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Lima, Peru

Mercado de Brujas

A market for witches is hidden below 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 hidden beneath the Gamarra Station. Keep an eye out for vendors outside 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.

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.