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A city that is as rich, historically and culturally speaking, like Cusco, has a lot to offer shoppers who are looking for incredible pieces of artwork or beautiful handicrafts. Not only will you be able to get a beautiful gift that is representative of the city but also a part of the culture of this lovely Peruvian tourist destination.
The weaving women, dressed in traditional clothing, and children apprenticing with master artists are a common sight. You can also find figurines in clay and wood and llama or alpaca skin items (overcoats, ponchos, scarves, vests and blankets) during your Cusco shopping trip.If you are looking for a particular handicraft, there are areas of Cusco where you can find a number of shops. The Avenida del Sol definitely stands out as a choice spot to shop in Cusco, as well as the Plaza San Blas. Purchase fantastic handicraft items and observe the whole process of how they are made. You can also come to Triunfo Street, which connects this plaza to the main plaza and where you can find an array of shops.
There are many types of handicrafts that can be found in Cusco but those that are particularly well-known are the textiles with amazing embroidered designs. There are also beautiful Inca figurines as well as silver items, charms, pendants and other pieces of jewelry. You can also find clay, ceramic and plaster sculptures. For those with a religious inclination, there are also small paintings and religious art reproductions.
Cusco has various traditional markets, some of which aren't exactly considered touristic, but they do have a tremendous variety, without question, of handicrafts, mementos, clothes and food. In some cases, markets have a series of small stands and in others, there can be a small group of people sitting in the street, selling their wares. Whatever the situation, you can always find incredible pieces of work that are unique items filled with culture and tradition. Among some of the most important markets in the city, the one that stands out is the Mercado de Artesanias (Handicraft Market), located on Avenida del Sol and Tullumayo. The Centro Artesanal Cusco (Cusco Handicraft Center) and the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (Center of Traditional Textiles of Cusco) are two of the largest and most varied.
During your vacations to Cusco, you won't need to "go" shopping. Many of the locals and in particular, kids, take the initiative and take their wares to the visitor. On your tour around the square (also called the Plaza de Armas), you'll most likely be offered all kinds of services and products, everything from marvelous handicrafts to traditional massages.
Not very far from the Main Square, on Avenida Tullumayo, you can find this handicraft shop that has attractive pieces of beautiful knits and embroidery. When you come for a visit, meet the group of women who make these wonderful items of art.
In one of the main commercial areas of Cusco, in the San Blas neighborhood, there is a picturesque ambiance that is filled with small shops, artisan workshops and old houses. The area has a beautiful colonial church, considered the oldest church in the city, and a small plaza next to it. At this particular plaza, there is usually a large variety of handicrafts, fine jewelry and high quality items of clothing, made by one of the numerous artisans that you can observe in their creative process.
On the outskirts of Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas offers great shopping opportunities, especially in the towns of Chinchero, Pisac and the Ollantaytambo archeological zone. Pisac is about 30 minutes from Cusco and has an excellent handicraft market with very competitive prices. When you visit this town, explore the archeological site nearby.