Cusco’s Central Market offers a great many food stalls offering all the food you could wish for with their fruit juices, snacks and complete dishes. When the weather is colder, it also offers one of the best ways to warm yourself up with a lambhead broth. But when the sun is shining again, one would rather prefer another Peruvian specialty, namely a delicious ceviche (raw fish marinated in lemon juice).
Hidden among the fruit and vegetable stalls of the Mercado de San Pedro halls, you will also find stalls selling exotic products from the Amazon. A colorful mixture of vegetable tinctures and ointments based on beef tallow of certain animals complete the medical offer. Here you can buy coca leaves and prepare your own infusion (a tea is actually called here). Coca tea is one of the best natural remedies for controlling altitude sickness. There are a number of stalls dedicated to chocolate. It is not uncommon for the people who come from the surrounding provinces to wear their costume. There are still a lot of rural-style people around here in Cusco. They wear their colorful costumes with flowing skirts, carry their babies in typical blankets on their backs.
Where is the Central Market of San Pedro?
Central Market Cusco is 5 blocks west of Plaza de Armas, near San Pedro Train Station.
How do we get to the Mercado de San Pedro?
Although there are already some tours that include the central market of San Pedro, but we find it much more pleasant to go on your own. All you have to do is follow the road that leads from the Church of the Society of Jesus on the right side of the Plaza de Armas, towards La Merced Monastery. Then go straight on the same street. You can then reach the main gate of the central market of San Pedro. It’s easier and quicker to walk than take a taxi (which is usually stuck in congested streets), and so you get more out of city life.
The cultural experience in the central market of San Pedro
Visiting the central market of San Perdo is a special and fascinating cultural experience, where you too will find fun. Well, what you do not know yet is that markets are always the best way to get acquainted with Andean culture.
- Here you hear the Quechua language spoken correctly.You can
- the gestures and habits of the Andean population and learn to interpret them.
- You are allowed to perceive a colorful, very comprehensive mixture of the odors of local products and flowers, which are hardly available anymore in Germany or USA.
- You can see handmade garments and may also watch how they are created.
- Of course you can directly follow the preparation of the traditional dishes with their typical ingredients and taste the tasty results as well.
- Enjoy the delicious dishes and variety of local desserts. A great experience.
And if you keep your eyes and ears open, then you get the often quite funny and also cunning cultural side of the salesmen who understand it with a fun ingenious way to attract the attention of the customers.
The cultural experiences in the central market of San Pedro in Cusco
The stalls of fruit juices
Market in San Pedro you can taste very delicious fruit drinks. After selecting on the spot, you can try many unique fruit blends. Try juices, which consist of a mixture of many fruits, milk, malt beer, honey, carob, etc. The selection and the combination options are endless.
The Inca believed in the forces of nature and often used remedies made from various local herbs to combat disease. Thus, the coca leaves are considered sacred and are given by the Incas to treat many diseases.
The soup kitchens in the central market
Some of the soups (broths) are made with chicken and vegetables, but others are made from the head or legs of the sheep. Although the soups can be delicious for some people, they can also seem very strange to other people when making a cooked sheep eye with potatoes and rice.
Baked / Grilled Cuy (guinea pig baked or grilled)
Certainly, if you from the US and Europe, are you wondering how it is possible for the Peruvians to cook and eat guinea pigs? But also open your mind and your taste buds and try this very popular specialty of the Andes. Guinea pigs are not pets, they are one of the most delicious dishes in Perú