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Craft-shopping in Cusco

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Crafts and artesanía are Cusco’s stock in trade, with the best value and range of alpaca clothing in Peru, apart perhaps from Puno. It’s an ideal place to pick up weavings or antique cloths, traditional musical instruments like panpipes, and colourful bags and leather crafts. There are artesanía (craft shops) all over the centre, but the best prices and fullest range are found at the Centro Artesanal Cusco (Mon–Sat 8am–10pm, with most stalls open 9am–6pm, Sun 9am–5pm) at the corner of Huanchac and Tullumayo, close to the huge sun-disc fountain on Avenida Sol. This large building brings together arguably the largest and best-value collection of artesanía under one roof in Peru; it’s a nice, clean and relatively hassle-free shopping environment very close to the train ticket office at Huanchac station.

Another good part of town for quality artesanía is the barrio of San Blas. This is the traditional artisan area of Cusco, home to a number of jewellers and art and antique shops. The Cuesta San Blas itself contains some of the finest artesanía, selling new and old oil paintings, while Hathun Rumiyoq has more good shops at its bottom end. There are some funky shops around the San Blas plazoleta too. The main street-market day for artesanía is Saturday (10am–6pm).

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