El Mercado Viejo Craft Market
- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
All roads lead to El Mercado Viejo, built in 1891, destroyed by fires in 1966 and 1978, and refurbished in 1997 as a showcase for local handicrafts. Also known as El Mercado Nacionál de Artesanías, or simply the “tourist market,” El Mercado Viejo is safe, comfortable, and geared toward foreigners.
Here you’ll find all manner of delightful leather, brass, iron, carved wood, and textile handicrafts, plus paintings, clothing, hammocks, and the best of what Nicaragua’s talented craftspeople have to offer. It’s the best reason to come to Masaya and even if you don’t buy anything, an enjoyable and colorful experience—of course you pay for the convenience in slightly higher prices.
Right around the corner, Chincheli is a shop owned and run by talented local artists and former street kids. Not only do these artists sell high quality paintings, hammocks, and bracelets, they also teach other children, under the tutelage of NGO Los Quinchos.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition