We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

alpaca sweaters, etc

Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
85 posts
12 reviews
Save Topic
alpaca sweaters, etc

I am leaving for Peru next week and am wondering what alpaca sweaters tend to cost in the markets? Not the real high end which would be found in the stores and not cheapie mass made. What about other craft items? nice baskets? scarves? Just so I have an idea of what to expect...thanks! I'll be in Lima, Cusco, Pisac, Ollanta, Puno. I assume they are all pretty similar but anyting special to look for in each?

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
25 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

You'll have lots of shopping options, styles, etc., in all of those places.The market in Pisac is incredible but shopping in Cusco and Puno is also great. You will find more of the "mass made" items, but the woven products tend to be good quality and you usually won't find the same exact style in every single shop, even for those products that are made by machine. You'll also find nicely woven blankets, purse, backpacks, hats, socks, gloves and more. Anything hand woven will be more expensive, but even the machine made pieces tend to be lovely. With scarves, there are several different varieties & styles with lots of colors. We also saw quite a bit of jewelry, some toys, and some musical instruments as well.

What kinds of prices can you expect? For machine-made sweaters, scarves, etc, where they use a cotton blend with the wool, prices can start around $10 - 15 and go up from there. If you want pure baby alpaca wool, it's a lot more expensive and could run around $50 - $100+ for a sweater (I don't remember the exact prices and they will vary between shops). Shop around and compare different stalls and be ready to bargain. Some sellers will bargain more than others.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy a wonderful trip! :-)

- MM

WorldwideXplorer, LLC

Mi Wuk Village...
Level Contributor
1,600 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

Alpaca is turned into everything from sweaters to socks. Blankets. Indians in the Puno area knit an interesting style.They combine three different yarns at the needles. Result is a very warm and durable sweater. "Baby Alpaca" This is touted as the first shearing of a young alpaca. UH>>>nope. Just a way to pay more. Hint on alpaca. Never dry clean. Alpaca has a natural oil that dry cleaning removes. Best way to wash... hand wash in Woolite or Palmolive green. Put towels on the bed and after a gentle wringing...lay out to dry. Other stuff. Peru produces a gazillion souvenirs. Some are trashy. I don't like the resin stuff...nothing traditional about that. Although I once bought a rain stick with a devils head of resin. Put it in the baby coffin with the aborted llama fetus. Had fun in Miami. One real work of art...carved gourds. They come from a village called Cochas Chicas near Huancayo but many are sold in Cuzco. The surface of the gourd is incised with a knife to expose the white under layer. Elaborate scenes of life in the Andes are produced. One of my best is about 2.5 ft. across. it has over 200 figures carved on it. I collect Christmas tree ornaments from third world countries. Peru makes interesting minature nativity scene ornaments. Ayacucho is famous for retablos. http://www.thefolkartgallery.com/peru.htm Much cheaper than the prices on that site. Any handicraft made anywhere in Peru is sold in Cuzco. One cool thing. The Moche...an ancient pre Inca culture on the coast were terrific pottery and statue makers. They mass produced these with molds. The molds were discovered and reproduced. You can now buy the reproductions of Moche ceramics. Uh... there is a tendency for the vendors to sell the obscene ones..but plenty of others available. Paintings...plenty for sale in Cusco and Pisac. The San Blas area of Cuzco has a few high end handicraft shops. Miraflores in Lima...prices are high. Wait for Cuzco.

Lima, Peru
Destination Expert
for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
Level Contributor
18,253 posts
483 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

If you go to the Indian Market in Ave. Petit Thouars in Miraflores you will find stuff from all ranges. If you want something good you should spect to pay close to 70 dollars for a sweater.

Cheaper are lower quality, but available as well.

Houston
Level Contributor
785 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

I like to do a variety of hand crafts myself and will differ on the quality of the alpaca wool types as mentioned above. I have a wonderful green baby alpaca sweater that has a very tangible difference in the softness of the feel. It is enough that I have had patients comment on how lucious the texture is if I am wearing it on a chilly day. We paid around 50$ for it a couple of years ago.

My husband bought me a new sweater in July this year and it is also alpaca, but it is definately different and very itchy, even through my clothes. It is absolutely lovely and I want to wear it, but I can't stand to touch the thing for now.

I normally only wear natural fibers for anything that is hand woven so I am pretty decent at determining the content. Before you go, do take the time to watch a couple of videos on how to do a "burn test" to check for the accuracy of the cited fibers. It only takes seconds.

Los Altos Hills, CA
Level Contributor
753 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

The alpaca sweaters ranged widely in price. I tried very hard to buy one, but found that even the high end stuff was pretty itchy (but I hardly ever wear wool sweaters).

If you're interested in weavings, you should checkout the Center for Traditional Textiles on Ave. del Sol. They have a small museum as well as demonstrations. The stuff they sell is beautiful but very very expensive. However, even if you don't buy anything there, you'll at least understand what to look for as you shop around.

There's also some beautiful handmade silver jewelry, many with Inca symbols. The really nice ones are not cheap, but good value considering the beautiful hand work.

Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
85 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

thank you all for your input! I am pretty excited!

Should I assume airport shops are overpriced??

Lima, Peru
Destination Expert
for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
Level Contributor
18,253 posts
483 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

Emintex, you bought it a couple of years ago ! And you spect for the prices to be the same when the dollarvwent from 2.90 to 2.50 and now finally back to 2.79 ? Come on . I've been at the shops a coupke of months ago and believe the price I am quoting.

You can find sometimes good prices at Kuna at the airport, just look for the sales.

Edited: 29 September 2013, 02:35
Houston
Level Contributor
785 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

Xo, this is why I cited the time specifically--Someone above cited 50-100$. Because the low end was what we found 2 years ago, the buyer can be prepared to not expect to find that, or, if it magically appears, to snap it up like hotcakes.

The one Mr. Emintx got me was 100 soles (roughly 40$) (very pretty with nice detailing, but of a lesser grade of fibers) and he looked at the baby alpaca ones but he told me he didn't get me the same kind as before because they didn't have the color I wanted. This was on July 25th in the Mercado Indio.

Good luck on your shopping. When you return from your trip, please come back with a few photos linked and some prices to cite (and the names/locations of any place that is especially worthwhile to shop at that you discover).

Nassau, New...
Level Contributor
4,420 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

Ketanner - ditto Emintx's comment - have a great time shopping and hope you'll come back and share what you find! Thanks :)

Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
85 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: alpaca sweaters, etc

Just home! What a great trip( besides the markets and buying)! Did not buy as much as I expected. The price for the really nice sweaters,scarves, etc were above my price range (S/300-400). We did mostly lower end but still nice stuff in the markets; gloves S/10-18, scarves S/12, sweater S/45, woven purses S/15-28, beautiful simple filagree earrings S/45-55, small carved gourds (baby rattle size) S/ 4, woven scarf on Traquille S/55, duffle type bag S/25, natural dyes (Pisac market) S/18. It was all fun. Missed some items I thought I'd get later --should have snatched them up when I saw them. Live and learn.

Other than the markets, we had a fabulous time hiking the ruins above Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Sacsaywaman, Machu Picchu, Sillistani. Everyone we met was lovely, so, so helpful. Everyone from taxi drivers to hotel staff. Had some trouble with altitude and ATMs. Never felt any threat or danger where we were. People were so eager to talk about life there. What a great country.