Arequipa Shopping and Districts

(Arequipa, Peru)

Photo of the Plaza de ArmasThere are all kinds of shopping opportunities scattered around the city of Arequipa, with a range of artisan galleries and stores selling antiques. The biggest selection of shops in Arequipa tend to be clustered around the streets surrounding the Monasterio Santa Catalina, with leather bags, local handicrafts from around the Chivay area, folk art, 'Maquinaza' embroideries, and lots of traditional Peruvian clothing, made from wool, hand-shorn from Andean alpacas.

Arequipa is famous throughout Peru for its alpaca and softer, more expensive vicuna (wild South American camelids) wool, and colourful knitted sweaters, scarves and blankets can be found all over the city when shopping for souvenirs. However, do look out for fake, lesser-quality alpaca goods in some boutiques.

Another view of the Plaza de Armas

Where to Shop

For the very best in alpaca and vicuna goods, check out the cloisters alongside Arequipa's La Compania church, where a number of excellent alpaca boutiques reside. Also be sure to check out the pedestrianised mall at the back of the Pasaje Cathedral for its alpaca-related offerings, while for leatherwear, head to the stores along the Puente Bolognesi.

Markets in Arequipa can provide plenty of bargains and also a very memorable shopping experience, with the Mercado de Artesania next to the Plaza de San Francisco being recommended, along with the very historic and centrally located Mercado de San Camilo, some three blocks from the Plaza de Armas.

There are two very convenient shopping complexes in the centre of Arequipa. The Casona Santa Catalina is next to both Le Cafe Art Montreal and the Naturaleza Aciva attractions, and close to a selection of antiques shops. Nearby is the very popular Patio del Ekeko mall, which resides just under a block away from the eastern corner of the Plaza de Armas, being near to the Casa Ricketts.