The Crazy Things You Can Buy at San Pedro Market in Cusco, Peru
*If you like this post, it is now available as a self-guided walking tour via GPSmyCITY. Click here to download it.
I’m going to go ahead and start this post off with a disclaimer. WARNING: If you don’t like seeing dead animals/bits of dead animals this post is not for you. Every piece of the cow is used and sold here (seriously, every piece), and there are some little animals eaten in Peru that Americans regard as pets. So, as long as y’all aren’t squeamish with this stuff…we’ll move onto what you can all buy at the glorious San Pedro Market in Cusco, Peru!
San Pedro Market in Cusco, Peru
San Pedro Market is a HUGE market just a few blocks from the main square in Cusco. It’s open 7 days a week and starts around 6 am and closes up at about 8 pm. It’s a great place to go for lunch, as it’s incredibly inexpensive (but oh so tasty) to get all kinds of goodies…especially great big bowls of soup (sopa). The biggest piece of advice I can give for visiting is to make sure you set aside plenty of time to take it all in. We, unfortunately, had to catch a flight that afternoon and were a bit rushed going through the market…BIG MISTAKE. There are so many incredible and downright bizarre stalls in San Pedro Market – you could spend all day here! (You can also book a tour here, if your bargaining skills are the greatest.)
The Juice Stalls
When you first walk into the market, the first things you’ll likely notice are the rows of juice vendors. You can get just about any kind of fruit juice concoction you’ve ever dreamed of!
You can also get “jello” at some of the stalls. Any guesses on what the jello below is made out of? Hint: It’s called “Gelatina de Pata.”
In Spanish, “pata” means “paw.” So, that jello is actually made out of cow hooves. Mmmm…yummy! Of course, we had to try. It’s actually not too bad, as it’s made with an absolute ton of sugar. So, it doesn’t taste too hoof-like at all!
Peru has some incredible fruits growing in its jungles. For a very small amount of money, you can try the different fruits at the various stalls. Our favorite was “cherimoya” it is so sweet! It tastes like you are eating candy.
Sorry, I can’t remember what the fruit below is called…but I do remember it being very tart.
I didn’t get many photos of it, but there are also some amazing fresh-cut, flower stands in San Pedro Market. I have never seen so many colors!
As with the fruit, there is a large variety of veggies to choose from! This lady was so kind…and wow she could get veggies at a rate of speed I didn’t think was possible. Haha. She was making little “soup bags” for people. She was cutting up all the veggie ingredients for various soups, and putting them in a bag. So, you could just dump it into your kettle when you got home.
There are thousands of different types of potatoes in Peru as well. You’ll see a good portion of them in the market. However, the lady with the potato stand, I was told doesn’t like her photo taken. So, the photo above is only a small amount of potatoes – sorry.
Alright, if you’re not a fan of meats and animal bits, you may want to stop here. This part of the market was the craziest, and we spent a good portion of our time staring at the meat stalls. Haha.
If anyone could tell me what exactly you use an animal snout for in cooking, I am very curious. I think those are cow snouts below, but I’m not entirely sure.
Guinea Pigs a.k.a “Cuy”
So, one of the more unique things to eat in Peru is “cuy.” Cuy is guinea pig. I personally did not try it, as I had the little buggers as pets growing up, and it made me gag! But, my husband did try it at a restaurant in Cusco before we left for our flight.
He says “it tastes like chicken!” It’s also a very greasy meat and difficult to eat, as there are a lot of bones and such. (You’re given the entire guinea pig to eat.)
This cuy experience was at “La Retama” in the main square of Cusco. It’s very close to San Pedro Market. I liked the restaurant for the views and the Chirimoya drinks they made! (That’s the fruit I mentioned earlier.)
I know there are even more crazy things you can buy at the San Pedro Market, so be sure to take your time when you go! And what are some of the craziest things you’ve seen at any market? And what would a snout be used for exactly? I’m dying to know! And would you try cuy? Let me know in the comments!
Click here to read my post, “How to Spend 10 Days in Peru.”
Click here to book a tour to San Pedro Market.
*To see my outfit post from San Pedro Market, click here.
*To see the rest of my Peru posts, click here.
It’s a good idea, no matter where your adventure takes you, to have travel insurance. You never know what might happen! Whether you get sick before your trip and can’t go, or you become sick or injured while on your adventure – being covered with travel insurance is a must. Some credit card companies do provide this service (check with yours), or you can get a quote from companies such as Squaremouth to find the best plan for you and your adventure. (This is the company I, personally, use. They are even recommended by Forbes!) To get a free quote, click here.
To check if your country requires a Visa for traveling to Peru, click here.
Want to Learn Spanish Before Your Trip?
Knowing some basics in Spanish can be helpful for your time in Peru. Try a free 3 day trial of Rosetta Stone (the best way to learn a foreign language) by clicking here.
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My San Pedro Market outfit post is actually featured in this week’s Link a la Mode by Independent Fashion Bloggers! Check it out below, or click here to see it on the IFB website.
Links à la Mode, November 2nd
- Aesthetic Distance: The Dark Arts Of Manipulating The Media
- Britt + White: Fall Colors + Investment Pieces
- Girl in Betsey: My Step by Step Fall Skincare Routine
- Gabriella Lundgren: Girls Just Wana Have Green Shoes
- Gutterfashion: Waste Not, Want Not
- Have Clothes, Will Travel: “I’m Going Exploring!” Outfit
- Lunavida Blog: Layered Lace | Sweatshirt + Skinny Jeans + Ankle Boots
- Southern Sophisticated: The Best Fringe Cape Of The Season
- Style Splash: Leopard Print Boots and a Peplum Skirt
- Tales of Two Blog: Bonn Day Trip from Cologne
- The Borrowed Babes: On Thursdays, We Were Target
The whole gelatin thing isn’t strange because that’s what it is usually made of (probably under more sanitary conditions… skin, bones, etc). Gelatine is the vegan version.
Interesting post. Your husband is a brave soul. **retreats to keep my supper down**
Things I never knew! I’ll never look at Jell-O the same way!
wow such a cool pictures from travel- a lot of local things on them. Tahnk you for sharing
Thank you, Karolina! 🙂
Ah! Saw this post on Female Blogger’s RT’s Twitter and had to click…I am half Peruvian and spent every summer in Lima. I’m a huge animal person so it was not too much of a surprise I was so fascinated by all the animals in the giant mercados! I don’t remember a lot from my childhood but those outdoor markets are just imprinted in my memory forever.
I’d go back to Peru just the for fruits. Honestly, the best fruit (some insanely strange ones too!) I have ever had in my life.
Ahh! I’m so excited you liked this post! Thank you! And oh my gosh, yes, I would go back just for the fruits as well!
My sister spent a lot of time in Peru and I remember her mentioning this market! it sounds great and crazy! I’m so jealous of all your peru adventures.
Lee – leethrifts.com
That’s awesome your sister was in Peru too! I hope you make it one day, Lee! 🙂
Wow! Really amazing places!
Have a good day!
Dear Lindsey, I am amazed at the San Pedro market! I must admit that, as a vegetarian, I couldn’t see in detail some pictures 🙂 I know that some people and cultures use everything from cows, and that jello is made of cows bones (I use agar agar :). , but anyway, I respect every taste – I also know that many people like jello 🙂 I loved to know this market through your lens! I really love your posts! Hope you have a lovely day! Hugs!
Thank you so much, Denise! I am so glad you enjoyed the post too! I hope you have a lovely day too. Besos! 🙂
Wow! Jello of cow hooves or a cuy… So many funny things to buy and try there… Really, interesting experience!
Haha! Oh yes! Some crazy stuff! Thank you for stopping by. 🙂
Really nice post. Enjoyed reading..