Famous markets and their curiosities

Folklore

You can learn more about Peruvian culture by visiting its markets and discovering for yourself a living tradition filled with local products and unforgettable typical scenes.

Lima

Surquillo Market

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

This market has become a popular attraction. It is said that the chefs of the finest restaurants in Miraflores, on the other side of the main expressway, go there to buy their ingredients. This is certainly an impeccably orderly market, and while it is a little more expensive than other markets, its produce is of the highest quality. Visitors will also find stalls where they can enjoy a good ceviche: try Cevichano (ceviche with deep-fried calamari) or Bam Bam (shellfish ceviche).

Bio and Eco Fairs

For those looking for organic products or local brands of chocolate, coffee and honey, there are plenty of eco-fairs to explore. The pioneering fair is the Miraflores “BioFeria”, which for the past 15 years has been held every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Parque Reducto. On Sundays at around the same time, the “BioFeria” relocates to a site adjacent to Surquillo Market. There is another bio-fair in Barranco (on the corner of Avenida San Martín and Avenida El Sol), and another one on Calle Miguel Dasso in San Isidro. Organized by Apega, the Mistura Agricultural Fair is the most famous of all Lima’s fairs, and it allows small producers to gain direct contact with consumers. It is open Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., on block 32 of Avenida Brasil, in the district of Magdalena del Mar.

Guided visit

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

Many of the cooking classes available in Lima begin with a tour of the markets. For example, “Lima te llena” will take you to Surquillo Market 2, where you can try, enjoy and learn about both traditional and new flavors. Prices begin at US$50.00 for a 3-hour tour / limatellena.com

Cusco

San Pedro Market

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

This market has become one of the most popular attractions for visitors to Cusco. Here local women will be waiting for you with their blenders to make you a fresh fruit juice. As you wander around, you’ll see coca leaves, handcrafts, shamanic items and other unusual objects. You should explore the entire market, all the way to the food stalls at the back, where 100% local fare includes dishes such as mutton-head soup. Food is also served on the second floor, with set menus for every budget.

El Baratillo Market

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

This picturesque flea market is open every Saturday from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the district of Santiago (behind Avenida Ejército, between the streets of Belén and Tambopata). Don’t take any valuables or too much money with you and remain alert as you wander around this popular and dynamic market. You can find items you won’t see in the downtown stores, but if you’re not an expert you shouldn’t necessarily trust the provenance of the goods on display. The best thing about this market is the chance to observe Cusco’s street life.

Iquitos

Belén Market

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

This famous market is filled with people, bright colors and local life. It is best to go early, and you should remain alert when wandering around the market. When the water level is high, it is possible to visit the floating neighborhood by boat and return to the city’s Malecón in the same vessel. Learn more here: blog.starperu.com/es/?p=2238.

Nanay Market

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

Photo: JL Franco Photogrpahy

This is a peaceful place, composed of a group of food stalls where you’ll find smoked fish and the famous jungle palm weevil larvae known as “suri”, which are eaten fried as a kind of brochette. Boats leave from this small market for Pilpintuwasi, a butterfly breeding and animal rescue project on the Nanay River.