The 20 Best Gifts and Souvenirs from Peru - Peru Hop (2023)

If you are headed to Peru you’ll want to leave extra space in your bag for souvenirs. As you tour the country you will find markets full of beautifully crafted goods in eye-catching colors and motifs. Below are the top 20 best gifts and souvenirsfromPeru.

1. Alpaca clothing

At Peru Hop, we think sweaters, hats, scarves and blankets make for a long lasting souvenir, and you will find markets and stores everywhere stocked with them. Alpaca products are as insulating as cashmere, they’re also lightweight, hypoallergenic, and best of all, they don’t itch. Baby alpaca clothes are made from the fleece of the first shearing of alpaca, which is supremely soft. Many products are advertised as 100% baby alpaca, but chances are, they are blends of alpaca wool or even acrylic and synthetic fibers.

If you want the real thing skip the handicraft markets and visit boutique stores such as Kuna or Sol Alpaca where the prices will reflect the quality. Arequipa is where many of the products are manufactured and if you are passing through, this will be the best place to buy alpaca products.

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2. Textiles

Traditional Peruvian clothing and products ranging from shoes to tote bags are made out of bright, bold textiles. There are stacks of beautiful fabrics for sale at local markets that you can buy as tablecloths, table runners, placemats, and pillowcases. By the time you leave Peru you just might be imagining a bolder paint scheme for your home to match the patterns you fell in love with.

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3. Chullo hat

A chullo is an Andean style hat with earflaps that can be tied under the chin. These hats are made of brightly colored vicuña,alpaca,llamaorsheep’s wool and make a great accessory when passing through the high altitudes of the Colca Canyon during a tour or trek or The Andes. Miniature sized chullos can also make a cute key chain or bottle topper for Pisco.

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4. Backpacks

If you are in need of a place to store all of your goodies from a trip to Peru, a new backpack is the answer. You can find many backpacks made out of the traditional textiles or invest a little more in traditional hiking or travel backpack sold at a trekking store. Duffel bags also come in similar traditional patterns and we saw multiple people at the airport putting these to good use. Once you have your backpack, make sure to check out our top tips on backpacking Peru!

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5. Paintings

Perhaps the best way to remember a trip to Peru is to take home some artwork you can admire every day. Women in native dress make for great subjects as does the unrivaled landscape of Machu Picchu. Visit one of the many galleries or stop one of the many street vendors selling prints around Plaza de Armas in Cusco.

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6. Musical instruments

Peruvian music is beautiful to listen to and has Andean, Spanish and African influences. If you are musically inclined, you may wish to bring home a new instrument. Choose from a wooden flute, a panpipe made of eleven graduated reed tubes known as a zampona, beat a bombo drum, or strum a ten string charango.

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7. Retablos Altar Piece

Retablos are brightly colored wooden boxes which depict religious, historical, or everyday events that are important to Peruvian people. The delicate figures in these boxes sometimes appear on two levels: the upper level symbolizes heaven and the sacred Andean animals, while the lower lever portrays life on earth. Sizes and prices are as varied as the scenes inside.

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8. Carved Gourds

The traditional Peruvian art form known also as ‘mates burilados’, dates back 3,500 years. The gourds tell a story of the customs, culture, people, history, and animals. Hang them from a Christmas tree or use them as a decorative piece around your home.

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9. Weaving

Weaving is a skill that has been passed down through the generations. The designs, colors, and quality of the textiles vary from one region to another. Many of the pieces will reflect native beliefs and designs such as the Inca Cross and sacred animals shown here. Woven goods include headbands, rugs & throws, wall hangings and much more.

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10. Pisco

This 38-48% spirit is the base ingredient in Peru’s national drink, a Pisco Sour. Many walking tours end with a demonstration of how to make a Pisco Sour and you will not want to leave Peru without trying this unique drink topped with egg white. Check your country’s duty allowances before stocking up on Pisco. For those looking into visiting a vineyard, the Pisco Vineyard is one of Peru’s biggest vineyards.

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11. Coca Candy

Coca is a popular natural remedy for altitude sickness. Around Peru, you can find coca tea, leaves, and candies. Before buying as a souvenir, please check your countries guidelines. For example, it’s illegal to bring coca tea and coca leaves back to the USA but the candies are permitted.

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Related: The Best Gifts and Souvenirs From Lima

12. Peruvian Pink Salt

If you are an avid chef, or just want to impress your dinner guests, then you will want to add this unique item to your spice rack. Peruvian pink sea salt is hand harvested from an ancient ocean trapped underground at 10,000 feet in the Andes Mountains. Visit the salt mines in Maras and see it for yourself.

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13. Friendship Bracelets

Friendship bracelets are affordable, take up no space in your suitcase, and can be worn with everything. You may notice some backpackers around town sporting a wrist full of bracelets as a reminder of their past travels. Even if you are not a long term traveller, you’ll like the visual reminder of your trip to Peru when you are back home.

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14. Inca Cross

These necklaces may just look like a geometric shape but after a trip to Peru, you will know that this is the Inca cross and has deep meaning and importance for the Quechua people. You will see the carving on many of the archaeological sites. In brief, the hole at the center is said to represent the city of Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire, and the Southern Cross constellation. The cross is then divided into four quadrants with three steps each. The first quadrant represents the tiers of the world: the lower world of death, a middle world of human life, and an upper world of gods and celestial beings. The second represents the revered animals corresponding to each world: the snake, puma, and condor. The third symbolizes three commands of the Incas: don’t steal, don’t lie, and don’t be lazy. And the fourth represents human principles: love and well doing, knowledge, and work. Now are you tempted to purchase this sacred and meaningful symbol?

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Peru Hop is the safe, flexible and fun way to travel in Peru in 2021, with free date changes up to 2024!

15. Toro de Pucará

Pucará bulls are given as a wedding present to Peruvian couples. If you look closely at the rooftops in Peru you may see a pair of these bulls who are believed to bring fertility, prosperity, happiness and protection for the home. If you’d like to wish the same luck for someone you know, you’ll want to bring home a colorful bull of your own.

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16. Ekeko the Smoking God of Prosperity

Ekoko is the God of abundance, prosperity and good fortune. Instead of buying this for yourself, you should give it away to someone who you wish success upon. The small offerings made to the God are what a person hopes to receive or achieve in return.

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17. Andean Dolls

One of the most beautiful things about Peru is the people. These dolls are a wonderful gift for a child to learn about the lifestyles, dress, and culture of traditional Peruvian women.

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18. Alpaca Dolls

First get an alpaca selfie with the real thing, then get an alpaca to go. I couldn’t resist the keychain but you can buy larger dolls for children or one to just put front and center on your couch as a conversation piece. You’ll have a hard time letting go of these fluffy white friends.

19. Finger puppets

Throughout your trip to Peru, you will have heard many stories of the ancient Inca civilization. Pick up some hand-woven finger puppets and use them to teach the little ones about the Inca Empire.

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20. Passport Stamps

If you can spare a blank page in your passport bring it along on your trip to Lake Titicaca, and Machu Picchu for some one-of-a-kind stamps. In Lake Titicaca, you will find the stamp station on the Uros floating islands. The cost is just 1 Sol. At Machu Picchu, look for a small table at the exit by the bus line.

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If you have enjoyed this guide about the best things to purchase for others on your travels in Peru, check out our guide on the best markets in Lima, or find out more about the best way to get around Peru, seeing everything that you want to see on your way!

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FAQs

What is something you can only find in Peru? ›

Ponchos and alpaca clothing

Traditional Andean clothing like ponchos are fun items to bring back home with you. They look cool, are made by hand, and will always remind you of the people of the Andes and their great traditions.

What is the most famous product in Peru? ›

Alpaca clothing

It is one of the most internationally recognized clothing in Peru and one of the most requested products by people who go shopping in Peru. In the same way, Ponchos are not the only products made of alpaca.

What goods is Peru known for? ›

They are well-known for their beadwork and textiles. They are also especially known for their pottery. In fact, the maze-like Shipibo design kené is famous among native Peruvian designs. Many markets in Peru, not only the Amazon, carry items with the Shipibo design.

What can you not bring back from Peru? ›

You are not allowed to take any archaeological artefacts from the country without the proper authorisation. In Peru you will likely find products made using wild plants and animals. The vast majority of these animals and products are of illegal origin and could involve protected or endangered species.

What are 3 main dishes in Peru? ›

6 Must-Try Peruvian Foods
  • 1.) Ceviche. English name: Ceviche (also seviche) ...
  • 2.) Causa Rellena. English name: Peruvian layered potato dish. ...
  • 3.) Anticuchos de Corazon. English name: Beef Heart Skewers. ...
  • 4.) Lomo Saltado. English name: Peruvian Sirloin Stir Fry. ...
  • 5.) Peruvian Cuy. ...
  • 6.) Picarones (or Picaron singular)

What is Peru most famous dish? ›

Ceviche. It's Peru's national dish, the best versions of this marinated fish dish are in Lima and it's the freshest, zestiest and healthiest dish you will ever have.

What is unique food from Peru? ›

Ceviche is one of the most famous types of food from Peru, and if you're looking for traditional things to do in Peru, eating Ceviche should be at the top of your list. Ceviche is essentially a dish made up of chunks of raw white fish.

What should I buy in Lima Peru? ›

20 Must-Buy Trip Mementos from Lima
  • Chulucanas Pottery. Image Courtesy of: Guillermo Arévalo Aucahuasi. ...
  • Paintings. Peruvian art has its origins in the ancient Andean civilizations, predating the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. ...
  • Retablos (Altarpieces) ...
  • Ekeko. ...
  • Copper Plates. ...
  • Pisco. ...
  • Musical Instruments. ...
  • Traditional Sweets.

What are the top 3 exports of Peru? ›

In recent years, Peru has been experiencing a surge in commodity exports. The country's major exports are ores, slag, and ash (38 percent), pearls, precious stones, metals, coins (14 percent), and edible fruits, nuts, peels of citrus fruit & melons (8.3 percent).

Should I carry cash in Peru? ›

It's as safe to carry cash in Peru as it is to carry cash anywhere. We provide detailed guidelines to help you prepare to travel with cash or credit cards. The most useful "Golden Inca Rule" to be aware of? Cash is King!

How much money do you need per day in Peru? ›

Like anywhere in the world, in Peru, you live pretty cheaply or as expensively as you want, but on average, the daily amount of money you will need is $150-$200 per person per day.

How much money should I carry in Peru? ›

How much money should I bring? Depending on the length of your trip, plan to bring $300-600 per person for spending money, tips, taxi rides, additional visits and those meals not included in the itinerary.

What is disrespectful in Peru? ›

It is considered rude to turn down an invitation to join someone at their home. Such an invitation is usually made to try and establish a personal friendship and rejection is interpreted as a lack of interest in building a relationship with the other person. When arriving, guests are expected to greet everyone present.

Can I brush my teeth with tap water in Peru? ›

Can I clean my teeth and wash vegetables with tap water in Peru? Yes. While the water in Peru is not safe for drinking, it is safe for things like showering, cleaning your teeth, and washing salad.

What should I be careful of in Peru? ›

Country Summary: Crime, including petty theft, carjackings, muggings, assaults, and other violent crime, is common in Peru and can occur during daylight hours despite the presence of many witnesses. The risk of crime increases at night.

Can you wear jeans in Peru? ›

Pants for Peru

Jeans – To wear anywhere but while hiking. Athletic Bottoms or Trekking Pants – Wear long pants for the Amazon rainforest. Columbia's waterproof, stretch and convertible cargo pants are ideal.

What is the best month to go to Peru? ›

Discover the best time to visit Peru. The winter (May – September) is the driest season and therefore the best time of year to travel, especially if you're planning to visit Cusco or trek to Machu Picchu. The summer (December – March) is warmer of course, but is also the wettest season, with frequent heavy showers.

What is not allowed in Machu Picchu? ›

If you want to enter Machu Picchu without problems, we recommend not taking any of the following objects: Tripods, supports or extensions for cameras or cell phones. It is not allowed to enter with 'selfie stick'. Backpacks, bags or bags that exceed 5 kilos in weight.

What is a typical breakfast in Peru? ›

Arroz con Leche (rice with milk) is the most typical Peruvian breakfast. In addition to rice, many Peruvians enjoy a glass of fresh milk. Some Peruvians enjoy chocolate for breakfast, while others prefer savory breakfasts like omelets or empanadas.

What is a typical snack in Peru? ›

Ceviche. Ceviche is perhaps the most popular of all Peruvian appetizers, and there are literally hundreds of variations. But the basis of the dish has just five ingredients: lime juice, salt, onion, chili peppers and of course, fresh raw white fish. It's one of the healthiest snack food options.

What is a typical Peru dinner? ›

Some of the common main courses served for dinner in Peru include a tasty soup, lomo saltado, ají de gallina, pollo a la brasa, tacu tacu and arroz con pollo.

What should I wear in Peru? ›

In general you'll be wearing summer clothing and swimsuits, though it is worth bringing a sweater and a lightweight, packable rain jacket. You'll need sunglasses, and a sun hat is also a good thing to bring. If you want to wear shorts in Peru this is the place to do so, and sandals are also ideal for this climate.

How does a man greet a woman in Peru? ›

Handshakes are particularly prevalent when meeting someone for the first time and in formal settings. The 'abrazo' is a standard greeting among friends and family. This consists of a handshake and a hug between men and a hug and a kiss on the right cheek between women.

What is a unique tradition in Peru? ›

A custom that calls the attention of visitors is the Peruvian hat, as they say that these represent the identity of the Peruvian people. Features such as the colour, the shape or the way the hat is made, are related to the economic possibilities of the person who wears it.

What is the national drink of Peru? ›

Pisco Sour- National Peruvian Drinks

A Pisco Sour is the best-known Peruvian drink outside Peru, and it is the national cocktail of Peru.

What is the number one food in Peru? ›

1. Ceviche (Peruvian Sushi) Undoubtedly the most popular dish in Peru, Ceviche is best known internationally as Peruvian sushi.

What is Peru main food? ›

The four traditional staples of Peruvian cuisine are corn, potatoes and other tubers, Amaranthaceaes (quinoa, kañiwa and kiwicha), and legumes (beans and lupins). Staples brought by the Spanish include rice, wheat and meats (beef, pork and chicken).

What food can I bring back from Peru? ›

Here are some of our Peruvian favourites: Peruvian Corn Nuts – like popcorn, but better. Peruvian Pisco – so that you can recreate a pisco sour in the comfort of your own home. Quinoa – because Peru is the homeland of quinoa and it's a lot cheaper there than at home.

What is a typical lunch in Peru? ›

For starters, it is common to be served a soup, simple salad, causa rellena, papa a la huancaina or small ceviche. Typical main courses may include lomo saltado, milanesa, ají de gallina or churrasco de res. If you're traveling to Peru, you probably know that it is the gastronomic capital of South America.

What is a high salary in Peru? ›

Top Peru Salaries - By Job

The highest paid Peru are Financial Services professionals at $120,000 annually. The lowest paid Peru are IT & Software Development professionals at $25,000.

What is the nicest city in Peru? ›

The most beautiful cities of Peru
  1. Cuzco. The most beautiful city of Peru. I been there I want there Google Maps. ...
  2. Arequipa. Metropolis of southern Peru. ...
  3. Lima. Capital of Perú ...
  4. Ayacucho. The town of 33 churches. ...
  5. Huanta. The city guarded by Jesus. ...
  6. Writer. Starting point for beautiful ruins. ...
  7. Chivay. The gateway to Colca Canyon.
6 Sept 2021

Is Peru cheaper than America? ›

Peru is one of the least expensive countries to live in South America. You can cover your basic expenses for $2,000 per month or less in most areas other than in Lima. Living in the capital costs you a bit more for the same quality of life as you would experience in outlying areas.
...
Cost of Living in Peru.
ExpensesU.S. $
Total:$1,861
10 more rows

What fruits are eaten in Peru? ›

20 Peruvian Fruits You Need to Try
  • Aguaje. This wetland fruit is favored by dieters for its supposed slimming properties. ...
  • Aguaymanto. Despite its tart, cherry-like flavor, this small, orange fruit is actually most closely related to the tomatillo. ...
  • Cacao. ...
  • Camu Camu. ...
  • Capulin. ...
  • Chirimoya. ...
  • Cocona. ...
  • Granadilla.

Is Peru poor or rich? ›

Of the poor, the UNDP estimates that 19 percent live in "absolute poverty," meaning they survive on less than US$1 a day. The contrasts between rich and poor are clearly seen in Lima, the capital, which has more than doubled in size in the past 2 decades.
...
Peru - Poverty and wealth.
GDP per Capita (US$)United States
19,364
21,529
23,200
25,363
5 more columns

What is Peru known for selling? ›

Peru is known for its crafts, especially handmade textiles and ceramics. Some of the most sought-after souvenirs from Peru are the brightly coloured ponchos or the champas, the fat wool jackets with different motifs typical of the country. Also, caps, backpacks and vests are some of their best-selling garments.

What are 5 interesting facts about Peru? ›

15 fascinating facts about Peru
  • Peru is home to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. ...
  • There are 43 native languages spoken in Peru. ...
  • Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. ...
  • The Amazon River begins in Peru! ...
  • You can swim with pink dolphins in the Amazon.

What can I bring back home? ›

45 Best Souvenir Ideas to Bring Back From Your Vacation
  • Pottery. Pottery is not only a great souvenir to remind you of your travels, it's also one of these perfect souvenir gifts to bring back for friends or relatives. ...
  • Local art. ...
  • Something that represents a country. ...
  • Music. ...
  • Masks. ...
  • A tattoo. ...
  • Local artisan's crafts. ...
  • Local food.
3 Dec 2021

What is considered disrespectful in Peru? ›

It is considered rude to turn down an invitation to join someone at their home. Such an invitation is usually made to try and establish a personal friendship and rejection is interpreted as a lack of interest in building a relationship with the other person. When arriving, guests are expected to greet everyone present.

What are 2 traditions from Peru? ›

Here are some of the customs only Peruvians know.
  • Drinking Inca Cola with Everything. ...
  • Eating Ceviche Before Meals. ...
  • Home Remedies. ...
  • Nothing Begins on Time. ...
  • People Don't Always Follow Through. ...
  • Love for Chicha. ...
  • No Change.
9 Aug 2017

How do you say hello in Peru? ›

When greeting someone they know very well, it is common for Peruvians to simply use a quick buenas in passing or the standard hola, meaning “hello.” These greetings are friendly and informal and can be used along with other informal phrases such as: ¿Cómo estás?

Is it rude to tip in Peru? ›

Let's clear the air, and say that in general, tipping in Peru is a respectable practice and strongly encouraged among travelers. Specifically, you should tip at sit-down restaurants and bars, porters in hotels and airports, tour guide staff and drivers, as well as gas station and bathroom attendants.

What are some taboos in Peru? ›

Peru Travel Taboo

The import of raw ham from Italy and Portugal, and export of artistic or cultural articles, is prohibited. Calling someone over using an upward curled first finger in Peru is considered an insult.

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