Mercados Incas

Mercados Incas, Lima: Address, Mercados Incas Reviews: 4/5

Mercados Incas
Speciality & Gift Shops

1,082 reviews
Very good

Andy keen
Birmingham, UK1,316 contributions
Mar 2020
Visited the Inca market which is the same as the Indian market across the road and the Grand Inca market around the corner.
At a guess the Inca market is......over 100 stalls.
Three markets together.over 300/400 stalls.....really 5 stalls repeated over and over.
Worth a visit but.....expect a market.
Written April 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Washington DC, DC3,765 contributions
Dec 2019
Heading back to Washington DC area and needed some last minutes gifts. With the winter weather who wouldn't want an alpaca scarf or an Incan Chuyo alpaca cap. Found all we needed quickly and with a little bargaining got some real deals
Written January 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Panama City, Panama59 contributions
Jan 2015 • Couples
Now that I'm home, I know what I wish I'd brought and what I was glad I brought. Altho it is a tourist market, it is not crowded and the salespeople are not pushy at all. There are multiple markets in the area, so keep walking around and looking. There is so much to choose from that it can be overwhelming and it was hard to decide. Hence my recommendations on what to bring home: decorated candlesticks (altho they look kitschy, they look great once you get them home) and not many shops have them at all - they make great gifts too. I wish I'd brought more. Tip: buy a bottle of pisco (also to take home) that comes in a tall can and pack your candles in there - these you can buy at a grocery store. If not, put them in your carry on; a small woven rug to use as a table topper (think of having friends over for a pisco sour and choklo (corn beer nuts can substitute) and light your candles. Peruvian night! A little larger woven rug to keep by your front door to keep your shoes and house slippers on. Also, there are paintings (mostly religious themes, but not all) sold in the shops in the old city that are decorated with gold trimmings that are spectacular (I'm not religious but LOVED them), and there they have the best 'retablos' which are little decorated houses with figurines inside them. The more elaborate the items, the less you will be seeing them in the future, so buy them now. Google 'Peruvian souveniers' to see what I mean about the overwhelming choices...and to see what retablos are if you're not familiar with them.
Written January 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dynise B
Napa, CA18 contributions
Aug 2016 • Couples
Our negative experience was with a specific vendor, Urin Huanca. We went in looking to buy an thought their selection was beautiful. We spent about 30 minutes in there because the selection was pretty extensive.

No issue with the products at all,

Issue came when time to pay arrived, I had no problem with the tagged price and was not in haggling mood because I was hungry and loved the earrings I selected. Then the sales person charged my card the tagged price in dollars rather than soles so essentially three times the listed price.

Extremely dishonest.
Written November 11, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Houston, TX50 contributions
Nov 2015 • Solo
The markets have been there for years. DOn't confuse with the ones in Av La Marina that used to be the place to go and while today still exist, they are not as popular.
As otehrs have posted, you want to visit this markets before you go to Cuzco, Arequipa and other destinations and take note of prices. Most likely than not, you would find that prices in these markets are lower than in the pace where the items are from. And that is because they are made locally in Lima. The conscious tourist would now have to decide whether you want to support the local community in the places of origin, or the Lima merchant. In many cases, the artisan in Lima is from the region where the item originates, but not always. IMHO the markets have grown out of control and there are just too many vendors. In many cases the quality is not what used to be, I guess some would call it progress.
Now, onto more practical matters: it is more than ok to bargain, is part of the adventure. If you buy several items form same merchant, absolutely ask for a reduction in price. My advice for a tourist is to decide what an item is worth to you and start there. It is well known that prices are set on the fly based on the perceived origin of the tourist and the perception of how much $ he/she has. If you know a local, they will be more than happy to help you get the right price. Now, being what it is, basically a street market; it is buyers beware. There is absolutely no guarantee that you are getting what you think, this is specially true in silver, gold, alpaca wool items and such. If you are dead focus on having that baby alpaca sweater, I'd get it in a reputable store. You'll pay more but you will have a guarantee. Same for gold, silver items. Not saying that all merchants are dishonest, and most likely very few are. but you can't tell who is who and if you cannot yourself determine for sure what is what you have in your hands, then, beware.
I myself am a regular, been there no less than 1000 times (I'm not kidding) over the past 25 years (I go to Peru a lot). In most cases I have a specific merchant I go to for specific things and am in a first name basis with them; a level of trust exists already.
Other operational details: most will take a credit card, most likely will pass you the CC company commission (3-5%), if you use a credit card, standard precautions apply: don't let it out of your sight and ensure minimal contact with others. Cash is king and these days it is an advantage because the exchange rate is quite good. There are "cambistas" (people who can exchange dollars or euros) often by the door of the markets, there is usually a security person by the doors and you can asks them where is the cambista. Now if you have never done this: don't carry big bills, they might reject them. Though many have currency detectors, sometimes a worn bill might trigger a false alarm. Bills with pieces missing, too worn, etc might not be accepted. If you are going to get change in dollars/euros, precautions are in place: you might be the recipient of a false bill, better get change in local currency. The cambistas will get you a good rate, no need to ask several, they all have phones and will get you virtually the same rate. The merchant where you are buying something will also take dollars, they would get you a cent or two below the cambista rate, thus possibly no need to exchange. Lone tourists: don't carry too much $, and ensure you are not showing wads of bills, keep your money in diff pockets so you only pull out what you need. WHile you would be safe inside the market, you can't tell if someone is watching you and would follow you. Best is to go in groups of 2-3.
Finally, think of what you are buying and how are you going to get it to your country in one piece and make sure it is legal to do so.
Written December 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Yannick W
Lima, Peru38 contributions
Nov 2016
There are several of these huge "malls with micro shops" in 4 adjacent blocks, and handicrafts come here from all over Peru (most of the time the shop owner comes from one of the regions outside of Lima and acts as an "importer" of all handicrafts). Don't buy music instruments there if you want to actually play. Most of these are only decorative with a minor music-playing feature, but won't resist (there are real music shops with real instruments in Calle Alcanfores next to Parque Kennedy if you're looking for that). However, if you want to find typical "chullos" (wool hats?), decorations for your home and little gifts, this is the place to go.
I often marvel at the diversity and creativity of the craftsmen that make all those things.
A word of advice: Peruvian shop owners are really into negotiation, so *DO NOT* ask for something that you really want straight away. Instead, find something that you want then go asking prices for *similar* stuff around and just refuse to buy them until they lower the prices. Once they stop lowering the prices, you're probably around 120% of the price you could pay for it. At that point, go back to what you really wanted and act relatively uninterested. It takes much more time this way, but the bad side of price negotiation is if you *don't* negotiate, you could end up paying 500% of the price! As many expats in Peru will tell you: Peruvian people are very friendly, but if a shop owner can have you pay 5 times the price because they think you can, man y (not all) of them won't hesitate to do so. So be careful, smart and humorous about it (negotiation is a sport for them, it is not aggressive in any way, and they don't seem to feel shame to ask you multiple times the initial cost, it's more like a joke they did, and you should take it well). You could fly home with 3 times what your neighbor gets for the same total cost (while still not taking advantage of the locals). As always, if you go in low season (out of December, June, July and August), you're likely to get lower prices to start from as business is a bit low. If you go in November, you will find *many* great articles to decorate the Christmas tree! :-)

There are many things worth S/1 (30 pences), but there are also incredibly beautiful carpets in Vicuña skin (with authenticity certificates), wood carvings and silver items worth several hundreds of dollars (usually the farthest out of reach). Make sure you take a few hours to go, to understand how all this is organized.

Anyway, great place! Just don't take the prices they give you for granted.
Written July 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carey S
Denver, CO312 contributions
Aug 2016 • Family
This is a multi-building collection of small shops offering paintings, inexpensive tourist shopping, alpaca products, silver, jewelry, handiworks, etc. I can't imagine any other place in Lima that offers the number of stalls and selection of these types of items. Clearly catering to tourists, it's not overly touristy, as the merchants are not, generally, badgering you for business. Just walk casually through the dozens and dozens of stalls in this 4 square block group of buildings, and I dare you to walk out with nothing for your trouble. Plus, there are good restaurants and bars in the immediate vicinity.
Written August 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lauren B
London, UK31 contributions
Aug 2019 • Solo
I enjoyed my walk around the mercado for last minute souvenirs. It offers similar traditional products, as found in Cusco markets. They are more expensive but won’t go a miss if you’re looking for last minute souvenirs before travelling to the airport.
Written August 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cambridge, MA922 contributions
Jul 2018 • Solo
because this is basically a ripoff exercise and this turned me off. Mass-produced souvernirs of all kind at roughly double market value anywhere one looked (silver is generally double than it would be at fine London shops); bargaining not possible or in very limited ways; no price signs so there is the gringo penalty; much of the stuff from China. Altogether I thought this an unpleasant experience and went back rather soon, I'll have to look elsewhere for souvenirs. Or not bring any, but this was not nice.
Written July 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Northern Kentucky, KY61 contributions
May 2017
Looking for paintings was a disappointment because most of them seem to be mass produced. A lot of textile products, but you must be careful to examine them. A combination of alpaca and acrylic has been used.
Written July 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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