where-to-shop-cusco

Centro Artesanal Cusco

Cusco can prove dangerous for magpies types with a penchant for collecting souvenirs. Peru’s customary colourful jumpers, ponchos, hats and scarves (often made from alpaca wool) are everywhere in Cusco, and the Centro Artesanal Cusco is the best place to browse. You’ll want one of everything whether you’ll use it or not: wooden panpipes, leather satchels, woven tablecloths – you name it. Vendors are happy to haggle.

San Blas

The barrio of San Blas is another excellent place to shop. Considered the artisan area of Cusco, you’ll find many antique shops, jewellers and art galleries here. Most famous is the family-owned Artesanias Mendivil, where you can purchase some of the iconic long-necked religious figurines that the area has become known for, as well as pretty mirrors, carved wooden frames and unusual ceramics. Cuesta San Blas also has excellent artisan products and new and old oil paintings, and around the San Blas plazoleta you can browse unique clothes and trinkets.

Hilo

For unique designer apparel, head to Hilo in San Blas. Designed by a woman from Northern Ireland, Eibhlin Cassidy, the clothes here are some of the most distinctive in the country – not just in Cusco. Cassidy’s designs are exclusively for women and feature vivid and arresting combinations of fabrics, patterns, colours and embellishments. The quirky designs may not be for everyone, but a visit to the store is tantamount to visiting a gallery, so it’s worth a trip even if you’re not buying.

Hilo

Centro Artesanal Cusco

San Blas

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