Outdoor markets in Lima, Peru, can always be interesting and rewarding, especially if you are looking for fresh products or tasty treats. As you pass by a stand the vendors will loudly greet you with “Que se le ofrece, Caserita?” (What can I offer you, lovely customer?) and it can get overwhelming seeing all that they have to sell, but this should not deter you from walking through an open market. Some of my most memorable experiences of living in Lima come from these open markets full of vibrant colors, bustling noises, rich conversations and intense smells.
During a lunch outing with my cousins we decided to visit the neighborhood of Lince and eat at a small cevicheria stand at the local market where the fish being prepared for the customers was brought over from the adjacent stand. Seeing all the fish and seafood options was mind-boggling but soon realized I didn’t need to worry as I was going to be eating the catch of the day in my ceviche dish and wouldn’t have to pick out my fish.
When visiting Lima everyone needs to also experience perusing though the Mercado Central where you can find a variety of stalls with all types of things you might not need at a fraction of the price found in a box store. After a day of sightseeing in downtown Lima, I made my way to the Mercado Central where I found a stand selling a large variety of sweets – hard candy, chips, chocolates, mints and crackers. I picked up almost one of everything and ate most of it on my taxi ride back home, but did manage to save some to share with the family.
Choices can always leave you doubting if you made the right decision but one thing that is certain is that open markets in Lima can always be adventurous and fun as you never know what you will discover at the stand around the corner.