Mercado de Chichicastenango

Mercado de Chichicastenango: Address, Mercado de Chichicastenango Reviews: 4/5

Mercado de Chichicastenango

Mercado de Chichicastenango
Thursdays and Sundays, this mountain village is transformed into the world's largest handicrafts market, where you'll find pottery, colorful textiles, carved wooden masks, flowers, incense and other Mayan goods for sale.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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614 reviews
Very good

Mike S
11 contributions
very interesting, intense market in a gritty town
Jul 2021
Amazing experience but not "all fun and charm." As white Americans, we stood out and we were hounded by women and some children trying to desperately to sell us goods for what we knew were inflated prices. At one point there were 5 people around us. We did not resent this - it's part of the experience, and the people are trying to survive, and Coronavirus starved the country of tourist revenue for a year. But it can get a little exhausting. One woman had clearly memorized a successful sales pitch: seven children, no money because of pandemic, and her tapestries were hand-made, and took three months to make - which was patently untrue. My wife did get a beautiful hand-made shirt. We went into the St. Tomas church, not just to take in the architecture, or the mixture of native and catholic religions being practiced out front, but because it was a relief - we sat in the quiet and relaxed from the solicitation. As others have described, the more touristy products, textiles, masks, are closer to the front; at the rear are the animals, and only Guatemalans shopping. Let's say, it's not a celebration of animal rights. Six or seven roosters crammed in a rope bag, pulled out one at a time squawking, and squeezed back in when the customer did not want it. Little piglets and calfs tethered to posts on dry ground in the hot sun. The cemetery was as interesting as other posts say. The bright colors are typical in central America. It was especially interesting (and I say this with a bit of morbid tourist guilt), to see a small funeral or grieving service of some kind, led by a man burning incense, chanting in an indigenous language, then inserting prayers to Santa this and Santa that --- the very definition of syncretic faith. The town was not charming. It was gritty; it felt "real" - aside from the restaurants and some coffee shops catering to tourists. The trip was intense, interesting, tiring, and totally worthwhile. But I wouldn't expect a charming, quaint, colorful market at which you can stroll at your leisure.
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

2 contributions
The market that China destroyed.
May 2021 • Family
This is where the the true reality of "globalism" hits you in the face.
Practically all products mass produced in china.
A bloody disgrace.
Written June 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lee E
Tel Aviv, Israel180 contributions
Vibrant, colorful, fantastic experience
Feb 2021 • Couples
I'm not sure if it's due to the pandemic or if I just have a different perspective of busy chaotic markets, but we absolutely adored this place. Vendors are sweet and not too pushy, they are eager but if you refuse politely and wish them well they leave you alone. The merchandise is abundant and very diverse, prices start a bit higher compared to xela but they are willing to drop quite a bit as you bargain. Huge market spanning quite a few streets, we saw mainly locals shopping here. We loved walking around watching the people and the fabrics. Absolute must!
Written February 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Luis F
Guatemala City, Guatemala127 contributions
If you enjoy markets
Dec 2020
Fun, intriguing, fascinating. I love markets and the one in Chichicastenango is full of surprises and charming people. A must.
Written December 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nova Scotia, Canada3,570 contributions
Best Market in Central America
Feb 2020
It is the largest market in Central America and is a tourist attraction, but most definitely not a tourist market. The population of Chichicastenango and surrounding area is overwhelmingly K'iche' Mayan and the products offered for sale are almost all primarily for the locals. The market spreads over a number of blocks and includes indoor and outdoor elements. It appears to be at the highest point in the town with the result that everything needs to be hauled up here, much of it by human foot power. I am amazed at the size of the loads that the people, mostly women, are carrying on their backs.

There are many aspects to the market including poultry, limestone for making tortillas, textiles, flowers, vegetables, musical instruments, pottery, hot food - you name it. You will feel like a giant in this land of the smallest people on Earth.

The best thing is just to look at the photos and hope to get there someday.
Written May 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Doug H
Loveland, CO35 contributions
Market Day in Chichicastenango
Feb 2020 • Couples
We are just back from a week long service project in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Our first day was market day so we walked the streets lined with local vendors and took in all the color and energy the market is famous for. We found the Mayan people, and the Guatemalan people in general, to be friendly and hard-working! It was an experience we will long remember!
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

County Galway, Ireland160 contributions
No onewho has travelled and understands art and markets could give this market less than 5 stars
Oct 2019
There is N question that this market is the best in the Americas BY FAR. Nowhere else in the Americas are the textiles so fine and with embroidery on top. NOWHERE else can you buy a beautiful textile for 13 usd and sell it for 500 plus usd. NOWHERE. This market is insane. It is awesome and warning: addictive. If you love gorgeous jeweler7y , fine wood carvings and most especially textiles, this is THE ONLY market in the AMericas for you. You will not find a better textile market anywhere in the Americas, you have to go to Asia.
The vendors can be pests but if you know where the bargains are; you are set. Find a local and ask where you can find huipiles cheap and you'll find a gold mine.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rebecca H
593 contributions
A Slice of Local Life
Dec 2019 • Solo
Yes, the market can be crazy, crowded, chaotic but it is also colorful, chaotic, crazy and typically Central American. Yes, you need to be aware, cautious and patient since you will be followed around and pestered by the vendors. Keep your purse/wallet/bag close to you. A young local Mayan woman literally walked with me the entire time in the market. In between visiting booths, she tried to sell me her wares. In the end, I did purchase a textile from her. That aside, the market has a combination of textiles, pottery, food and souvenirs for sale. I visited on a Thursday because I had read that Sundays are really crazy and I knew that the churches on the premises would not be available to tour during services. On the periphery of the market, animals are for sale. I ate at local restaurant recommended to me; not sure I would indulge in the food served at the market because of the poor water quality in the entire country. I didn’t see rats in the stalls like I did in the markets of Ho Chi Minh City which was a good thing. Weekly markets provide a peek into the real lives of the local folk. Don’t go if you want a clean, commercialized version of a market.
Written December 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Houston, TX6,193 contributions
BEWARE of Pick Pockets
Dec 2019
We came to Chichicastenango on a Sunday - one of the 2 days of the week they hold a market. The other day is Thursday. From Guatemala City, we joined a day tour with Gray Line tours and paid $52 per person for the tour. We left before 7 am and by the time we arrived in Chichicastenango, it was 10 am. The market was well under way.

They sell clothes and fruits and vegetables. It is very crowded. We were literally walking and saw someone next to us get his wallet stolen by a pick pocket after he was squeezed by a couple of men. It was so crowded he couldn't figure out who stole his wallet. Also, be prepared for people to follow you to sell you all types of things. They will literally follow you from one end of the market to the other.

We had lunch here and spent around 3 hours here including lunch. I would rate this market as average because it was so crowded and you are constantly being followed to purchase things and have to be really careful of your surroundings. It definitely does not make for a pleasant experience.
Written December 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve H
Boynton Beach, FL117 contributions
Long trip to meet with chaos
Dec 2019 • Couples
We took a tour from downtown Guatemala City to the market. Terrible mistake as it took over three hours both ways riding in a van.

The Market was gloriously chaotic with many colors and things to buy. Expect to be constantly pestered as in most Central America markets. It was crowded and we were reminded several times about wallets and purses. Expect to barter as they start with an outrageous price, knowing you will make them come down.

The churches near the market were beautiful but inaccessible for photos as Sunday mass was being conducted.

Lively and fun to experience. Great if you are nearby, but pass if coming from Guatemala City. Roads are bumpy and curvy and incredibly crowded.
Written December 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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