Maybe it’s the end of your trip and you’re looking for a memento to remind you of an unforgettable stay in Peru. Maybe you’ve underestimated the cool nights at high altitude and want to pick up a traditional Alpaca sweater to keep you warm. Or maybe you are simply looking to grab some local ingredients, spices, fruits and vegetables. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s probably a market that will sell it to you. Here are the best markets in Arequipa.
Fundo el Fierro
As you walk the streets of Arequipa, you will see masses of gorgeous traditional crafts, jewelry, trinkets, and souvenirs. To be efficient, and find it all in one place, visit the Fundo el Fierro artisans’ market just a few blocks north of the Plaza de Armas. It opens up mid-morning and will give you enough enticing items to fill a suitcase.
San Camilo Market
Probably the most popular market in the city because of its proximity to the Plaza De Armas, San Camilo Market is also possibly the most authentic market you will find in Arequipa. You’ll find underground food courts, butchers, local spices, and fruit stalls, and although the city is a couple of hours inland, you can get your seafood here as well. Get ready to plug your nose, because it can get pretty pungent, but that’s a sign that you are in an authentic local market!
When an area is known as “Merchants,” there’s a reasonable chance that it’s geared towards shopping. Mercaderes is a pedestrianized street that runs perpendicular to the northeast corner of the Plaza de Armas. You’ll find market stalls, pharmacies, little food kiosks, and electronics stores on Mercaderes.
Mercado Senor de Los Milagros
South America is largely very religious, and you’ll see evidence of this everywhere you go. The name of this market, the Mercado Senor De Los Milagros, means “Lord of Miracles Market.” It’s quite far outside the center of the city, and although it’s not as big as San Camilo, if you’d like to visit somewhere very authentic and maybe even find you’re being stared at as the only foreigner in here, this is the one.
Megacentro Don Ramon
Mega Centro Don Ramon offers an array of Peruvian soccer jerseys, shirts, skirts, jeans, dresses, and athletic shoes. Some sport logos that look similar to those of some well-known brands, but don’t expect them to be authentic.
Centro Comercial Santa Teresita
Sitting directly across the road from Don Ramon, this commercial center is more of a mall than a market, but Avenida Siglo XX is a good place to start your shopping, as it sells an array of clothing, hats, shoes, and accessories.
Wandering Arts Merchants
In the Plaza de Armas in the center of town, you will often be approached by men and women with leather portfolios. Get out of the mindset of saying no automatically to all the people who try to sell you things, and take a moment to view their art, as they are usually one-of-a-kind pieces of very high quality, at incredibly reasonable prices.
Certain streets in Arequipa have small entryways into shops that open up like their own little market. These are terrific places to strike up a deal with the vendor if you find a certain style of items that you like, and you can often work out a discount if you buy in bulk. Notable locations, streets, and areas to wander around and keep your eyes peeled are the following: