The San Pedro Market in Cusco is very close to the Plaza de Armas in Cusco it is only about an eight minute walk. On the walk to it you’ll generally notice more and more street vendors and ladies in traditional dress sitting on the side of the streets selling nuts, popcorn and other small bags of dried foods. You’ll spot more and more local shops. If you’re looking for typical alpaca sweatshirts, jackets or scarf, a freshly made juice, a bag of nectarines, some plantains to fry, buttifaras (ham sandwiches served on French bread) or some souvenirs for your loved ones back home you’re definitely heading to the right and best place in Cusco.
What to Expect
As you enter the market all your senses come in to play. The variety of colours, the smell of raw meats and spices, the taste of frying chicken and lomo saltado (stir fried beef), the sound of the local women each fighting for your attention to buy their juices will make you smile! You’ll all of a sudden feel “ah yes, so this is Cusco!!”
When you decide to visit the San Pedro market in Cusco plan a couple hours for this, since there is so much to see and to explore. It is really worth the visit I enjoyed it a lot and I bought some nice accesoires for little money. Just remember to bargain since you are the «gringa who has money» in their eyes they try to charge you more but usually it is possible to work out a fair price. If you dont get the price you want do not hesitate to move on to another stand and try your luck there. Don’t buy at the first stand ask around to get an idea of the prices.
Try a fresh juice for sure from the ladies it is really delicious and cheap. I had the mixed one for only 3 Soles and it is a lot of juice that gives you a Vitamin C boost. The ladies behind the fruit stand are super friendly and chatty. Try some local fruits such as lucuma, granadilla, chirimoya (custard apple).
If you are buying fresh fruits and vegetables make sure to wash them before you eat them to avoid getting sick.
Eating in the market is fun too just to get the feeling and it is super fun just to sit there, enjoying your food and observe the people and what is happening there. A lot of the food sold here it is not very healthy and generally it is fried but it’s an interesting experience and what I think a «must-do». You can try some local delicacies and of Peru´s traditional cuisine in San Pedro market. A good one to try is salchipapas (fried sausages and potatoes). An easy option for most travelers is the empanada. You can get them with meat, chicken or cheese or even a mixture. They are really tasty and cheap too! If you’re feeling a bit more courageous give the beef hearts (antichucos) a taste. Having food at the market is a good way to test the strength of your stomach and your tolerance for market cooked foods!! In saying that it can be helpful to try go to a food stand that has other people at it, that’s busy and it’s no harm to have a look for cleanliness. And also as always check where the locals eat, in those places the food is usually the best and cheapest.
All in all a great and nice experience, which you should definitely put in your itinerary for Cusco.
Mon-Sun 9am to 6pm. Going there in the morning is the best, they have fresh, beautiful flowers there and the food is fresher aswell.
Calles Tupac Amaru and Cascaparo, From Plaza de Armas head south along Calle Manta, past Plazoleta Espinar. As you pass Plaza San Fansisco, an archway will appear in front of you. Head under the arch and walk straight for 2 approx. minutes. San Pedro market will be on your left hand side.