The Ultimate Peru List: Hitting the markets in Lima
Markets are the best place to go shopping. Not only can you can find unique items but you’ll likely find the bargain master lurking within.
by Sharon de Hinojosa
In general the shops in the front of any market charge more than those inside.
Bargaining is a must, so be sure to ask for a discount and you can usually get a couple of soles knocked off. Every little bit helps, a sol here and a sol there add up.
One of the best known market, and a favourite among tourists, is Polvos Rosados near Ovalo Higuereta in Miraflores. There are several markets in Lima called Polvos (powders) – it is still a mystery to me why they are called that.
If you cross the street to Polvos de Higuereta, you’ll find better quality, cheaper prices, and a cleaner atmosphere.
Also next to Polvos Rosados is CC de los Altos. There are lots of little kiosks that sell clothes and shoes. You’ll also find loads of hair salons inside, you might even want to grab a pedicure for your tired feet at the end of a shopping spree.
Polvos Azules, in Lima on Av. 28 de Julio in La Victoria district, is another possibility. The quality varies and it’s not the best neighborhood, but it is a good place to find bargains on electronics.
El Hueco on Abancay and El Mercado Central are huge markets located in the center of Lima. You can find good bargins both inside the shops and on the sidewalks outside.
Perhaps the most famous market in Lima with people coming from Chile and Ecuador is Gamarra, located in La Victoriaon Prolongacion Gamarra. Gamarra is famous for its low prices and its seemingly never-ending blocks of shops.
There are buses that’ll take you there on Av. Aviacion. The main area is block 6 to 9. Fabric can be found along block 15 of Humboldt and the 6th block of Gamarra. Imported fabrics can be found at Fanitex, Gamarra 661, Shop 114. It;s best enjoyed in the morning.
Although in the past is was a bit dangerous, it’s been cleaned up and is probably the best place in Lima to find a bargain.
If you’re looking for furniture, a good place is Plaza Hogar in Av. Angamos in Surquillo. We bought a dresser and closet there for about US$200. Things are often made by hand, and you can choose from different woods and varnishes.
If you’re looking for Peruvian arts and crafts or touristic souvenirs, you should hit Av. Arequipa and parallel Av. Le Petit Thouars, heading north from Ovalo de Miraflores. There are several artisan markets, like the Inca Market.
An important tip for shoppers going to markets – make sure you wear oldish clothes, no jewelry, take cash and hide it really well.
If you’re in Lima, take a day and go to a market, it’s an unforgettable experience.