A trip to Peru is memorable on its own – we haven’t met a person who’s been and doesn’t place it at or near the top of their list of favourite places. It’s a place you’ll reminisce over time and time again; trust us, you’ll want to tell everyone who will listen all about your Peru trip for the rest of your life.
The memories will last a lifetime, but if you’re one for souvenirs, there are some great finds that’ll help you and your loved ones keep Peru in your hearts indefinitely.
Here are some of our favourite Peru souvenirs to fill our carry-ons with:
Random airport finds
We’re not usually huge advocates for airport souvenirs unless they’re necessary, but there are some random finds you’ll be happy you scooped up if you search hard enough. Uniquely Peruvian, and uniquely amazing in their own way.
Sweaters – llama, alpaca or vicuna
There are few things cozier in this world than llama or alpaca wool, and Peru is the place to get it all. If you’re reaaaally feeling fancy, upgrade to a vicuna sweater and wrap yourself in some of the finest wool in the world. Hats, gloves, slippers – everything woolly is golden.
Peruvians are known worldwide for their weaving, and even the fibres that they weave with are works of art; often dyed using natural pigments and materials grown right in Peru. Whether it’s a makeup bag, purse, backpack or a whole suitcase, you’ve gotta pick up a woven bag in Peru.
If you buy nothing else for your friends and family back home, pick up as many alpaca pens as you can. They’re furry, adorable, and actually write extremely smoothly – we’ve never met a person who didn’t fall in love with them.
And everything else knit / woven
You may not have known that you needed a luchador mask prior to your Peru trip, but the amazing handiwork of Peruvian weavers and knitters makes everything worth a purchase.
Something made from reeds
The people of the floating islands on Lake Titicaca have constructed not only their islands but their homes and boats out of totora reeds. Other small souvenirs made of these famous reeds make great hand-made gifts and keepsakes from your time with the Uros people.
Walking sticks, buffs, whatever helped get you up the Inca Trail
Unless you come as prepared as a boy scout, you’ll probably pick up a thing or two once you’ve learned about the Inca Trail and what awaits you during your hike. Any memento that helps carry you through the hike should be kept as a talisman that commemorates that exhausting yet rewarding experience.
Something to prove you completed the Inca Trail
Because this kinda souvenir shirt is way better than the kitschy souvenir shop shirt finds anywhere else. You accomplished something great, and you should be able to wear it with pride for eternity.
All the Food (Almost)
You can’t take some things with you (ceviche doesn’t travel well), but some of your favourite foods from your trip will make great souvenirs to bring home. Here are some of our Peruvian favourites:
- Peruvian Corn Nuts – like popcorn, but better
- Peruvian Pisco – so that you can recreate a pisco sour in the comfort of your own home
- Quinoa – because Peru is the homeland of quinoa and it’s a lot cheaper there than at home
- Coca products – you’ll grow to enjoy the taste of coca leaves during your trip and coca tea and candies make a great and safe takeaway
- Inca Cola – because it’s like cream soda but better
- Cacao – from regular delicious chocolate to cacao tea, it’s all delicious and a fab authentic souvenir
As one of the most expensive coffees in the world, this special Peruvian brew is produced in similar ways as most expensive coffees – via animal defecation. Basically, animals (in this case the coati of Peru) ingest the coffee beans and poop them out since they can’t digest them.
This process is said to give the coffee a unique and pleasant taste, and the beans, while expensive, make a pretty hilarious (and delicious) souvenir from your time in Peru.
Above all, spending time with and shopping from the locals is one of our favourite things to do in Peru, so regardless of what you take home with you, knowing it was made with love by some of the kindest people in the world makes it all worth every Peruvian Sol you spend.