Mercado Central de San Pedro
Filled with bright colors and aromas, the stalls of the Mercado Central are packed with fruits, potatoes, herbs, and even bags of fried guinea pigs (a local specialty). Visitors sift through piles of handmade textiles and Andean art and crafts.
Travelers to the market have many options to explore as part of a half-, full-, or multi-day group or private tour. Excursions may include expansive explorations of Cusco and nearby archaeological sites, or may range farther afield to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, including Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon, and Nazca Lines. Travelers may also choose a walking or bike tour, or a tour focused on local cuisine.
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Things to Know Before You Go
- The market is suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families.
- Bring cash, especially small bills and change.
- Haggling over prices is expected.
- Although the area is safe, it is wise to be careful about your wallet and valuables because pickpockets have been known to troll the aisles.
How to Get There
Mercado Central de San Pedro is located at the Plaza de San Francisco, in the historic center of Cusco. It is easily accessible by foot if you are staying at any of the nearby hotels.
When to Get There
The market is open year-round until 5pm daily. Join the locals who typically gather here in the mornings and at lunchtime to catch the energy of the market at its busiest.
Eating at the Market
The food court serves local dishes at a fraction of the cost of most local restaurants. Some foods might be safer for visitors than others (choose quinoa and vegetables, for example, instead of ceviche), but dining at the market is a pleasure you should savor. If you choose a tour focused on cuisine, a local chef may teach you how to concoct the most delicious Pisco sours cocktails, as well as traditional Peruvian dishes with a modern twist.
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