Many visitors come for Ayacucho’s thriving craft industry, mainly woven rugs and retablos (finely worked little wooden boxes containing intricate three-dimensional religious scenes made mainly from papier-mâché). If you’ve got the time to spare, however, it’s more interesting and less expensive to visit some of the actual craft workshops and buy from the artisans themselves. Most of these workshops are found in the barrio of Santa Ana, just uphill from the Plaza de Armas: locals are always happy to guide visitors in the right direction. Some of the best-quality retablos are not all that expensive, but if you want one of their more complicated modern pieces it could cost as much as $300, and take up to three months to complete.


Edwin Sulca – arguably the best known weaver here – lives opposite the church on the Plaza Santa Ana; his work sells from around $100 (almost double in Lima’s shops), and many of his designs graphically depict the recent political horrors around Ayacucho.

Gerado Fernandez Palomino is another excellent weaver who has a store in his house and workshop located on Jr Paris 600, also in Santa Ana.

Alabaster carvings

Alabaster carvings – known in Peru as Huamanga stone carvings – are another speciality of Ayacucho. Try Señor Pizarro, Jr San Cristoval 215, who has a reputation as one of the best carvers in town. The craft cooperative Ahuaccllacta, Huanca Solar 130, is also worth checking out.

Artesanía markets

Head to the following: Plazoleta María Pardo de Bellido, and Jirón Libertad, blocks 7–9; the first block of Jirón Paris; second block of Pasaje Bolognesi; and the first two of Jirón Asamblea.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Peru features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
20 pictures of Peru that will put the country on your bucket list

20 pictures of Peru that will put the country on your bucket list

Peru is has long been a favourite destination on the South America backpacker trail, but there's more to tempt you here than the oft-photographed llamas and …

05 Aug 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right