Central American local markets are fascinating places. They are usually dark, cramped rabbit warrens that sell everything under the sun at much cheaper prices that you can get in the supermarkets and shops elsewhere in the town. Antigua’s local market in Guatemala is no exception.
The main reason I keep coming back to the local markets is to buy fresh produce. It is usually about ½ the price of what you would find in the supermarkets, usually excellent quality (especially if you come on the specific “market days”) and really unbelievably cheap.
The markets are typically arranged in “sections” so that it is relatively easy to do the rounds of a particular category of product. All the larger markets have a section for fresh flowers for example.
There is also a vast array of dried products on offer including grains and legumes, chillis and dried seafood.
And, of course you can also buy fresh meat and seafood as well.
In addition, you can always get all manner of clothing (except exercise clothing for women – that’s quite difficult to find), shoes, kitchen goods, plastics, piñatas, and the Antigua market had a surprising number of material and candle shops.
So if you are up for some authenticity and cheap buys, and you don’t mind getting lost (the Masaya market in Nicaragua is one of the most difficult to navigate in my opinion), I highly recommend checking out the local markets. Just stay alert while you are wandering and perhaps avoid the main markets in the capital cities which tend to be more dangerous than those in the regional towns.