El Mercado San Camilo in Arequipa: A Place With More Guts Than “The Walking Dead”

El Mercado San Camilo in Arequipa, Peru is an enormous market not to be missed when visiting. This place has everything. 

Top: A store used for medicinal and religious purposes by shamans.  Bottom Left: Front view of San Camilo Market Bottom Right: If you were observant in the top picture, this is a close-up of the llama fetuses available for purchase, used in rituals in reverence toward Pachamama or "Mother Earth"
Top: A store used for medicinal and religious purposes by shamans.
Bottom Left: Front view of San Camilo Market
Bottom Right: If you were observant in the top picture, this is a close-up of the llama fetuses available for purchase, used in rituals in reverence toward Pachamama or “Mother Earth”
Hats, Cheese and Fruit abound!
You want a hat? Have 500! You want some fruit? Here’s enough to feed a town! Cheese? We’ll make it rain on Wisconsin! Peru doesn’t play around.
San Camilo Fruits
Top Right: The people of Arequipa proudly speak of their “Papaya arequipeña” native to the region, sort of a papaya mango hybrid and mmm-mmm delicious! Middle Right: The Noni Fruit, whose interior is white with black seeds, smells like rotting cheese, and tastes like vomit. No joke. I forgot the name of the fruit until writing so I google imaged “Peruvian Fruit that tastles like vomit.” Bam. Guess who popped up?

The most exciting part of my trip? Juice! Juice! Juice! The absurd selection of fresh juices was endless. Check out the menu, take the price and divide by 3 for USD prices. You can get a fresh juice on average for $2. Heck yes!

San Camilo Corn

As you can imagine, there was also a vegetable section and an entire aisle dedicated to potatoes. Here are two of the most important corns in Peru, the choclo, absolutely delicious for eating off the grill on the street or fried and crispy kernels for a crunchy snack. Then below, the infamous chicha morada or purple corn which is used to make an oh-so-delicious and refreshing sweet drink which I often enjoyed with my lunch.

San Camilo Meat
Top Left: Fish Top Middle: Skins, Meat cuts, …and Someone’s Feet? Top Right: Goat Heads… cringe Bottom: More guts than the walking dead. I’m still thinking about these bad boys a month later…

So ladies and gentleman, enjoy the local markets of the countries you travel to! They can be quite entertaining and it’s not something you have to pay to see!  Many local markets around Latin America and other areas of the world are likely reminiscent of this one, but I think that there’s still cultural facets that can deliver further insight into the lives of the locals.

Go hungry! 😀

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