Mercado de Brujas – Lima, Peru - Atlas Obscura

Mercado de Brujas

A market for witches is hidden within a train station.  


The Mercado de Brujas, or Witch Market, in Lima, Peru sells snake fat for arthritis, smoothies blended with herbs and spices for various ailments—including one with blended with frog, also for arthritis—and black candles for curses, among many other curious items.

Even many locals have never heard of the market, which is within the Gamarra Market and just outside the Gamarra train station.  Keep an eye out for vendors selling python skins, and you have found it. The focus here is on the traditional folk medicine that is widely practiced among indigenous groups and the greater Peruvian society.

You’ll find many of health supplements are for sale here. You can find collagen, spirulina, maca root, and aphrodisiacs . Also for sale are palo santo, dried llama fetus, divination cards, charms, soaps, perfumes, crystals and all sorts of things to ward off evil and to attract good fortune.

Ritual items such as snake skins, sea shells, cactus leaves, and hatun hampi (a mixture of local dirt, rocks, seeds, and spices) are the main offering. And if you need guidance, witch doctors and healers are also at the market to help customers through treatments and readings. Around the corner, on the streets leading onto the Gamarra Market, there are snake oil salesmen with microphones performing for crowds.

Know Before You Go

You can take the train there, get off at Gamarra, which is elevated above street level. The market is in at least three market buildings on the east side of the street beginning just north of the station. Go up strains too; there are mediums offering readings and treatments there. There are many of booths on the side walk and along the street. On the west side of the street is a live animal market. The whole area is part of an enormous market. It's packed, so leave your valuables at home. When things start to close, the line for the train gets very busy but it's easy and cheap to get a cab.

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