Although Antigua has a reputation for being touristy, we found that it wasn’t too difficult to get lost and find a slice of authentic Guatemalan life. One of our favorite places to do this: Antigua’s central market.
Walk past the front section of the market, past the souvenirs and freshly cut fruit intended for gringos, and just keep going back, back — deep into the market, maybe even into the adjacent back parking lot areas where on weekends vendors come from neighboring villages.
It’s beyond this first scratch where you’ll find it: real life. Open the panorama to full screen to see it.
As you take a spin around you’ll see activity and people bustling about in every corner, from the woman making purple corn tortillas to women selling piles of mangoes, peppers and strawberries on the ground. You’ll notice that some women are dressed in traje (traditional dress), something you see across Guatemala. If you stick around long enough you might even catch a Mariachi band roaming the place.
So when people suggest that Antigua is too touristy, our advice: go deep, get lost at the market — so lost that you might even have to ask for directions to find your way out just like we did.
Panorama: Antigua’s Fresh Market, Guatemala