San Pedro Market
San Pedro Market Cusco Reviews
San Pedro Market Apr 16, 2014
On the morning of our last full day in Cusco, our tour guides offered an optional tour of the "San Pedro Market," also called the "Mercado Central." This market is located near the San Pedro rail station, hence its name.
I add this tip only for additional informational purposes and not because I have first-hand experience at the market. Although this market is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, I opted not to visit the market because I had previously seen photos displaying not just produce but meat --- specifically odd assortments of animals parts, and butchered animals. While some may find this sort of thing interesting, I cannot stomach it. I would not bring children here --- if it is upsetting to some adults, the same could be true for children.
If you can manage the shock of seeing all sorts of animals and their parts being sold, you can move on to other sections of the market where you'll find vegetables, breads, pastries, freshly squeezed fruit juice, and the more expected items you think of when visiting a market. You will probably marvel at the hundreds of different types of Peruvian potatoes and corn, and huge varieties of fruit for sale. However, there are many unusual food items for sale too such as coca leaves, quail eggs, fried cuy (guinea pig), "sangre de drago" or dragon's blood which is really an Amazonian tree sap, live frogs for frog soup, and more that is difficult to write about. You can purchase food for snacks, or a meal and eat at street stalls incredibly inexpensively.
Rather than being a market where sellers pile their goods and produce under pitched blue tarps, the San Pedro Market/Mercado Central is rather large and housed still in an open-air situation but in a more substantial structure with supports and a metal roof offering protection from the sun and rain. At least one online site mentions that pick-pockets are not uncommon at this market so be on guard.
If the San Pedro/Mercado Central is just not a place which would appeal to you, try visiting The Artisan or Artesanal Market (located at the corner of Avenida del Sol and Tullumayo) which is known for the sale of handmade crafts and souvenirs. It is said to be the largest indoor market of handicrafts in Cusco. Also, don't miss a visit to the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (located at Av. El Sol 603) which is the city version of the Center for Traditional Textiles in Chinchero where we had visited earlier.
It seems that markets and shops away from the Plaza de Armas have better pricing and you can negotiate for a better price with some sellers.
Part of the Sacred Valley, Peru 2014 travel blog
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Free from the touristy schtick, this market is, quite literally, a sleeper hit! Dec 01, 2013
Think of a busy Sunday of sightseeing in Cusco. You visited the ruins, you gaped at the Cathedral and you ran out of breath going up the hill to the Churches.
Think of a busy Sunday, now but at a market in Cusco. This isn't the touristy "central market" that's choc-a-block with souvenirs and tourists, but it's actually a central market that the local Cusco folks flock to. It's blessed by being sandwiched between two popular (read: non touristy) churches so folks can finish Sunday Mass and head to do some grocery. What's even nicer about this place is there are few and very cheap eateries inside the market so basically, you get to pray, shop AND eat in less than a 0.1 mile radius. Genius!
The market houses all sorts of things - clothes, curios, LOTS of vegetables and fruit, meat, eateries (ranging from snacks and junk food to proper full-on meals), soda and milkshake bars and flowers. The market by itself has a very welcoming feel and that's just because it seems so lazy in between a Sunday noon hustle bustle. You have dogs, visitors and owners lazily sauntering the aisles, no one's in a rush, at times the owner of a stand steps away and people actually queue up awaiting his return... as I said, it's ALL SO LAZY.
And that's the X-Factor about this market.
Being so centrally located, they could've turned this into another tourist malarkey, but they chose to keeping it real, genuine and laidback. Sums up the Peruvian culture! Highly recommended.
Part of the Peru travel blog
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy