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Best Markets in Cartago

What are the best markets in Cartago? In this article we highlight the best markets in Cartago.

Cartago, a city rich in history and culture, offers a vibrant market scene that caters to the diverse needs of its residents, including expats and digital nomads. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, artisan crafts, or unique clothing, Cartago’s markets provide a glimpse into the local lifestyle and an opportunity to engage with the community. Here are some of the best markets in Cartago that you should not miss.

Plaza de Mercado de Cartago

Location: Central Cartago
Type of Market: Traditional Market
Open: Daily, 6 AM – 6 PM

Plaza de Mercado de Cartago is the heart of the city’s market scene, offering a bustling atmosphere where locals and visitors alike come to shop for fresh produce, meats, and household goods. The market is a sensory experience, with vibrant colors and the rich aromas of Colombian cuisine filling the air.

We Recommend: Try the local cheese, known as ‘quesito’, which is a soft, fresh cheese that’s a staple in Colombian households.

La Galeria

Location: Near the city center
Type of Market: Indoor Market
Open: Monday to Saturday, 7 AM – 5 PM

La Galeria is an indoor market that offers a more curated shopping experience. Here, you can find a variety of artisanal goods, from handmade jewelry to traditional Colombian clothing. It’s a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs.

We Recommend: Look for the intricately woven mochilas, traditional Colombian bags that are both beautiful and functional.

El Pueblo Artesanal

Location: A short walk from the main square
Type of Market: Craft Market
Open: Weekends, 10 AM – 7 PM

El Pueblo Artesanal is a weekend market that specializes in Colombian crafts. This market is perfect for those who appreciate the artistry and skill of local artisans. You’ll find everything from pottery and woodwork to textiles and paintings.

We Recommend: The hand-painted ceramic pieces are a highlight, showcasing traditional designs and patterns.

Cartago Fashion Market

Location: Alongside the main shopping district
Type of Market: Clothing Market
Open: Fridays and Saturdays, 9 AM – 5 PM

For the fashion-forward expat or digital nomad, the Cartago Fashion Market is a must-visit. This market features a range of clothing from local designers, offering both traditional Colombian styles and contemporary fashion.

We Recommend: Don’t miss the chance to pick up a traditional ‘ruana’, a poncho-like garment that’s both stylish and warm.

Feria de Cartago

Location: On the outskirts of Cartago
Type of Market: Flea Market
Open: First Sunday of each month, 8 AM – 4 PM

The Feria de Cartago is a monthly flea market where you can find a wide array of items, from vintage furniture to second-hand books. It’s a treasure trove for those who love to hunt for unique finds and bargains.

We Recommend: Keep an eye out for vintage Colombian vinyl records, a special find for music enthusiasts.

Cartago Organic Market

Location: A park in the northern part of the city
Type of Market: Farmers Market
Open: Every other Saturday, 7 AM – 1 PM

The Cartago Organic Market is a haven for health-conscious shoppers. This bi-weekly event brings together local farmers and producers who offer organic fruits, vegetables, and other natural products.

We Recommend: Try the organic coffee from local growers, renowned for its rich flavor and quality.

El Mercado del Rio

Location: Riverside location in Cartago
Type of Market: Food Market
Open: Sundays, 9 AM – 3 PM

El Mercado del Rio is a food lover’s paradise, set in a picturesque location by the river. This market is the perfect place to sample a variety of Colombian street food and delicacies while enjoying the scenic views.

We Recommend: Indulge in ‘arepas de choclo’, sweet corn cakes that are a local favorite.

Cartago Artisanal Furniture Market

Location: Near the industrial area of Cartago
Type of Market: Furniture Market
Open: Monday to Friday, 8 AM – 5 PM; Saturdays, 8 AM – 3 PM

For those looking to furnish their homes or workspaces, the Cartago Artisanal Furniture Market offers a range of handcrafted furniture. Skilled carpenters and woodworkers sell their creations, from traditional designs to modern pieces.

We Recommend: The hand-carved wooden rocking chairs are a classic piece of Colombian furniture that combines comfort with craftsmanship.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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