To haggle or not to haggle?
In the formal shops prices are fixed, but in the local markets the prices are negotiable…
If you have never bargained before and you want to have a go, then start by offering 30% under the price.
If you get a response then you know you can get a better price. At which point start coming up to find a mid-way point (as long as you are still comfortable paying it!).
As a foreigner – or ¨gringo¨ – you are expected to pay a higher price, but negotiation is also part of the game, and it can be a lot of fun.
To tip or not to tip?
Tipping is most definitely welcomed by the guides, drivers, hotels and waiters.
A guide to tipping in Peru:
Hotel Porters (taking up your luggage): US$ 5
Waiters: US$ 10
Drivers: US$ 15
Guides: US$ 25
Please note that the above is just intended as a guideline. If you wish to tip more then please do so. Your thoughtfulness will always be much appreciated.
Handicrafts – art, alpaca and gold
You will find a wonderful array of handicrafts to buy. Peru is excellent for this and there will be a lot of temptation to take more than you can carry!
The art is very attractive, whilst the wood and pottery carvings, tapestries and woolen products – such as jumpers – are also very beautiful.
Needless to say, Peru is a big exporter of Alpaca, and you’ll find many jumpers made from this. Remember it is important when buying Alpaca that you buy a good one, otherwise it can shrink in the wash.
And last but not least, you will also find some very attractive jewelry, as Peru is rich in gold and silver.
All in all as I mentioned Peru is a great place for handicrafts and when you shop in the markets, remember all prices are negotiable (see above for haggling tips!)
And do not worry if you don’t have time during your travels through Peru to buy presents and souvenirs, as you will find plenty in Lima in the district of Miraflores (which is probably where you will stay as most of the hotels are in this area).