumpers, hats, scarves and bags make lasting souvenirs, and you will find markets and shops brimming with them all over Peru. Alpaca wool is as insulating as cashmere, lightweight, hypoallergenic and supremely soft, but be aware that many products are advertised as 100% alpaca, but they’re more likely blends of alpaca wool and synthetic fibres. For the real thing, skip the markets and visit boutique stores such as Kuna or Sol Alpaca where the prices reflect the quality. If you’re pushed for room in your suitcase, traditional chullo hats are both compact and authentic. A chullo is an Andean-style hat with earflaps that tie under the chin and is often made from brightly coloured alpaca, llama or sheep’s wool; they’re easy to pick up when travelling through the highlands. Similarly, friendship bracelets are affordable, take up no space in your suitcase and can be worn with everything.

Peruvian Food and Drink

Peru is globally famous for its fantastic food and drink. Take a taste of your trip home with these popular Peruvian treats.

  • Pisco: this spirit is the base ingredient in Peru’s national drink, the pisco sour. Many walking tours end with a demonstration of how to make a pisco sour and you will not want to leave Peru without trying it at least once. Check your country’s duty allowances before stocking up on pisco.
  • Chocolate: this is one souvenir that may not make it home. There are chocolate museums in Cusco and Lima where you can learn how Peruvian chocolate is made, sample some goodies and even take a workshop about it. Be sure to pick up some bars before you leave.
  • Coffee: Peru is one of the largest (and tastiest) coffee producers in the world. You’ll find incredible coffee shops all over the country, and a freshly roasted bag of Peruvian coffee beans makes a fantastic souvenir.
  • Pink Salt: avid chefs will want to add this to their spice rack. Peruvian pink sea salt is hand harvested from an ancient ocean trapped 10,000 feet underground in the Andes Mountains. Visit the salt mines in Maras to see it for yourself.


You’ll find shops selling gold and silver jewellery all over the country. Many feature geometric shapes, including the Inca Cross, which is an important religious symbol for the Quechua people. The hole at the centre is said to represent the city of Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire. The cross is then divided into four quadrants representing the world, sacred animals, Inca commands and human principles. Jewellery doesn’t come more meaningful.

Quirky Crafts

Traditional crafts are some of the most popular souvenirs to pick up when shopping in Peru. Authentic goods from most regions can be found in markets and independent shops in Lima, carved gourds are imported from around Huancayo, and the best jungle crafts are from Pucallpa and Iquitos.

  • Carved Gourds: this traditional Peruvian art form dates back 3,500 years and gourds depict customs, culture, people, history and animals. They make beautiful Christmas decorations and display pieces.
  • Pucará Bulls: pairs of bulls are given as wedding presents to Peruvian couples. Look closely at the rooftops in Peru and you’ll no doubt spot these colourful symbols which are believed to bring fertility, prosperity, happiness and protection. If you’d like to wish the same luck for someone you know, consider bringing home a pair of your own.
  • Retablos Altar Pieces: retablos are brightly coloured wooden boxes which depict religious, historical or everyday events that are important to Peruvian people. There are usually two floors inside, one depicting heaven and the other depicting earth, and sizes and prices are as varied as the scenes inside.
Contact one of our Peru specialists