Bringing home a souvenir is a great way to remember your travels, this is never more true than in a place like Machu Picchu. It is a once in a lifetime trip that you will look back on for years to come.
Here are some things to look for when shopping in Machu Picchu and some things to avoid.
When Buying Wool
Look for: Anything made of Alpaca or Llama wool.
This can include, but is not limited to… blankets, shawls, and bags. It should also be noted that for blankets and shawls, you will find a wider variety in Cusco. Most travelers will be getting the train from Cusco before heading to Machu Picchu, so you will likely have an opportunity to look for blankets and shawls while you are there.
Avoid: Ponchos… Even if they are made of Alpaca or Llama wool, a Peruvian poncho has no place on your souvenir list. Just say no to ponchos.
When Buying Magnets
Magnets are usually the go to for most travelers who want to bring home a little something for friends and family.
Look for: Hand made magnets using fabric, beads, and wool.
There are many different kinds of hand made Llama magnets that are perfect for gifting to friends and family.
Avoid: Plastic. Made in China, but bought in Peru really lowers the sentimental value.
When Buying Stuffed Llamas
Plushy Llamas are sold all over Peru, and they are a great souvenir to have from your travels.
Look for: The fluffiest llama possible. Don’t just buy the first one you see. They are sold all over the place, but each one is unique and the hair quality and color varies.
They are sold in miniature sizes all the way up to very large sizes, so there are many options to choose from. Remember to be sure to double check that it is made by hand and with real Llama hair.
Avoid: Airports and free standing stores. You will pay 5X more if you buy your new llama friend at the airport or in a store. Find a street market and look for your llama there. You can negotiate the price, and will have more variety.
If you can buy them in Cusco it will, like the blankets and shawls, be cheaper and there will be more variety.
Just remember to leave extra room in your suitcase for your journey home.
Enjoy Machu Picchu,