Guatemala's colorful market days are amongst the most interesting in the world. Within Guatemala you will find the most interesting markets are in the Guatemalan Highlands. Two of the more interesting markets to visit in the Guatemalan Highlands are in Antigua and Chichicastenango (Chichi for short).
La Antigua, Guatemala
The public market (El Mercado) in Antigua, Guatemala is one of the most colorful markets in the world. The Antigua market is open seven days a week however; our favorite market day to visit is Thursday. Thursday is good day because the market is all stocked up for the weekend, and it is less crowded than on the weekend. While you can buy almost anything at the market we like to go the Antigua Market to buy fruits, vegetables and flowers.
The westside of town is where the market is located. After entering the market walk past the stalls selling clothing and household goods to the fruit section at the back. Here we start our fruit purchases. WE stock up on fruit outside. Next, we head inside to buy vegetables and make any last fruit purchase we may have missed.
After completing our fruit and vegetable purchases, we head next to a flower vendor. With our purchases complete we exit to the street and take a tuk tuk. There is no problem getting a tuk tuk near the market. No matter how many times we visit the Antigua market we always find it interesting. Do not forget to bring your camera. You will find that here are so many amazing things that will catch you attention.
Next to the Antigua public market you will find an artisanal market (Mercado Artesanal) that sells arts and crafts. If you are looking to buy Guatemalan souvenirs the artisan markets are the best places. For a great selection try the artisan market in front of the El Carmen Church on the weekend. We particularly like shopping for Guatemalan arts and crafts at Nim Pot.
It is Thursday, so off we went to Chichicastenango (Chichi) for market day. Market days at Chichi are held on Thursday and Sunday. Chichi is famous in the highlands for it market. The market there is quite large and well worth a visit. Whether you are aware or not you will be struck by the wonderful colors of merchandise at the Chichi market. The colorful displays of textiles and souvenirs will most always get your attention. Again, whether it is the Chichi market or flowers on the church steps at Chichicastenango, it is all about color.
Like the Antigua Market you can buy fruits, vegetables, flowers and you name it. However, the Chichi Market is a great place to buy Guatemalan souvenirs. Do not forget to bring your camera there are so many amazing things that will catch you attention. Also, both in Antigua or Chichicastenango if it involves taking pictures of people do not forget to ask their permission.
Antigua is a wonderful base to explore the many sights of Guatemala, such as Chichicastenango market days on Thursday or Sunday. From Antigua you can easily arrange a visit to nearby volcanoes, play golf, and go deep-sea fishing, mountain biking, hiking and much more. There are many travel agencies in Antigua and so it is easy to plan trips to Panajachel and the Lake Atitlan area and Chichicasatengo. Trips to the Mayan ruins at Tikal and Copan Ruinas, Honduras are also popular.
© Sharon Parsons
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