The Machu Picchu Handicrafts Market

In Machu Picchu, we can find different activities and places to visit. One of the most popular is the Handicrafts Market, where you can find different gifts, souvenirs, and various works of artisans that highlight fabrics, ceramics, and some other decorative products. All of them will be distributed in the different stands or small stalls that were enabled in the Machu Picchu Handicrafts Market. In this blog, we will learn more about this beautiful market and everything you can find, in addition to the opening hours and some other details to keep in mind. Let’s get started!

Inside the handicrafts market of Machu Picchu Town

Machu Picchu Town

Aguas Calientes also known as Machu Picchu Town

Machu Picchu Town is the most visited tourist district in Cusco. The main reason for the massive daily visits is that the archaeological site of Machu Picchu is only 10 kilometers away. In this sense, many people arrive using the Inca Rail or PeruRail trains. Some make the journey on foot from Hydroelectric, a small community where the Hydroelectric Station is located. Energy is generated by the waters of the Urubamba or Vilcanota River, the name it receives before reaching this region. In Hydroelectric you can find another route also known as a very economical option.

In addition to these ways of getting there, you can also find people in search of challenges who dare to make treks on foot. Crossing the high mountains of Cusco and entering little by little, during several days of trekking, the high jungle where the Incas decided to build Machu Picchu. All people who decide to make the trip to Machu Picchu, almost obligatory have to reach this district. To avoid confusion between Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Town, it is important to point out that the district is called Pueblo. At the same time, the archaeological site would have to be Llacta de Machu Picchu.

Therefore, an appropriate way to refer directly to the archaeological site is “Llaqta de Machu Picchu”. Currently, the number of visitors to Machu Picchu Town is on the rise. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic, there were other stoppages of tourist activities due to political problems in Peru. At the time of writing and publishing this blog, it seems that things are starting to improve again. Thanks to this, the different businesses that revolve around tourism are reopening their doors as in the past and with great improvements in their attention. It is expected to soon reach and surpass the figures of the past.

The handicrafts market

Products offered at the Machu Picchu Handicrafts Market

The Handicrafts Market of Machu Picchu Town is a place that has several stands or places where you can find different products. However, we do not have a precise date when the construction of this place began. It can be estimated that it began in the 90’s (if it was not much longer ago). Precisely when little by little the massive trips to Machu Picchu Town began to take place. The Handicrafts Market is located very close to the train station of this district. So we can assume that precisely the growth of the place was due to the presence of some associations of people interested in offering this type of service.

Finding the Machu Picchu Handicraft Market is quite simple. The main reason for this is that Machu Picchu Town is quite small. So anywhere you want to go or know, you can get there without any problem, walking. The little streets of the place are perfectly paved and signposted and you can even use Google Maps. Normally, people do not need to use this, but if you will be several days in this place. Google Maps can take you to other attractions such as the waterfalls and even try or make the ascent to Putucusi Mountain.

The Machu Picchu Artisan Market has many entrances. One of them is located just outside the Aguas Calientes train station. In this sense, this market practically surrounds a flank of the station and the river that crosses the entire town. Another way to be guided is crossing the bridge and it will practically place you in the access zone to the place. It is an ideal location for tourists and visitors to have a tour before starting their return trip. Inside, you can find different products, which we will see below.

Modern Wonder of the World: Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, since 2007 began a great change and worldwide recognition. Since that year it has been considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Little by little the visits increased and the services improved considerably. At present, it will highlight the presence of hotels, restaurants, and even trains to have luxury trips and experiences.

What products will we find?

Pucará Bulls – Guardians of the Andean Homes

As its name indicates, however, you can find more than simple handicrafts and highly elaborated works. Since it began its operation, the products that were offered were changing and improving themselves to offer pieces of precious metalwork. Some of these pieces are offered in other markets in Cusco, such as those found in the Sacred Valley or the San Pedro Market. However, it is possible to find in Machu Picchu Town some exclusive designs or products because it is a better market. But you can also find basic products such as all kinds of drinks, snacks, and many other similar products. However, the list of products with better consumption in the Handicrafts Market is:

  • Handicrafts – These are probably the most in-demand products to be found. The quantity and variety of these products are indefinite. Throughout the region of Cusco, you can find different works of craftsmen. These works can be made of wool, fabrics, clay, and other materials. Normally small pieces are made alluding to some animals typical of the area with a variety of sizes. Among these, the presence of pumas, guinea pigs, and llamas stands out. Also, due to their popularity, you can find some Pukara bulls. Beautiful figures of decorative bulls that are usually sold in pairs.
  • Souvenirs – Among the souvenirs you can find several products. However, the ones that often stand out the most are polo shirts, sweaters, and t-shirts, some decorative pieces with the slogan “I love Machu Picchu”. This type of clothing is quite popular all over the world. Probably because of this, in Cusco and Peru in general, other types of souvenirs began to be designed. They began to mix the Andean motifs of Cusco with the popular culture or highlight the figures and destinations of Cusco. You can also find these pieces in small carvings, such as photo frames or other decorative pieces.
  • Musical instruments – Something that cannot be missing in the handicraft stores found in the markets is the presence of musical instruments of the replica type. Although some of these products are not, they have some higher costs. For the elaboration of these, better materials will be needed. Normally, you can find quenas, zampoñas, small bandurrias and even guitarrillas. If at some point you want to buy a good instrument, this is probably not the place, however, you can find the contact of a craftsman who can make or work one of the instruments at the ideal price.
  • Sculptures – Throughout Cusco in general you can find several artists. Among them, the sculptors stand out. It is enough to walk the streets of Machu Picchu Town to appreciate their skills. It is for this reason that you can find good sculptural works. You can find decorative pieces and even collection pieces. On the other hand, you can find works in wood, stone, and also in a combination of materials, where you can find pieces or works inspired by the Andean cosmovision or mythology.
  • Paintings – As we mentioned, the large number of artists in Cusco allows for beautiful works to be marketed. Paintings will not be the exception and each of these works will offer great variety. In case you are not able to purchase a piece you like at the moment, you can contact the artist to have a work made to order or personalized. Some artists can even make a work and then send it to the country or destination of your choice. Of course, prior coordination is required.
  • Accessories – Some products that can be offered are often small pieces, commonly used as accessories. Thanks to the creativity of the artisans and the people who work there, you can find unique and beautiful works. Among the most common accessories are purses, wallets, bracelets, and necklaces. Among the latter two are works that try to resemble pre-Columbian, Inca, and similar costume jewelry. Some of these works are even made with the same materials as in the past. You will also find works in gold and silver. It is important to know the works well so as not to fall into imitations.
  • Variety – To try not to saturate the customer, many of the handicraft stands offer other types of products. Among these, you can find drinks, snacks, toiletries, some incense, and products for good fortune. You can also find backpacks, sweaters, vests, jackets, and different clothes, all of them with Andean motifs that can serve as souvenirs and even as part of anyone’s outfit. It is quite sure that you have seen the pictures of people with their ponchos or chullos. These garments can also be found in this handicrafts market.

Opening hours and how to get there?

The normal opening hours are from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. However, some of the stores inside the market begin to open their doors even before these hours. Likewise, sometimes the opening hours may be extended for half an hour, depending on each of the vendors.

On the other hand, and as we have already mentioned, you can get to the Mercado de Artesanías from different places, for example:

  • It is located very close to the train station, so you can visit it when boarding the return train. In addition, it is a great place for people to have some entertainment during their waiting time.
  • In case you want to spend days in Machu Picchu and you can’t find your way around, it is very close to the Inca Roca sculpture. Right on 102 Antisuyo Street. This street is very close to the river that crosses all Machu Picchu Town.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, March 22, 2024

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