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Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

Seattle, Washington
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Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?


My friend and I are planning on packing light and taking only carry-on sized luggage so that we don't have to worry about checking luggage on our several internal flights within Peru. However, we definitely want to bring home souvenirs including a large textile or two, items that won't fit in to our carry-on luggage. So we can bring another bag inside our carry-on to use just for souvenirs, but then we would have to check that bag and thus defeat the purpose of having convenient carry-on baggage. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

I bought a great carry-on bag while in Puno. It has been years and we were using it this week for a different trip out of town. (We stuffed that bag and brought home all kinds of goodies on that first trip to Perú)

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

Umm, don't buy any large souvenirs?

Seriously, you usually get one carry one and one personal item each. You can certainly pack an extra bag in your carry on but if you fill it then you'll have to check a bag on the way back. The only options would be to leave enough space in your carry ons for any items you plan to buy, check a bag on the way back, or ship any large items home.

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3. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

I usually buy a duffle bag there and check it on the way home. International flights should allow a free checked bag.

Some local airlines such as Star Peru go by total weight and are quite restrictive on carry on especially to/from Cusco. Sometimes if a flight is full they go around the waiting area and tell you that your carryon must be checked.

Lima, Peru
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for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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4. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

Anither possibility is to buy one if those leather puffs which double up as a bag, check it in on your flight back from Lima back home.

I used to do that when I was living overseas and wanted to bring back a bunch of souvenirs. These can be bought at the Miraflores Indian market where you can also buy all your souvenirs.

Edited: 24 November 2013, 07:50
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5. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

Wearable textiles is another option. The airlines don't raz you about stuff you are wearing. Pockets on your clothes are good for that, too. On my last trip TO Perú, I took a winter coat that I didn't want any more and stuffed the pockets with my socks, a couple of T-shirts, and other fabric items--this gave me more space in my checked luggage. Also, if you take your socks that are barely good anymore, you can toss them while there.

Edited: 24 November 2013, 13:04
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6. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

We travel to Peru every summer and agree with you about packing light and using carryon luggage. However my version of "packing light" usually leaves no extra room in my carryon luggage. One way we have handled our desire to carry things home is to purchase a duffle in Peru -- I usually do not mind checking that on the way home. Also since we go to Peru frequently we often want to bring gifts to our friends there and some projects that we support. Therefor on recent trips we do check a duffle full of "give away" goodies that we can fill up with things we may want to purchase for the return trip. If I do check the big duffle on the trip to Peru I never carry it around all over the County but rather have it transported directly to Cusco from Lima. Cusco is always our last stop and our duffle awaits us there when we arrive.

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7. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

If you truly are packing light both star Peru and Peruvian airlines allow 2 checked bags and a significant weight limit plus a small carry-on. Very different from European airlines or even discounted airlines in the states which are very strict and add high fees. I brought a standard backpacking backpack, packed as light as I could leaving ateast half of my bag empty. I leave tomorrow and my bag is full plus I bought a typical small Peruvian duffel for around $15 and filled that. I am bringing back a few bags of coffee and 2 blankets (some other trinkets but as far as items that use more space) I hope that gives you an idea.

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8. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

First trip to Peru in 2 weeks. What are the popular souvenirs to get? Also what is a good price for alpaca blankets and sweaters? Best place to shop for these souvenirs? Thanks!

Edited: 01 September 2014, 17:41
London, United...
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9. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

one disappointing thing about souvenirs in peru, for me, is that everywhere you go they are the same. it's rare to find something unique in one place. and postage is horribly expensive. it's frightening, and has resulted in us buying almost nothing despite having 9 months to travel on the continent. :(

my favourites--lightweight alpaca double blanket--90 soles. cheaper if you get a wool mix. these are made in a factory, so you get the exact same blankets for the same price in cusco or pisac.

handbag made from Jungle (selva) cotton print--35 soles. or you can buy bolts of this fabric and get a bag maker to make you something. in cusco a store name 'Etnico' carries nice pieces at a good price, and there's a good bag maker in the big wanchaq tourist market.

in arequipa, near puente grau, there are several leather workers. you can have smaller or larger items custom made--want a saddle?

on the way to manu, we stopped at the entry point to the park, and a woman was weaving bolts. they were lovely but the ones i wanted were all out of my budget. there are ladies all over cusco weaving smaller things, usable as belts or guitar straps.

there are little containers made of gourds--slightly delicate, but intricately painted and very light.

the 'cholla' hats are fun and i think (don't quote me) still kind of popular with teenagers. you can buy them in any souvenir store or even at night on the streets in cusco.

most 'alpaca' sweaters are an acrylic mix. if you are buying a sweater for 35 soles, it ain't pure alpaca. the wool alone--undyed--would cost about 60 soles for an adult sweater. there are very good stores in the centre of cusco with gorgeous designs, but they are not cheap.

look around, ask people, google, there are several artisan co-ops or organisations that help indigenous people to get a fair price for their work. a good one is just past koriqancha on avenida del sol in cusco. again, not cheap, but fair. they can organise weaving classes and visits to villages to see how things are made.

chocolate--the choco museums are good starting points.

pisco--again, pisco museum has good stuff.

coffee--be sure to buy the export quality, available in many grocery stores. the cheaper local stuff is ground with sugar. quillabamba is a good source to look for.

pack lightly--laundry is super cheap here, and outside expensive parts of lima, most people wear jeans with t-shirts or sweaters, very low key. no one cares if you wear the same thing for all of your MP trek, unless you're really stinky . :)

10. Re: Any advice for bringing home souvenirs?

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