Cusco San Pedro Market
Cusco San Pedro Market is a sprawling, open-air market, with everything from produce and meat to clothing and incense. Popular with locals and visitors, the market is an entertaining destination for shoppers and anyone curious about local culture.
Wander through the enormous cluster of market stalls housed in a warehouse space stretching about one block long and three blocks wide. Vendors crowd the space inside the warehouse, spilling onto the streets and sidewalks. Find stalls all the way to the nearby railway tracks. Despite its busy, frantic energy, you’ll find the market is surprisingly clean and organized compared to many others in the region, helping to fuel its popularity.
Get lost in the maze of stalls, watching for brightly colored varieties of corn and potatoes. Look for enormous round bread rolls, slabs of alpaca jerky, overflowing bins of quinoa and live frogs, said to improve sexual performance. Walk toward the edge of the market, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of stands selling traditional clothing, incense and charms.
Haggle for the best price on bars of pure cocoa, Andean cheeses and local handicrafts. If your stomach is strong enough to venture into the meat section, select from baskets of snouts, pig heads and whole fried guinea pigs.
Be sure to look for the cluster of fruit juice stands, all of which serve the same fruits at the same prices. Pull up a plastic stool and choose the fresh fruits you’d like blended into your drink.
In the food court area, try authentic, local dishes at affordable prices. In the morning, sample a typical breakfast consisting of beef, potatoes and rice. Later in the day, use a toothpick to snack on hard-boiled quail eggs. Soups are a particularly popular dish, with types ranging from tame chicken and noodles to broths that incorporate the snouts and tails of different animals.
Cusco San Pedro Market is located near the San Pedro rail station. It’s open daily from morning until early evening.