Mercado Artesanal de Tepoztlan

Mercado Artesanal de Tepoztlan

Mercado Artesanal de Tepoztlan
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles159 reviews
Excellent
86
Very good
51
Average
18
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0
Terrible
4

Illysa I
United States163 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Friends
This town is easily accessible by bus -- I came from Cuernavaca and it cost something like $17 pesos, or less than $1USD. The outdoor market gets going at around 10:30 or 11. It is very crowded on the weekend. There are many shops and restaurants lining the streets.

From here you can hike Z.A. El Tepozteco (see reviews).

If you're not much of a shopper, go on the hike and/or visit the churches. I happened to arrive just at the start of a massive Confirmation ceremony, led by the Bishop. He gave an engaging speech and the ceremony was beautiful. (see pics)

I am not big into shopping, but this is where I bought all the presents I was bringing back. In other towns and archeological sites I visited I felt overwhelmed by the people hawking their wares. Here, the salespeople are much more laid back. I rarely haggled over the price because it seemed to me that the prices were fair if not quite low. The only time I asked for a break was when I was buying 3 of the same shirts.

If you wish to buy "authentic" Mexican items, read the labels. You will find a lot of stuff from India.

There are many massage places here. My classmates from ASLI language institute in Cuernava all went to different places and everyone said they were clean and relaxing. A 1-hour massage was going for about $400pesos, or $22USD. Seriously, there is no need to haggle and if you can get yourself to Mexico you can give a hefty tip.

Fantastic ice cream and sorbets -- lots of interesting flavors. In the late afternoons on the weekends you'll find the bars are filling up as people buy Micheladas: beer, lime juice, and assorted sauces, spices, and peppers. I had the best Mojito of my life in Tepotzlán.
Written August 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nas S
Long Beach, CA2,219 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Solo
It's exciting to walk through this mercado which has a lot to offer. From food to clothes to gift items it's endless. A lot of interesting handicrafts you'll find here which is well worth the look. Highly recommend when you're in Tepoztlan.
Written December 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mjsloley
Seattle, WA7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Friends
Shop, gaze bntween 12noon and 2:00pm. Very crowded after 2:00pm. Not to saythat it can't be before 2:00pm. Girls check for the manta dresses, Yucatan Linen/Coton, guys the guyaberas. Lots of handcrafts, excellent restaurants.
Written March 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jeffrey h
Kailua-Kona, HI562 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Couples
Having been overcome by island fever, Sandra and I are spending this week in Mexico. In this instance, the trip is centered around a certain event, the four or five days preceding lent, known through much of the world with a Roman Catholic influence as carnaval.

Back in the Land of Bobby Jindal, carnaval is known as Mardi Gras. On both the Pacific and Gulf coasts of Mexico, most remarkably Mazatlan and Veracruz, it bears a striking resemblance to the famous carnaval of Rio de Janiero. Or so we are told.

In the Mexican highlands, there is a different tradition. Dating back 200 years, to a time when the blancos held the high hand on most of the indigenous population, some of the uppity Indians in Xochimilco took advantage of a loosening of class differences associated with carnaval. They wore masks and poked fun at their European masters. Over the subsequent centuries, this parody has been refined, especially in the state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, to the carnaval of the Chinelos.

The word chinelos is derived from a nauhatl word meaning disguise. (Nauhatl is the language of the Aztecs, which is taught and spoken among their descendents.) There are perhaps five pueblos in Morelos where the village revs up for carnaval with the chinelos being the focal point of the event. Latter day Chinelos have a stylized costume comprised of a robe and a mask that imitates the European landowners of the 17th Century. Apparently these guys wore colorful capes, pointy beards and tall hats in the shape of an inverted cone.

Being a literary fellow, my preparation began with a book, specifically the Lonely Planet guide to Mexico City, which includes outlying communities such as Cuernavaca and Tepoztlan. Published in 2008, each year it becomes a bit more out of date. In this instance, the book suggested that the Chinelos of the outlying communities made their way into Cuernavaca during the week of carnaval, thus sparing the less adventurous traveler the trouble of going to the small, primitive villages.

Before accepting this premise, I attempted to verify the information. If I truly spoke Spanish and was
Our new friends, Daira, Samara and Japhet
willing and able to call Mexico, I might have phoned the chamber of commerce in Cuernavaca, assuming that such exists. As a substitute, I attempted to phone the Holiday Inn Cuernavaca using a number that I found on line. I suspected that the guy who answered the phone at that Americanized hotel would speak English better than I spoke Spanish. What I got was a central Holiday Inn number. A man with a German accent was unable to connect me to the hotel, but put me on hold while he called the hotel in central Mexico and posed my question: Does the Carnival occur in Cuernavaca and are the carnaval activities close to the hotel?

After a modest hold, he returned to say that the person at the Mexican hotel said that carnaval did take place in Cuernavaca, but the activities were not walking distance to the Holiday Inn. However, the hotel would provide transportation. He went on to say that he couldn’t understand the concierge in Cuernavaca very well, as he spoke with a Spanish accent.

“Where are you located?” I queried. To which he replied, “I am in Delhi, sir.”

So at this point we had information obtained by an Indian (spots not feathers) who was taught English by someone from Germany, communicating with a man in central Mexico who might not speak English very well at all. And most definitely not with a Hindu accent. Perfect.

Well, the rest is history and a couple days ago we ended up at a really nice little hotel in the historic center of Cuernavaca. By this time we had ascertained that if carnaval was ever celebrated in Cuernavaca, that was not currently the case. Not even to the smallest degree. To see the Chinelos, we would have to travel to Tepoztlan, about twenty kilometros from Cuernavaca.

On our first day here in the City of Flowers, we visited the Museo Brady. Robert Brady was an American artist of some considerable means. He settled in Cuernavaca in a large home that backs on to the catedral. He then proceeded to paint the rooms in bright colors and fill them with art which he collected while traveling the world. Hence, this large home has been converted into a delightfully eclectic museum. The ante room to the master suite is the Crucifix Room, the guest bedroom is the Oriental Room., there is green bathroom full of ceramic frogs. It goes on and on.

While at the Brady Museum, we met two people that provided further information about the carnaval in Tepotzlan. The first was Sergio, a long haired artistic type who was the only person employed by the Brady Museum who spoke a word of English. Although Sergio had never been to Tepoztlan to see the carnaval (it just didn’t interest him) he had some useful insights. It was his impression that the carnaval would be preceded by a mass which would end at 4 PM. Following the religious ceremony, the Indios would pour forth from the church and head to the carnaval. If this were true, we wouldn’t need to arrive before three, with the intent of doing some sight seeing and shopping prior to the appearance of the Chinelos.

A short while later, Sandra cornered two charming girls for a photograph in the Oriental Room. Their father was pleased to have them talk with us as they were learning English. At the end of our museum tour we joined Daria and Samara at a table in Sr. Brady’s courtyard. The girls, remarkably poised at 7 and 9, study music, piano and flute respectively, in addition to English and they clearly enjoyed taking pictures. Their father, Japhet, named after Noah’s son, was well spoken and exceedingly friendly. Although he had been to Tepoztlan, he chose not to go to the carnaval because of the associated drunken, rowdy behavior. He agreed that this was most likely to occur later in the evening.

In the process of settling in to our hotel, the Villa Bonito les Terasses, we met Mario, the owner and manager. Born in Colombia, he grew up in San Francisco and Orlando. He agreed that arriving in Tepoztlan later in the afternoon would be a good plan. Further, he offered to drive us there and pick us up for 500 pesos. This may sound like a lot of money, but the current exchange rate at MEX was 17.15 per USD. One does not need to be especially skilled at arithmetic to deduce that this is less that $30. To have this service provided by a dependable friend was almost too good to be true. Furthermore, although he had not been to the carnaval, he was fairly certain that the proceedings would be quite safe and there was little likelihood of violence of any kind.

Yesterday at 2 PM we took off with Mario driving us in his comfortable Nissan Pathfinder. By 2:40 we were in Tepoztlan, Mario driving the back streets to provide us with the best view of the piramide. This particular piramide is about 1,000 feet up on the cliffs. Mario invited us to wonder how the Aztecs, or more likely their minions, got the stones all the way up to the top of the mountain. Nobody knows.

He dropped us off with intent of seeing us back at the entrance to the village at 7 PM. Before starting our site seeing, we stepped into a tiny restaurant where the hostess/ chef served quessadillas for 15 pesos. We ordered two, but before she could get them out of the pan, we heard a brass band. We ran out into the street to see a band warming up a block up hill and a family preparing their chinelo costumes.

As the father donned his mask, his lovely wife was dressing their toddler. At first the youngster didn't like it, throwing off the headgear, but mama outlasted him. As the band approached, father and son took their place behind. Chinelos began appearing in the street. Soon there were twenty or so behind the band, with young men holding banners leading the way.

At this point Sandra was befriended by a gentleman who insisted on pouring her a tequila and sprite while exhorting the joy of carnaval and los chinelos. When it became apparent that she was associated with a certain hombre, he had his assistant pour me a tequila, as well. We put our arms around each other and shouted,"Amigos!" while the redoubtable SKG took a photo from a safe distance. No fondling these love handles tonight, bucko.

Sipping on our ersatz margaritas, we walked up the street with the band and the chinelos, which every now and then absorbed a new comrade. There were thirty or forty chinelos in front of us and then suddenly there were none. We looked around and listened, finally hearing some band music coming from the far side of a midway. Walking through, we came to a balcony overlooking the zocalo. Below were gathered between 150 and 200 chinelos and four brass bands.

Before embarking on our journey, I had found a youtube video of the chinelos in Tepoztlan. it showed roughly two dozen men and one child dancing a shuffling step under an awning on a dusty street. Nothing had prepared me for this spectacle. While the brass bands played their dancing song over and over, the chinelos hopped, shuffled and twirled. The entire zocalo was full of them.

Clearly the town has grown. Our source in the pulqueria said that there are now 20,000 potential chilenos living in the puebla magica of Tepoztlan. Its not clear if you need to be invited to be a chileno. I doubt that just anyone can whip up a costume and join in uninvited. It was clear from the divisions and the bands that there were four groups, perhaps representing four parishes. And no parish was to be outdone by the other, either in noise of their band, twirling and jiving or, especially, endurance.

We made our way down and took a bunch of photos. One might have thought that the music would stop and the party would become less organized. But it did not. A band might stop for a minute, but begin again

shortly, and the chinelos danced and danced. After about fifteen minutes, Sandra and I took a break. On the opposite side of the zocalo stands the catedral in a large wooded complex. the church was not open, but the famous sign depicting the Carnaval de Teopztlan surmounted the cathedral gate. This sign is made of attached seeds and is re-created with fresh seeds each year. We rested, photographed the festival gate and then rejoined the dancing, which had gone on unabated. We met an older gentleman, just donning his chinelo costume. In by the dancing, I photographed a chinelo who had dropped out, albeit after half an hour of non-stop dancing, to share a few frosties with his friends.

After about forty minutes, the ropes were let down and we were permitted to enter and dance with the chinelos. We danced for a while, took some more pictures and retired back up onto the main street. Food booths, novelties and midway games lined the street for its entire length. It was barely less noisy than the zocalo. Even some of the chinelos had had enough; we saw a few walking the street, hat and mask in hand.

Deciding that we had accomplished our goal, at a little after five we called Mario, who said he would pick us up in an hour. Just as we were wondering where we might go for that period, a young man offered us a sample of pulque. It was delicious, so we repaired into the pulqueria where we purchased a half liter of the pinon pulque. It tasted vaguely of strawberries, Made from agave and only slightly alcoholic, it was delicious. and the peaceful pulqeria was the perfect spot to decompress after our dance with the chinelos.

On the practical side:

1. the residential town is greatly removed from the lower town where the festival is held. If you like to sleep at night, you might want to stay above the lower town.
2. The shops are largely taken over by the countless carnaval booths. These extended about half a kilometer, most of the lenght of the main street.
3. We were lucky to have a dedicated ride form a responsible friend. And we arrived at 3 PM and left before dark. Food for thought...this is rural Mexico, after all.
Written February 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LuvToTravelAround
San Fernando, CA410 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
If you like to shop, stop here. You you like to people watch, stop here. If you like eating street food, stop here. Got so many great deals on authentic Mexican goods .
Written July 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

trent-error.eth
Mexico City, Mexico225 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
This is one of my favorite places near Mexico city. Full of magic and culture. You can learn a lot and have fun at the same time.
Written February 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Curtis J
113 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Friends
Go enjoy the energy of the market on a Saturday or Sunday, but not before 10 am. Many of the vendors arrive between 9 and 10, but stay well into the evening. There is such a huge variety of foods, crafts, trinkets, clothes, souvenir items available. But you don’t have to buy anything to feel the electricity in the air as you squeeze through the aisles. Right in the middle is an amazing variety of places to eat that you could easily miss if you just walk around the edges. Roll up your sleeves and jump right in. You’ll be glad you did.
Written August 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

joanz359
Philadelphia, Pa 383 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Friends
There are vendors in temporary stalls on the street and then a more permanent arrangement with a food type of court. Also along one side of the street are some shops that are worth a look. From junk to treasures, The old man doing art on tree barks, great shawls and vests and sweaters,You can go and find nothing or lots of interesting pieces.It is hit or miss. It can be pretty crowded in the street and around some of the vendors. The stores are little more upscale and more expensive but if you are looking for woven pieces it does give you an idea of comparative prices.
Written February 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Frances K
Washington DC, DC27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Friends
Regular weekend visits to Tepotzlan for the Market. Lots of very inexpensive stalls selling great stuff in the $10.00 range for friends and family. Intersting jewelry, wooden items, etc. Temporary stalls up and down the main street. For fine crafts try the shops on the main street and the side streets behind the cathedral. My favorite is Santa Fe. for flowing silk pieces and for very fine and reasonable priced sculpture and paintings. Great items range from $20 to $1000. great service. The place is a zoo so be prepared for some jostling and crowds. Parking is readily available in the centere of the city, so don't get nervous and park far away. When the heat gets you get a cone from Tepotznieves. Tropical flavors mmm. A visit to the Dominican ex-convento, monastary will give you the best views of the mountains for photos. You'll probably catch a wedding or baptism.
Written October 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jeanette_mae
Detroit12 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018
My heart pretty much exploded.
Something about this little pueblito town captured my heart ! I purchased mostly fabric goods ... clothing, blankets, and wraps which I believe to be at a cheap price for the quality. I would love to come back and stay here for a nice long while ...
Written June 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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