Antigua is one of Guatemala’s most-visited cities. It's considered a go-to spot for visitors on their way in and out of the country. And the market tucked in the center of this city's charming cobblestone streets is a colorful gem tourists can’t afford to miss.
Antigua itself dates back to the 1500s. The city, which was the first capital of Guatemala, sits at the base of three volcanoes that can be easily viewed from the legendary marketplace.
We stopped in to see the market, making the one-hour drive from the current capital, Guatemala City. With sprawling outdoor aisles and indoor space packed with vendors, the market was crawling with visitors.
As we approached the outdoor sections, we spotted young women with babies strapped to their backs selling apples on the street. Just steps away, vendors offered Guatemala-related T-shirts and bottled Cokes.
Inside was pure, authentic Guatemala. Vendors offering fresh fruits, vegetables and spices stood next door to butchers making sausage on a metal table. Handmade crafts were everywhere, with colorful handbags, jewelry and toys in bright colors and woven fabrics available in every aisle.
Throughout the swarm of vendors, one thing was obvious: these sellers had perfected the art of the deal. They're savvy and know how to make shoppers feel comfortable. It worked on us because we forked over every quetzal we had, taking home bags packed with artisan crafts.