3 Popular Indigenous Markets in South America
picture of the cover of a sample tour itinerary
  • Get This Itinerary Now! 📬
Bolivia News

3 Popular Indigenous Markets in South America

3 min read

Dec 17, 2011


By Kaitlin McMichael

Share This Post

Last updated on March 24th, 2021 at 10:11 am

3 Popular Indigenous Markets on South America Tours

Sacred Valley Peru Tours Take a South America tour of the most famous indigenous markets in South America. In South America’s indigenous markets, you can find medicinal herbs that will promise to improve your health, fortunes, or fate. There are aphrodisiacs, llama fetuses, and meat cuts lying out on tarps in the sun. There are hand-made ponchos and chuspas, small bags used for carrying change and coca leaves. These colorful and lively marketplaces may seem strange to foreigners, but it’s a way of life for the indigenous farmers, peasants, and locals who follow in a long line of ancestors who have been hawking their wares for centuries. Check out these 3 great indigenous markets in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. Know of others? Mention them in the comments section!

Tarabuco Sunday Market, Sucre, Bolivia 

Tarabuco Sunday Market Bolivia ToursThe Tarabuco Sunday Market is located several miles outside of Sucre, Bolivia. The indigenous market is one of the largest in the region. The Yampara locals come from miles away to buy and sell at this weekly market where everything from intricate weavings, fresh fruits and vegetables, and medicinal plants are sold. The Yampara are also well-known for their colorful clothing, hand-woven ponchos, and chuspas, small bags used for carrying change and coca leaves. At the Tarabuco Sunday Market, you can charm the locals by learning a few words in Quechua, their native language, and perhaps barter down the high prices used on foreigners. Check out this great blog post by 2Backpackers.com on the Tarabuco Sunday Market. Read our Landscapes of Bolivia Tour, which includes a visit to Sucre and the Tarabuco Sunday Market.

Pisac Market, Sacred Valley, Peru  

Peru Vacations ToursThe Pisac Market is located in the town of Pisac, nestled in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, just outside of Cusco, Peru. For those on a trip to Machu Picchu, a stopover in Pisac is a must. This market attracts the best artisans, weavers, farmers, peasants, and other locals wanting to buy and sell their wares to each other and to foreigners. The market has become increasingly more popular for foreigners looking to purchase trinkets, weavings, woodworking, and other artisan crafts. Arguably, the Pisac market holds the most variety and best prices than the smaller markets in Cusco. Plus, the market is located at the foot of the Pisac ruins, impressive Inca terraces that are worth the visit alone.

Read our Essence of Peru Tour, which includes a full day Sacred Valley tour.

Otavalo Market, Otavalo, Ecuador

The Otavalo Market takes places every Saturday in Otavalo, outside of Quito, Ecuador. The marketplace involves hundreds of stalls where locals set up, dust off, and hawk their goods to passerby. Otavaleños, the residents of Otavalo, are well-known for their mastery of weaving. Otavalo was once primarily a farming community, but as tourism picked up, many residents turned to making handicrafts and textiles for souvenirs. Scarves, hats, sweaters, and other textiles, as well as jewelry and other handicrafts, are for sale at nearly every stall. Plus, there are several food stands where fresh juice, fish, sandwiches, and other local dishes are sold.

Read our Heart of the Andes Tour, which includes an Otavalo Market tour.

Contact us if you’re interested in traveling to South America and visiting any of these indigenous markets. One of our expert travel consultants will be happy to help plan your vacation to South America.

Create Your Own Custom Tour

Click your preferences: Destinations & Activities. Be as specific or general as you like - or click Help Me Decide! We'll spice it with hidden gems & personal tips to create your perfect trip.

Choose Amazon destinations (optional)
Choose destinations (optional)
Choose Bolivia destinations (optional)
Choose Brazil destinations (opt)
Choose Chile destinations (opt)
Choose Colombia destinations (optional)
Choose Ecuador & Galapagos destinations (optional)
Choose Paraguay destinations (optional)
Choose Patagonia & Antarctica destinations (optional)
Choose Peru destinations (optional)
Choose Interests
Choose activities
What category of accommodation?

You can choose more than one!

When would you like to go?
How many travelers?
age groups
age groups
Review my trip summary





Highly recommended - Phone: We ❤️ to talk! A brief chat with your personal Travel Consultant helps us create your perfect trip!


Last updated on March 24th, 2021 at 10:11 am

Hooray! Thanks for Sharing!

If you have an additional 30 seconds we’d love to learn more about you…

Custom Form Blue Popup

  • Including accommodations, transportation and activities/tours.
  • One Moment Please

    We are matching your tour idea with the right Travel Consultant
    who will be in touch shortly.
    Thank you for your request!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.