The San Pedro market is one of the main supply markets of the city of Cusco since 1910 when the current market was created, inside you can find stalls of handicrafts, fruit, food, flowers, herbalism and some seasonal fairs.
This is one of the places with a lot of cultural and experiential experience where you can learn many things about the Andean culture and you can even learn the Quechua language, among other beautiful experiences.
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Before being the market of San Pedro this in time of the Incas was part of the network of the Inca road or Qhapac Ñan that connected to the Plaza de Mayor and the rest of the city, during the colony this site was given to the order of Santa Clara and with the passage of time the place was known as Pampa de Qasccaparo and next to it was the temple of San Pedro.
As it is known, formerly the central market was located in the Main Square of the city that reached the San Francisco Square; however, in 1910 the current location was converted into a market, an act carried out by the administration of Manuel Silvestre Frisancho.
So they started the construction of the market under the direction of the French architect Gustave Eiffel who also designed the Eiffel Tower, Paris.
It was inaugurated in 1925 and what called the attention of the construction was the iron roof since it had resistant columns that kept the calamine roof well, at the beginning the market was called Mercado Frisancho, but with time they changed the name to Mercado de San Pedro.
After several years of operation the market had grown and in 1950 they decided to expand, acquiring the large size it has today.
There are approximately 1,180 stores in the market that offer a wide variety of products ranging from staple foods, handicrafts, fruits, clothing, herbal products (medicinal herbs), among others.
Currently, this is one of the most visited destinations by tourists when they go on a tour or independently, it is one of the best ways to get to know a part of the Andean culture.
The San Pedro market is located in the small square and in front of the temple of San Pedro that bears the same name, from the Plaza Mayor of Cusco on foot is 10 minutes, you just have to go straight to the Plaza San Francisco and from there follow the arch of Santa Clara and from there you can see the temple of San Pedro and right there is the central market.
As I told you before, the central market of San Pedro is one of the best supply centers where you can see a little more of the Andean culture, see their customs, lifestyle among other things that I will detail below about the things you can see and especially taste the rich cuisine in one place.
Perhaps this is one of the places that most attracts the attention of tourists, because here you can find a variety of garments made with baby alpaca wool, adult alpaca, sheep and llama wool, in short there are a variety of garments that you can buy as ponchos, chullos, shawls, masks, ceramics, musical instruments and more.
This is one of the first sections that you find when you enter the market, it is the juice section where a variety of fruit-based smoothies are made combined with honey, pollen and other choices.
Remember that when you are there and you don't find something that catches your attention you can ask the landlady and she will have the right thing for you. However, that's not all, you also have a line of exotic fruits such as custard apple, aguaimanto, tuna and others.
On the other side of the section you will find another section of nuts and candies, there are nuts, pistachio, hazelnut, variety of fruits, pecans and more; it is hard not to find it because each section has a large sign indicating the section of sale.
This section shows us the varied gastronomy of our Cusco, Peru; here you can taste from the lomo saltado, fried trout, ceviche, the famous fried egg, and the variety of menus. Also, at the top you will find the famous chicken broth with its marinade, in fact it is a section to choose the dish you want to eat.
As we know the central market has everything and there is no lack of medicinal plants of all types which were used and are ancestral knowledge that are still preserved and many continue to practice. We will also find the different types of vegetables that are sold for consumption.
In this section you will find the famous chuta breads of Oropesa, bread rolls, bizcochuelos, and in traditional celebrations like All Saints Day they sell the wawa bread and horse all are traditional and you can find them from 5 soles to 10 soles.
In this stand you will find the best cheeses of the sierra, where there is also a variety of cheeses that you can choose from and there is also the homemade butter that is made in the region, you should definitely take at least one mold of cheese with you.
This section is dedicated to the variety of flowers and roses that are in the region, here you can find from carnations, roses, gladiolus, jasmines and others that will adorn your home.
If you are a meat lover or you are looking for a type of meat to make lomo saltado, anticucho de corazón, chicharrones among other dishes then you should come to this section where they sell lamb, beef and pork, chickens and also delicious fish to make a good ceviche, this section is located at the end of the market.
These are some of the sections that are sold inside the market, there is also the section of grains, garments, groceries and others where you can find what you are looking for, at the same time you can see the variety of products that the potato, corn, beans and other products have.
I recommend you to visit it if you are in Cusco, remember that you can find breakfast, lunch of different prices and delicacies, the market opens its doors from 06:30 am until 17:00 hours, we recommend you to go in an intermediate schedule when everything is ready, but the chicken broths are always ready first thing in the morning, so you decide what to visit first inside the market.
Once inside the market you will find many things among them some curiosities:
-Animal heads, do not be afraid if you come across a cow, pig, lamb head, legs, testicles, intestines, blood and more; the Cusquenian gastronomy usually prepares delicious dishes with these meats, for example, you can make the broth head, belly, among others.
-Frog extract, one of the ancestral practices that many people continue to practice, as is the consumption of frog extract drink with many properties and aphrodisiac.
-Herbal remedies, as I mentioned there is an herbal section, but also inside and outside the market you will find some medicinal preparations that are made from herbs and they still use them.
To visit the San Pedro market you must take into account some points that I will recommend you:
Payments in local currency and cash
You must take this into account, either to buy or consume in the market you must always carry cash, since within this site is not allowed to pay with a card or any other means, and the collection is made in Peruvian soles currency.
If you are a foreign visitor always make sure to change to the local currency to consume in the markets and stores of Cusco.
To visit the market it is not necessary to hire a tour, you can do it independently.