Top 7 Peruvian Gift & Souvenir Categories and Where to Buy Them
February 28, 2018
When you’re going to Peru, you’re definitely going to want to leave some room in your luggage for gifts and souvenirs. All over this amazing country you will find different types of gifts and souvenirs which we have categorised for you below, that you will want to bring back home. As well as the categories of the gifts and souvenirs, we have listed the best places to buy them to make your gift shopping experience as easy as possible before leaving Peru.
The Top 7 Peruvian Gift & Souvenir Categories are:
The alpaca is one of the most distinctive Andean animals that inhabit Peru. This close relative of the camel has adapted to its environment quite well. Thus, the clothing made out of its wool is lightweight, hypoallergenic, as insulating as cashmere and best of all, it does not itch. Moreover, Baby alpaca clothes are made from the fleece of the first shearing of alpaca, which is supremely soft. Many products are advertised as 100% baby alpaca, but they probably are blends of alpaca wool or even acrylic and synthetic fibers. Sweaters, slippers and scarves are just a few of the options to choose from.If you want to get the real deal, skip the handicraft markets and go straight to boutique stores such Kuna or Sol Alpaca for example where the prices will reflect the quality.In particular, the most popular clothing item is the Chullo. It is an Andean style hat with earflaps that can be tied under the chin. Chullos are not only colorful and fashionable, but they also make a practical accessory when passing through the high altitudes in the Andes. Among the many places where you can buy these, you can go to Galeria Artesanal San Francisco in Jirón Lampa 216, Cercado de Lima or near the main square in Cusco.
Gold and Silver jewelry
Silver, gold and many other minerals have been mined in Peru for thousands of years even before the Incas first appeared. Moreover, Peru is one of the biggest producers of gold and silver in the world.You can find jewelry with traditional symbols or motifs as well as many contemporary designs at the traditional artisan stores on Avenida Petit Thouars in Miraflores. Moreover, on Avenida La Paz also in Miraflores you will find a number of professional jewelers with offerings in many different price ranges.
Friendship bracelets are affordable, take up no space in your suitcase, and can be worn with everything. You can find them in all designs, colors, and quality. These bracelets will reflect native beliefs, traditions and the good memories of your adventures in Peru of course. Almost all handicraft markets will have them; however, a recommended spot is Galeria Artesanal San Francisco on Jirón Lampa 216, Cercado de Lima.
Weaving is a skill that has been passed down through generations. Needless to say, the skill has been perfected as time went by. Many of the pieces will reflect native beliefs and designs. You can buy tablecloths, table runners, placemats, etc. made out of bright and bold textiles. On top of that, woven rugs are colorful item to have at your living room for example.Another option is to take home some paintings you can admire every day to remember your trip to Peru, and maybe even do a little bit of bragging to the friends that come visit you ;). Women in native dresses make for great subjects as well as the unrivaled landscape of Machu Picchu. Speaking of artwork, in Peru you can find “Retablos” and “mates burilados”Retablos are brightly colored wooden boxes which depict religious, historical, or everyday activities of Peruvian people. The delicate figures in these boxes sometimes appear on two levels: the upper level symbolizes heaven and sacred figures, while the lower lever portrays life on earth.Mates burilados are carved gourds which are a traditional art form that first appeared 3,500 years ago. The gourds tell a story of the customs, culture, people, history, and animals. You could hang them from a Christmas tree or use them as a decorative piece around the house.To purchase any of the items mentioned above, you could go to “Inca Market” on Calle Gonzáles Prada 280, Miraflores, “Artesanos Don Bosco” in Av San Martin 135, Barranco, “Mercado Artesanal”, Belisario Suarez 315, Miraflores or near the main square in Cusco.
ENTERTAINMENT TIP: If looking for fun at night, or to watch sports during the day, or even a taste of home, visit the Wild Rover Hostels Chain for great food, sports and beer! Entrance to their bars is free even for non-guests
Andean dolls are a wonderful gift for a child to learn about the lifestyles, dress, and culture of traditional Peruvian women. Also, as we know, Alpacas are symbols of Peruvian culture and are pretty cute too. And, although you won’t be able to take one home with you, you can do the next best thing which is buy an alpaca doll made with real alpaca fur to remind you of such furry creatures.Finger puppets and keychains are another popular souvenir that you can take back home. These will resemble things like animals, ancient sites, peoples, etc.These items are ubiquitous. In particular, you can buy yours at Galeria Artesanal San Francisco in Jirón Lampa 216, Cercado de Lima or near the main square in Cusco.
Peruvian music is varied with many styles that had also incorporated Spanish and African influences. If you are musically inclined, you may wish to bring home a new instrument. Choose from wooden flute, a panpipe made of eleven graduated reed tubes known as a zampoña, bombo drum, cajón, charango, etc. Head to Plaza 2 de mayo and its surroundings in Cercado de Lima to look for your favorite instrument.
Pisco is a transparent brandy produced in the winemaking regions of Peru and it is made by distilling fermented grape juice. Pisco is the main ingredient of the national drink called Pisco Sour. Many walking tours end with a demonstration of how to make Pisco Sour and you will not want to leave Peru without trying this unique cocktail. If you end up liking it as much as we do, here are the full ingredients: Pisco, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, ice, egg white, and Angostura bitters.
When it comes to soft drinks, you will certainly hear “Inca Kola”. Although it was created in Peru in 1935 by British immigrant Joseph Robinson Lindley using lemon verbena, this soft drink is a source of national pride in Peru. As experts point out, Peru is one of the very few markets in the world where Coca-Cola is outsold by a local beverage, Inca Kola.You can purchase these two items at any super market; Plaza Vea, Metro, Wong, Vivanda, etc.
7.Snacks & Spices
Among the great selection of snacks that you can buy to give as a gift to your friends back home, you have Roasted Salted Corn, Banana Chips, Andean cereal bars, etc.Lastly, Peruvians are internationally known for their food, so why not bring home some of the ingredients that make their cuisine so delicious?Yummy! Hurry to the nearest super market to buy these goodies before closing time.