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Shopping in Arequipa is top-rate. The products are more expensive than in other part of Peru, but the quality is better. This is definitely the place to buy alpaca products—the materials are purer (no synthetics added) and the designs are nicer—whether you’re looking for blankets, ponchos, scarves, shawls, or sweaters. Shoppers can also find some good antiques and leather goods.
For alpaca products, check out Pasaje Catedral, the pedestrian mall located behind the cathedra. Another good area is the cloisters, with many boutiques and outlets, located next to La Compania church. Finally, head to Calle Santa Catalina to find many more fine alpaca shops, including Anselmo’s Souvenirs, Baby Alpaca Boutique, Millma’s Baby Alpaca, and Alpaca III, which is an outlet store of the larger chain.
You can also start your antique hunt on Calle Santa Catalina and the surrounding streets. Some good shops are Arte Colonial, Curiosidades, and Alvaro Valdivia Montoya’s.
For other crafts, don’t miss the mercado de artesania, a general market with rows of stalls in the old town jail located next to the Plazuela de San Francisco. If you don’t see any appealing leather goods, continue on to Puente Bolognesi for a large selection of shoes, purses, and more.
In general, stores owners and market vendors expect a little haggling over the price. But keep it friendly by staying polite and recognizing when you are getting a good deal.