Open air market of Guatemala – Antigua central mercado

Day 2, Central America trip, Dec 2012
Antigua city, Guatemala Day 2

Antigua is a cultural iconic colonial city of Guatemala and is also a major tourist attractions due to it’s UNESCO world heritage site’s classification. Hence, the infrastructures to support tourism is fairly better than other parts of Guatemala. Antigua does have one supermarket (La Bodegona) in town where tourists can drop in to find most basic necessities with ease. It is an excellent place to pick up anything you have forgotten to pack while in Antigua before heading to lake Atitlan since there’s no supermarket in town, except for a few small tienda.

The fresh produce aisles of the market

DSCN3855However, most Guatemalans and local residents of Antigua would shop frequently at the open air market on the west side of town for fresh produce, fruits and vegetables and almost every thing else. You can head down from 4th calle from the central park and just walk west of the main road called Calzada Santa Lucia.

In the open air part of the market


The market’s ambiance may feel a little restless or sluggish.


This is due to my walk around the market in the late afternoon.

DSCN3853The morning session would have been more lively as the market is filled with the family’s cooks shopping for the day’s meals.


Centralized bathroom units on both side of the market’s entrance. I think you have to pay a small fee to use it (never need to use so I do not know) but it is nice to have the option.


Right behind the centralized bathroom (south of the market) is the Arts & Crafts market in its own building, where you can shop for Guatemala made crafts and souvenirs.

Arts and crafts market

The floral aisle


Market’s covered interior section, mostly non perishable, dried goods


The outer rims of the market,  mostly non food




Misc. section


Snacks, junk food


  Uhmm…….women’s underwear vendor, right next to a vendor selling fresh eggs


Conveniently located in the back of the market is the public bus station.

DSCN3858 - Copy

Plenty of chicken buses kodak moments

DSCN3859 - Copy

 Private shuttle. Most expensive, and often use by touristsDSCN3857

Tip: Big market days are Monday, Thursdays and Saturdays. Market opens til late at night.

  1. Have you visited the central mercado during your stay in Antigual, Guatemala? What was your favorite section?
  2. How is the open air markets of Guatemala different from other open markets around the world?



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