Monday, January 27, 2020

What I purchased from Peru

Peru is known for being one of the leading producers of Alpaca fiber in the world. Before heading to Peru, a few genuine Alpaca products were on my list to purchase since it's kind of difficult to find this material in the U.S. Alpaca product is literally everywhere you go, on the streets, in every shop, at every tourist site and museum. However, not all products are created equal. Today, I am sharing a few tips to help you find the best Alpaca products if you're heading to Peru.
1. Where to shop for souvenirs in Cusco: As mentioned above, you can find souvenirs everywhere but the Sunday market of Pisac is the best place in my opinion to buy Alpaca products. The market has an incredible selection of Peruvian crafts. The market is about an hour drive from Cusco. You could spend hours here browsing.
2. Real Alpaca wool vs. synthetic material: Even though the tag may say that it is made from alpaca or baby alpaca wool, that may not actually be the case. Use your best judgment. Real alpaca wool feels cool to the touch. It's very soft especially if it's baby Alpaca. Alpaca wool is much heavier than acrylic yarn. Last but not least, if the price seems too good to be true, chances are that is the case.
3. Negotiate the price beforehand: Speaking of prices, everything is negotiable in Peru. After a couple of overpaid purchases, I learned to go low lol.  Start with offering half the asking price then go from there. Don't be afraid to walk away and try another stall. You can always shop around and return to the place that offered you the best price. We purchased 3 Alpaca blankets for 600 Soles ($200) each. One for us, one for my in-laws and one for my parents. A couple of scarves for 200 Soles ($70), a couple of ponchos for my aunts for 600 Soles ($200) and a few souvenirs for friends. It was an enjoyable experience and I am glad we were able to bring home these beautiful items.
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