Surrounded by the Andes mountain range, the colonial village of Pisac and its market is a gorgeous sign of Peruvian culture and tradition. Pisac lives a very different pace and harmony than nearby Cuzco that evades explanation.
It’s not hard to succumb to the charms of sunny Pisac and it’s main landmark, the market. Quechuan-speaking Indians sit behind huge piles of very fresh food, raw materials, herbs, tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables. They sell these products to buy essentials such as salt, kerosene and matches.
Alpaca goods, musical instruments and rugs of all kinds can be bought at Pisac market dominated by a large pisonay tree. After a bit of bargaining, prices can be reasonable, although the good stuff is found in the homes of the craftsmen themselves or in upscale city galleries. On Sunday, peasants from surrounding villages set up a barter market, or mercado de trueque, which is an ancient custom and an interesting example of the informal economies.
Many clay ovens are spread in the area. Nobody can miss the chance to taste empanada de queso (cheese pie) at one of the several ovens. You will find one right in the corner of the main plaza.
During my time in Pisac, I was kindly invited by a local family to get into their place. They were all reunited because of a family event and they just had the basic home needs. I got surprised when I realized they had some cuys on the floor playing with the kids.
Despite its great affluence of tourism, Pisac has a remarkably deeper side that is rooted in its colonial past and has proven resilient to mass. Welcome to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a magnet for spiritual seekers where emotions, feelings and unexpected events are waiting for the visitors.