The Indigenous Craft Markets of the Sacred Valley



We visit two important Andean markets on our Peru tours. The best known is Pisac. A famed hill town, Pisac is a great place to purchase top quality Andean knitwear at lower prices than visitors will find in major cities during their travel to Peru. Pisac is located about forty-five minutes north of Cusco by car. A craft market is held here on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Woven blankets, tapestries and alpaca garments such as sweaters and mittens, colorful fabric and accessories are found in abundance at the Pisac market in addition to pottery, jewelry and other handicrafts. Though Pisac’s biggest crafts market takes place on Sunday, you will find fewer tourists and smaller crowds in general if you visit the weekday craft markets. The village’s largest produce market, Mercado de Treque, is also held on Sunday, bringing a multitude of vendors from the countryside to supply the local population with produce, fresh from the fields.

Most first-time visitors on Peru tours who shop at the Pisac market also explore the ruins of the Inca settlement located above the town itself. All of the Southern Explorations Peru tours that travel through the Sacred Valley visit the Pisac market except the twelve-day Raft, Bicycle and Hike Multisport trip.


Less known than Pisac is the craft market of Chinchero, another town between Cusco and Machu Picchu, forty minutes northeast of Cusco by car. Here, members of a weaver cooperative use backstrap looms, a traditional weaving apparatus that dates back centuries. In addition to shopping for a wide array of Andean knits, visitors on our Peru tours to Chinchero will have the opportunity to learn about the spinning, dying and weaving techniques employed here from the craftsmen themselves. The main craft market is held on Sunday. Visitors who travel to Peru with Southern Explorations will have their choice of twenty-two tours that visit Chinchero, all of which also visit Pisac.


Located in the hills above Ollantaytambo, the village of Huilloc is three hours from Cusco by car and worth the drive. The women weavers of the cooperative in Huilloc are known for the fine quality of their work. Southern Explorations’ Weaving Tour from Cusco is a day-tour to the market at Huilloc that stops at the Pisac market on the return.

You’ll see the most Andean knits on our fourteen-day Best of Peru and our seventeen-day Adventure Peru trips. These Peru tours visit Pisac and Chinchero as well as spending time at the Taquile Island weaver cooperative in Lake Titicaca and staying in Arequipa, the center of the country’s alpaca industry. All of Southern Explorations’ Machu Picchu tours spend time in Cusco, an Andean city of markets and plenty of shops where woven goods are sold.