After landing in Cusco we left the city to begin our trip to Pisac Market that we had planned. This was the first market that we had the chance to visit while in Peru, and I’m glad we did. I’m not sure that we would have found it on our own as, it was hidden down skinny roads and behind buildings. On the way to the market we stopped for those who wanted to try Guinea Pig. I love to try new foods on my travels, however, Guinea Pig was something I did not partake in on this trip. The smell just got to me and I had to walk away.
Pisac Market is located in the small Andean town of Pisac, in the Sacred Valley along the Urubamba River. This market is opened every day of the week, with Sunday holding the biggest market. There are hundreds of vendors here everyday selling handmade artisan goods. The market starts from the plaza and expands outwards. I felt like I was inside a maze while I was exploring the market. Pisac Market was slightly hidden, but once we arrived we had (what seemed) to be a secret world to explore.
Be prepared to bargain for the items you want to purchase. The markets in Peru are a great place to practice your bargaining skills. I’ve never really been comfortable with bargaining, but I sharpened my skills here and feel more confident. If you shop through different sellers, you will find some have a smaller asking price than others. It’s definitely helpful to speak (some) Spanish and to pay in soles (I found it easier to bargain with soles vs dollars). I was able to bargain (in broken Spanish) the hand-painted canvas of Machu Picchu I bought down my 25 soles! Proud moment for me!
You can find all sorts of artisan goods here. From sweaters, to painting, to dishes, to childrens toys. Beware of fake alpaca sweaters, blankets, ect being sold in the markets. If you find something you like I would highly recommend buying it at this market. A majority of the items can also be purchased in the Cusco Market, but the prices are slightly more expensive in Cusco. I fell in love with a hand-painted chess set, Inca warriors vs the Spaniards. I highly regretted not purchasing it at the Pisac Market, and I had a difficult time finding it later-luckily I was able to, but it did cost more.
There is more to Pisac Market than just items for purchase. Great local cuisine and drinks can also be purchased from vendors. We chose to try some hot, freshly made empanadas- beef and pizza! They were delicious and very inexpensive at 4 soles (1.20 USD). Some people tried Pisco Sour at this market- I didn’t have it here, but I did have it twice, later in the trip.
It’s worth stopping for a moment to take in the surrounding scenery. It was breathtakingly beautiful. That was something I had not anticipated about Peru. The town itself was beautiful and worth taking the time to walk around. I loved taking pictures of the surrounding area. The amount of homeless dogs here, and throughout the other parts of Peru we visited, was heartbreaking. We came to learn that dogs/animals aren’t as valued here as in the U.S.A. Another important lesson you learn, when you travel. We take so much for granted, and I love that traveling forces me to remember this. It’s an easy thing to forget. Pisac Market and the surrounding ruins should be added to your visit if your in the area!
To follow our footprints and stay updated: