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Peru in South America is known for its rich cultural heritage and unique history. Improvements in its economy have resulted in the development of the region as a tourist destination and vacation idea. One of the most memorable experiences of any holiday in Peru is the shopping and the abundance of collectable items on sale here.
Although it is possible to find fine examples of pottery and textiles in many South American countries, few rival Peru when it comes to the quantity and quality of choices available.
When shopping in Peru, it is advisable to go into the crowded cities of Lima and Cusco where you are sure to find low prices and an incredible array of handmade items.
Some of the more sought-after items include beautiful crafted silver jewellery, hand-made rugs and tapestries, knitted sweaters, scarves and gloves as well as traditional folk art, ceramics and more.
However, in order to get the best deal on your purchases it is best to keeping mind these tips:
- The months of September to May are considered the "low season" for tourists and shopping, so many shop owners are likely to lower their price - which means a better deal for you.
- Do not feel self-conscious about haggling with the vendor. In Peru, like most of South America in general bargaining is both tradition and culture. You may actually risk offending the vendor if you do not bargain give him or her money.
- Shoppers in Peru are advised to pay in cash. Do this and save the vendor the hassle of processing a credit card. This keeps your card safe too.
Keep in mind, as you shop in Peru, that alpaca sweaters which are brightly colored and made by hand are popular gift items. However, finding 100% real alpaca sweaters at a cheap price is difficult at best. More often than not, if the price is low you'll wind up purchasing a sweater that is spun with polyester or sheep's wool. A real alpaca sweater will have the label of the person or company who made it. Your best bet is to search outside of the bigger cities.
Shopping in Peru would not be complete without a purchase of a few replicas of pre-Colombian art work, considering that you are in the land of the Incas. Since these are just replicas, they are inexpensive and easy to find. And what's more, most vendors will wrap the item so that you can take it home without the risk of damage. Real antiques may be sold but are illegal for export.