Aside from being one of the best places in the world for sightseeing, Peru is also a shopper’s paradise, and while you are in the capital, make sure that you find some incredible gifts and souvenirs from Lima. With loads of hand-crafted goods, unique food and beverages, and interesting cultural items, all for very affordable prices. If you’re traveling to Lima, you should definitely set aside some time for browsing the many shops and boutiques this city has to offer. You’re sure to find some interesting mementos for yourself and some great gifts from Lima for family and friends back home.
The obvious choice here would be pisco, the grape-based national liquor of Peru. While a popular standard like Santiago Quierolo or Ocucaje certainly will not disappoint anyone, we’d personally opt for a tasty top-shelf variety like Pisco Portón. If pisco’s not really your thing, Peru also produces excellent rum which has been gaining some international recognition in recent years. Check out Ron Cartavio’s XO for a superb top-shelf option as a gift or souvenir from Lima.
Lima is known for having a bit of a sweet tooth, so what more representative gift or souvenir from Lima could there be than candy and sweets? Chocolate lovers can visit the Choco Museo for demonstrations on chocolate-making as well as many nice-looking items to take home. The traditional artisan markets lining Avenida Petit Thouars in Miraflores are also great places to find traditionally made candies and sweets. And of course, any supermarket will have a large selection of common Peruvian candies such as Sublime or Doña Pepa to take back home as a gift from Lima.
Silver and gold have been mined in Peru for thousands of years, so plata and oro are definitely the materials of choice if you would like to buy some jewelry in Lima. Peru is one of the biggest producers of these two precious metals in the world. Some good deals can be found in the traditional artisan stores on Avenida Petit Thouars that we’ve already mentioned. These shops are especially great if you’re looking for any jewelry with traditional symbols or motifs such as the Inca cross. Another great place to browse is Avenida La Paz, also in Miraflores. Here you’ll find a number of professional jewelers with offerings in many different price ranges.
High in the Andes in the region near Cusco are the Maras salt mines, a set of unique mountain-side structures designed to capture natural saltwater from underground springs. These ponds were built by the ancient Wari culture and later used by the Incas to supply salt to their empire. Due to its uncommon location, the salt from these mines contains a special blend of minerals which is cherished for its health-promoting and healing qualities. The pink variety is considered especially mineral-rich (not to mention pleasing to the eye). Maras salt can be found at most supermarkets in Lima and makes a great gift.
Baby alpaca refers to clothing made from the fleece of the first shearing of an alpaca. It’s known for being incredibly soft, light and non-itchy. It is used to produce a large number of high-quality products including blankets, sweaters, scarves and hats. This versatile usage means that plenty of Limeños wear baby alpaca products despite the warm climate. There are tons of great places in Lima to purchase baby alpaca garments and other items. Many high-quality stores selling baby alpaca items can be found on Avenida Jose Larco in Miraflores or inside the Larcomar mall. Alpaca clothing makes for great gifts and souvenirs from Lima.
The traditional flute of the Andes, called a quena in Quechua, is one of the most iconic traditional items in Peru and other Andean countries. It is traditionally made of cane or wood and has 6 finger holes and one thumb hole, though there are many different varieties available. These flutes are known for their deep, textured sound that is instantly recognizable by anyone who has heard traditional Andean music. It’s fairly easy to learn some simple tunes on this instrument (it’s pretty similar to a recorder) but, if you don’t consider yourself much of a musician, they make great recommendations as well. Like most of the traditional craft items on this list, the best place to find a quena is in one of the artisan stores on Avenida Petit Thouars.
Huamanga stone is a type of alabaster that is common in the area around Ayacucho in the Peruvian highlands. When you are purchasing your gifts and souvenirs from Lima, this is a great choice. The type of sculpture that is typically associated with this stone originated in the colonial era and most commonly depict religious images. Huamanga stone figurines make great decorations for gardens, bookshelves, desks and lots of other places. The best place to purchase an authentic Huamanga stone sculpture is in one of the many authentic handicrafts stores on Avenida Petit Thouars in Miraflores.
As you can see, Peru’s capital city of Lima has a treasure trove of gifts and souvenirs for all kinds of people. Of course, the list above contains a lot of representative items from all over Peru, and the best way to grab something truly one-of-a-kind is to travel to these different regions. Peru Hop offers the easiest way to this. As Peru’s only hop on hop off style service, the passes make seeing all the most important sights in the country as easy as possible. We hope to see you here!