The Pisac market is one of the most famous food centers in Cusco. It is centuries old, since the settlers used to meet there during the colonial era. It offers different edible and artisan products every day. However, Sundays are when it gets busiest with people and shops. Your visit is part of the classic tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
All about the Pisac Market
What is it?
The Pisac market is the most famous and busiest food center in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Its fame is mainly due to the color of its stalls where all kinds of products are offered, from fruit, vegetables, sophisticated alpaca garments or silver jewelry. On Sundays, people from various places arrive offering their products, which makes the market much larger and more colorful.
Where is it located?
The market is located in one of the corners of the main square of the town of Pisac, a few steps from the main highway that leads to the city of Cusco.
How to get there?
To get to the Pisac market, you must take a vehicle from the city of Cusco, located 34 kilometers away. The cost of public transport minivans is 5 Peruvian soles (approximately 2 US dollars). These services are taken in the street ‘Puputi’, a few steps from the Historic Center of the city. The trip takes 50 minutes on average.
In the time of the Incas the town of Pisac was an important agricultural area. After the arrival of the Spanish in Cusco in 1533, the place became an encomienda of the colony. In 1570, by orders of Viceroy Toledo, Pisac became a reduction of Indians. Then a market began to function in the town square. Currently, the market is one of the main tourist attractions of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Map of the place
What can be found?
Handicrafts – In the market there are dozens of handicraft stalls where backpacks, handbags, bags, sweaters, scarves, gloves, tapestries, ponchos, chullos, hats and other similar products made of alpaca, llama and with Andean motifs are offered. It is also possible to buy musical instruments, masks, ceramics, glasses, cups and utensils made with Inca designs. It should be noted that in the Pisac market it is possible to appreciate how artisans make silver jewelry with multicolored Andean themes.
Peruvian food – The Pisac market is also famous for its Peruvian food stalls where it is possible to taste some famous dishes at low cost such as: ceviche, lomo saltado, baked guinea pig, huancaína potato, fried trout and much more. In the town there are also restaurants that offer Mediterranean food as well as cafes, bars and pastry shops. Remember that Peruvian gastronomy is considered one of the best in the world. Take your chance to taste the most traditional dishes of the country.
Fruits and vegetables – The Pisac market gathers merchants from different towns of the Sacred Valley of the Incas offering fruits, vegetables and other edible products. Especially on Sundays it is when the square is crowded with merchants who usually wear their typical multicolored costumes. It is a good opportunity to get to know some Andean products such as chuño, goose, quinoa, broad bean, blueberry, kiwi, camu-camu and Urubamba white corn (considered the largest in Peru).
The visit to the Pisac market is free.
Most tourists visit this market as part of the 1-day ‘Sacred Valley of the Incas’ tour, which has an approximate cost of 70 US dollars (varies depending on the chosen tourism agency). The tour also offers a visit to: the archaeological site of Pisac, the town and archaeological site of Chinchero, the town of Urubamba as well as the town and archaeological site of Ollantaytambo.
Other tourist attractions in Pisac
The archaeological site of Pisac – In the 15th century, the Incas built an Inca citadel and temple of great proportions high in the mountains located in the present town of Pisac. This construction has enclosures, temples, platforms, cemeteries, square, neighborhoods, towers and more. The archaeological park has an area of 9,063 hectares. The visit to this place has a cost of 70 Peruvian soles (Cusco Tourist Ticket). Includes a visit to the archaeological sites of Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and Moray.
Botanical Garden of Pisac – The Felipe Marín Moreno botanical and cactus garden rescues the diversity of flora that exists in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In the place there are several species of flowers and trees such as orchids, medicinal herbs, trees of various types as well as native flora. However, what stands out the most are its varieties of cacti. Additionally, it has an exhibition of insects and butterflies. The place is located in an old colonial house in Pisac. His name is Felipe Marín Moreno in homage to the promoter of the project.
Hours of Operation
The Pisac market is open from Monday to Sunday from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.
Images of the Pisac market
Most of the shops in the Pisac market accept US dollars as exchange currency. A few others include payment with credit or debit cards.
In Peru it is customary to ‘haggle’ the prices of products in the markets. That is, at the initial price offered by the seller, ask for a discount until a mutual agreement is reached. The same happens in the Pisac market.
The Pisac market offers some typical products of Cusco. Don’t miss the opportunity to drink the delicious chicha de jora (fermented corn) or frutillada (corn fermented with essences of other fruits). Both are drinks that are widely consumed by local people.
The Pisac market is famous for the goldsmith artisans who work with Peruvian silver, different jewels, earrings, bracelets, charms and more have their stalls there. That is why jewelry prices can be cheaper compared to other artisan markets in Cusco.