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  • San Telmo Antiques Market, Buenos Aires: The Sunday market is as much a cultural event as a commercial event, as old-time tango and milonga dancers take to the streets with other performers. Here you will glimpse Buenos Aires much as it was at the beginning of the 20th century.
  • The Witches' Market, La Paz: This is one of the most unusual markets in South America. The stalls are filled with llama fetuses and all sorts of good-luck charms. Locals come here to buy magic potions or small trinkets that will bring them wealth, health, or perhaps a good harvest. You'll be sure to find unique gifts here for all your friends at home.
  • Mercado Adolpho Lisboa, Manaus: The Mercado Adolpho Lisboa is a vast waterside cornucopia featuring outrageously strange Amazon fish, hundreds of species of Amazon fruits found nowhere else, traditional medicine love potions, and just about anything else produced in the Amazon, all of it cheap, cheap, cheap.
  • Mercado Central, Santiago: It would be a crime to visit Chile and not sample the rich variety of fish and shellfish available here, and this vibrant market is the best place to experience the country's love affair with its fruits of the sea. Nearly every edible (and seemingly inedible) creature is for sale, from sea urchins to the alien-looking and unfamiliar piure, among colorful bushels of fresh vegetables and some of the most aggressive salesmen this side of the Andes.
  • Angelmó Fish and Artisan Market, Puerto Montt: Stretching along several blocks of the Angelmó port area of Puerto Montt are rows and rows of stalls stocked with arts and crafts, clothing, and novelty items from the entire surrounding region. This market is set up to buy, buy, buy, and it imparts little local color; don't be afraid to bargain. The fish market next door is loud, colorful, and full of treasure, making it more appealing than the street-side stalls.
  • Otavalo, Ecuador: Otavalo is probably one of the most famous markets in South America for good reason: You won't find run-of-the-mill tourist trinkets here. The local people are well known for their masterful craftsmanship -- you can buy alpaca scarves, hand-woven bags, and a variety of other exquisite handmade goods.
  • Pisac, Peru: Thousands of tourists descend each Sunday morning on Pisac's liveliest handicrafts market, which takes over the central plaza and spills across adjoining streets. Many sellers, decked out in the dress typical of their villages, come from remote populations high in the mountains. Village officials lead processions around the square after Mass. Pisac is one of the best spots for colorful Andean textiles, including rugs, alpaca sweaters, and ponchos. Some travelers, though, prefer Chinchero (also in the Sacred Valley); it's slightly more authentic, the artisans (in village dress) themselves sell their goods, and the setting is dramatic.
  • Mercado del Puerto, Montevideo: The Mercado del Puerto (Port Market) takes place afternoons and weekends, letting you sample the flavors of Uruguay, from empanadas to barbecued meats. Saturday is the best day to visit, when cultural activities accompany the market.
  • Hannsi Centro Artesanal, El Hatillo: This huge indoor bazaar has everything from indigenous masks to ceramic wares to woven baskets. The selection is broad and covers everything from trinkets to pieces of the finest craftsmanship. Most of the major indigenous groups of Venezuela are represented, including the Yanomami, Guajiro, Warao, Pemón, and Piaroa.

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.