Markets, Mercados and Tianguis

Jorge Chávez
Jan. 3, 2015

A Mexican tradition that can be traced back to pre-hispanic times is the Tianguis, an open air market or bazaar usually held on the same day every week, where locals can purchase a variety of items, from fresh produce to clothing and so forth. In addition, and despite the fact that for several decades supermarket chains have firmly established themselves throughout Mexico, traditional markets or mercados continue to draw customers in many cities large and small.

Finally, and inspired by similar offerings in the US and Canada, farmers markets have arrived in Puerto Vallarta and surrounding communities, offering locals and expats a healthy alternative to purchase a variety of products, not to mention the opportunity to mingle and socialize.

Seing our destination through these markets is, without a doubt, a cultural experience. From products you may have never seen before at the tianguis to all the interesting expats that enjoy hanging out at the farmers’ markets (plus the wonderful meals you can frequently enjoy right on the spot), you can have an excellent grocery day if you already live here. And if you are considering relocating, the markets are an excellent way to get to know a bit more about the communities where they take place.
Farmers Markets in and Around Puerto Vallarta

Two markets take place in Puerto Vallarta (in colonia Emiliano Zapata) on Saturdays, and within walking distance from each other:

  • The Saturday Market Co-Op takes place at the Paradise Community Center every Saturday, 9 am – 1 pm
  • The Old Town Farmers Market takes place on Pinos Suarez street between Basilio Badillo and Lázaro Cárdenas, but is closed through the summer months
  • Cooperativa Huanacaxtle is a large handmade products and organic co-op that sets up shop in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle every Sunday, 10 am – 2 pm. Closed summers
  • Sayulita’s Mercado del Pueblo (not to be confused with their tianguis, see below) takes place Fridays 10 am – 2 pm at the Casa de la Cultura (cultural center)

Tianguis in and Around Puerto Vallarta

Whether you need hair ribbons or a lethal machete, an embroidered tablecloth or a set of tires, a live chicken or the pot to cook it in — it’s likely to be at a local tianguis.

  • Tuesdays in Jarretaderas, between Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta
  • Wednesdays in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
  • Thursdays in La Peñita de Jaltemba, in Jaltemba Bay (see note below, in Specialty Markets)
  • Saturdays in Puerto Vallarta, along the Libramiento
  • Sundays in Bucerias and Sayulita

Mercados in and Around Puerto Vallarta

Not nearly as large and colorful as mercados found in larger cities, there are two local mercados where you can get a feel for the experience of shopping for groceries in a traditional, Mexican fashion:

  • Emiliano Zapata, at the corner of Lázaro Cárdenas and Camichín
  • Aramara, at the corner of Prisciliano Sánchez and Universo

Specialty Mercados

  • The Mercado de Artesanías next to Isla Río Cuale in El Centro offers a large variety of Mexican crafts
  • During the Winter and Spring months, the Thursday tianguis in La Peñita de Jaltemba features an entire small plaza devoted to Mexican crafts from all over the country. It is, in fact, the largest one in the region
  • The Paradise Community Center sponsors a Wednesday Night Artisans Market during the winter and spring months, where expats and locals sell the items they make.


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