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The capital has the greatest variety of shopping in Peru, from tony boutiques to artisan and antiques shops. Shopping at markets in sierra villages and buying direct from artisans on Lake Titicaca are better experiences, certainly, but don't discount the fact that, unless you ship the loot home, you'll most likely have to bring it back to Lima anyway. In Lima, you can find traditional handicrafts from across Peru; prices are not usually much higher, and the selection might be even better than in the regions where the items are made. One exception is alpaca goods, which are better purchased in the areas around Cusco, Puno, and Arequipa, in terms of both price and selection.

Miraflores is where most shoppers congregate, although there are also several outlets in Lima Centro and elsewhere in the city. Most shops are open daily from 9:30am to 12:30pm and 3 to 8pm.

Antiques & Jewelry

Look for silver jewelry and antiques along Avenida La Paz in Miraflores. In particular, there's a little pedestrian-only passageway at Av. La Paz 646 that's lined with well-stocked antiques shops, many with nice religious art, including La Línea del Tiempo (tel. 01/241-5461) and SAS Antiquedades (tel. 01/241-1092). Platerías and joyerías (silver and jewelry shops) worth a visit are Ilaria, Av. Larco 1325 (tel. 01/444-2347); and El Tupo, La Paz 553 (tel. 01/444-1511). In downtown Lima, Joyería Gold/Gems Perú, Pasaje Santa Rosa 119 (tel. 01/426-7267), stocks Colombian emeralds and fashionable, inexpensive Italian steel jewelry. Miraflores antiques shops include El Almacén de Arte, Francia 339 (tel. 01/445-6264), and Porta 735, Porta 735 (tel. 01/447-6158). A shop I particularly like is La Casa Azul, Alfonso Ugarte 150 (tel. 01/446-6380), which specializes in colonial furniture, religious art, and other fantastic decorative pieces. The friendly owners can help arrange shipping and assist with getting export approval for especially valuable pieces.

Handicrafts & Textiles

Miraflores houses the lion's share of Lima's well-stocked shops, which overflow with handicrafts from around Peru, including weavings, ceramics, and silver. Several dozen large souvenir and handicrafts shops are clustered on and around Avenida Ricardo Palma (a good one is Artesanías Miraflores, no. 205) and Avenida Petit Thouars (try Artesanía Expo Inti, no. 5495).

Handicrafts shops elsewhere in Miraflores include Agua y Tierra, Diez Canseco 298 (tel. 01/445-6980), and Silvania Prints, Diez Canseco 378 (tel. 01/242-0667). Alpaca sweaters and other items can be had at Alpaca Peru, Diez Canseco 315 (tel. 01/241-4175); Mon Repos, Centro Comercial Camino Real (tel. 01/221-5331); and All Alpaca, Av. Schell 375 (tel. 01/427-4704). One of the largest shops, which stocks a huge range of Peruvian handicrafts from all over the country, is Peru Artcrafts, in the Larcomar shopping mall, Malecón de la Reserva 610 (tel. 01/446-5429). Although it's considerably more expensive than other shops (all prices are in dollars), it's perhaps the best for last-minute and one-stop shopping.

Another great spot for handicrafts from around Peru in Lima Centro is the Santo Domingo artesanía arcades across the street from the Santo Domingo convent on Conde de Superunda and Camaná. In Miraflores, a giant artesanía market with dozens of stalls is the Mercado Indio, 5245 Avenida Petit Thouars (at General Vidal). In fact, almost all of Avenida Petit Thouars, from Ricardo Palma to Vidal, is lined with well-stocked handicrafts shops.

In Barranco, the finest upscale purveyor of crafts and home furnishings is Dédalo, Saenz Peña 295 (tel. 01/477-0562). If you arrive here around midday and hungry, you'll be happy to find a little cafe out back in the garden, serving salads, sandwiches, and tamales. A superb selection of folk art and handcrafts from across Peru can be found at Las Pallas, Cajamarca 212 (tel. 01/477-4629); the owner, a British woman named Mari Solari has been collecting Peruvian folk art for three decades and displays it all in several rooms of her fine Barranco house. For fine retablos and artisanship typical of Ayacucho (which produces some of Peru's most notable pieces), visit the Museo-Galería Popular de Ayacucho, Av. Pedro de Osma 116, Barranco (tel. 01/247-0599).

Markets & Malls

Lima Centro's crowded Mercado Central (Central Market) is south of the Plaza Mayor, at the edge of Chinatown and it runs daily from 8am to 5pm; you'll find just about everything there, but you should take your wits and leave your valuables at home. The Feria Artesanal (Artisans' Market, also called the Mercado Indio, or Indian Market, but not to be confused with the Mercado Indio in Miraflores) has a wide variety of handicrafts of varying quality, but at lower prices than most tourist-oriented shops in Lima Centro or Miraflores (quality might also be a bit lower than at those shops). Haggling is a good idea. The market is located at Avenida de la Marina (blocks 6-10) in Pueblo Libre; it's open daily from noon to 8pm.

Small handicrafts markets, open late to catch bar and post-dinner crowds, are situated in the main squares in both Miraflores and Barranco. The Jockey Plaza Shopping Center (tel. 01/437-4100) is a modern American-style shopping mall—the biggest and best in Lima—with department stores, restaurants, movie theaters, a supermarket, and some 200 exclusive shops. It's next to the Jockey Club of Peru at Hipódromo de Monterrico, at the intersection of Javier Prado and Avenida Panamericana Sur in Surco. Most stores are open daily from 11am to 9pm. Centro Comercial Larcomar (tel. 01/445-7776) in Miraflores along the malecón and Parque Salazar (near the Marriott hotel), is one of the swankest malls in Lima, with a slew of restaurants, movie theaters, and upscale shops overlooking the ocean. It's open daily from 10am to 8pm and is a weekend destination for many Limeños.

A fascinating food-shopping experience is to visit the diverse Mercado de Surquillo (Avenida Paseo de la Republica at Ricardo Palma, Miraflores/Surquillo), where Limeños and many of the top chefs in town go to get fresh produce, seafood, meats and a wide array of kitchen implements.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.