5 Great Peru Vacation Souvenirs For Less Than 50 US Dollars Each
When travelling abroad it is always nice to take something back with you as a reminder of your Peru vacation adventure. Here are 5 great gift ideas that won’t break the bank, and all which can be bought for less than US$ 30 each.
Whether you are looking to buy something for yourself, a friend or a family member it is always great to take something home as a reminder of your time in Peru. As with all top tourist destinations Peru has many shops and street vendors offering all sorts of weird and wonderful souvenirs. Much of what is on offer is of limited quality and probably not worth the money, but with a little bit of insider help, you too can find some pretty cool gifts to take home.
You don’t need to break the bank to find great gifts, and all the ideas that we have listed below can be purchased for less than US$ 50 each.
A Bottle of Pisco - US$ 15
The national drink of Peru is Pisco. Technically a white brandy, Pisco is a strong spirit that can be drunk straight or mixed to make cocktails. The most famous cocktail is the Pisco Sour made with Ice, lime juice, sugar syrup, egg white and a few drops of bitters. Many Peruvians just mix it with Sprite and a little lime for a sharp refreshing drink. Pisco comes from several regions in Peru, including the town of Pisco itself, Lima, Ica and Arequipa. Like with most spirits there are many types of Pisco’s available, and prices can range from as little as $7 a bottle through to several hundreds of Dollars. Pisco made from the Italia grape is one of the best, and can be purchased at most supermarkets for about US$ 15 a bottle. Take the taste of Peru home from your Peru vacation and share it with several friends.
Hand-made Peruvian Silver Earrings – US$ 50
There are many places to buy jewellery in Peru. Most of the more economical jewellery can be in the touristy areas of the city, or at local craft markets, like the traditional market of Pisac or the central artisanal market in Cusco. The style of the jewellery tends to be inspired by traditional Inca designs, but there is also a wide range of other pieces to suit all tastes. The main drawback to buying jewellery on a Peru vacation is knowing that what you are getting is actually genuine. Street vendors are happy to tell you whatever you want to hear, as long as you buy something. For this reason it is recommended that you only purchase items from a reputable shop. One of the best shops in Peru is called Ilaria who specialize in only high quality hand-made silver jewellery. From their exclusive factory in Lima, Ilaria specializes in unique one-off items that are not found anywhere else in the world. Although many of the items are much more expensive than US$ 50, there are some smaller pieces like earrings and rings which retail for around the US$ 50 mark. Ilaria shops can be found around the main plaza in Cusco and in the LarcoMar complex in Miraflores – Lima.
Hand-made Peruvian Pottery – US$ 15 - 50
In the small town of Urumbamba in the Sacred Valley is the Peruvian pottery maker of Seminario. For the last 30 years Pablo Seminario and his wife have been making unique pieces of colourfully painted pottery that range from small cups though to large elegant pots. If you have the time on your Peru vacation a visit around the workshop in Urubamba is an interesting afternoon out. You can see the full process of manufacturing, from the moulding though to the curing and painting of these wonderful pieces of art. If you are short of time, then head to the Seminario shop located on the main plaza in Cusco (next to McDonalds). Here you will find a whole array of different items that make great gifts.
A Baby Alpaca Scarf US$ 30 - 40
Baby Alpaca wool is a soft and fine material which is used for many premium clothing items throughout Peru. Baby alpaca scarfs and gloves come in a wide range of colours and make great classy gifts for any Peru vacation packages. Remember to purchase your scarf from a reputable shop as there are many fake products available. Street vendors will sell you regular alpaca products, claiming that it is in-fact baby alpaca. In Cusco, shops like Kuna and Galaria Latina sell high quality baby alpaca products.
Knitted Tortora Reed Boat – US$ 25- 30
For any Machu Picchu Lake Titicaca vacation, there are some excellent opportunities to purchase some really quite unique gifts. One such gift can be found on the floating Uros Islands in the bay of Lake Titicaca. Talented islanders have made a range of gifts from knitted tortora reed found on the shores of the Lake. A small knitted boat is a prime example of one such gift, and is perfect as the centre piece for a coffee table or a fruit bowl. Negotiate a good price with the islanders as initial prices can often be double what they will actually accept.
Peruvian Coffee – US$ 10
Although Peruvian’s don’t have a coffee culture and prefer to drink herbal teas, Peru is a large coffee growing nation. Not far from Machu Picchu is a remote (and quite large) jungle town called Quillabamba, where most of the coffee is farmed. Most of what is produced in Peru is exported to North America and Europe where is used by branded names to produce the products that we are familiar with. Although there are not many outlets for coffee in Peru, there is one shop in Cusco airport that specializes in high quality Peruvian coffee. Use your left-over local currency to buy some coffee at the end of your Peru vacation.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Jones is a travel writer and industry professional living and working in Cusco, Peru. As a senior travel advisor for Totally Latin America, Paul has planned hundreds of tours to Peru and his expert local knowledge is invaluable to the company. Fluent in Spanish/English and married to a local Peruvian, Paul is passionate about Peru and is in a great position to communicate the latest developments and travel news about Peru.
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