"SAN FRANCISCO EL ALTO" San Francisco El Alto by vaticanus

San Francisco El Alto Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 14 photos

Bargaining Is More Than A Trade

Markets are held throughout Guatemala. Markets in larger towns and in many smaller settlements also are open every day of the week, but only once a week is there really a "market day". Most tourists to Guatemala will visit the market at Chichicastenango. This is deservedly a well-known market- but there are others equally fascinating and unique. San Francisco El Alto (KM 190 on the Pan American Highway) is my favorite. Unless otherwise noted, all of these pictures were taken at the market in San Francisco El Alto.


NOTE: San Francisco has a huge week long Patron Saint Feria in early October. Check the newest edition of your guidebook for dates.

Where It's At

San Francisco El Alto is an easy day trip from Panajachel (Lago Atitlan). As you can see by clicking on the image, it is on the same road as Momostenango aka "Momo"- popularly acclaimed for its fabrics.

Market Day in San Francisco el Alto is Friday, but there is market activity in garments throughout the week.

In the afternoon there is a livestock fair.

Don't worry about missing your stop riding the bus. Lots of passengers will be going the same way you are.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Colorful and Fascinating
  • Cons:You'll tire before you've seen it all
  • In a nutshell:The best market in Guatemala-
  • Last visit to San Francisco El Alto: Dec 1998
  • Intro Updated May 15, 2011
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Reviews (2)

Comments (7)

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2004 at 11:05 PM

    I just can't haggle, don't know how wonderful Travelogues here

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2003 at 1:51 PM

    I could smell the markets from here. One of the more atmospheric pages I've visited.

  • Confucius's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2003 at 9:23 PM

    I saw 3 card Monty in Berlin performed by Hungarian hoodlums. I think I'd rather visit the San Francisco in California but if I need a pig I'll be sure to check that tongue. Thanks for visiting my Peking page.

  • nepalgoods's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2003 at 11:58 PM

    Fantastic page!! Great travelogues!!!

  • jessicadf's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2003 at 10:14 PM

    Absolutely marvelous page that shows a slice of real life -- at least real life 18 years ago. I wonder how much, if anything, has changed since then.

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2003 at 10:05 PM

    As GG has said you have captured the human spirit of local culture! Your photos are really fantastic!! Wandering small streets and alleys and witnessing this local life is the best way to travel!!

  • Geisha_Girl's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2003 at 3:36 PM

    Your colorful photos here and views on the "daily life" in this town are incredible! That's always been my favorite type of photography while traveling....ones that capture the human spirit of the local culture!


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