Solola Market
Solola Market
4.5

Top ways to experience Solola Market and nearby attractions

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles52 reviews
Excellent
33
Very good
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Average
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Antigua G
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala136 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2011 • Friends
At Spanish lesson, a trip to the market and a fall in a basket of persimmons. That about sums up my first visit to the market in Solola Guatemala.

Solola is about 15 minutes up highland from Panajachel on Lake Atitlan and well worth the trip in the El Pickup that got me there with my Spanish teacher Elena. The market is varied and bustling and very crowded, mostly with Mayan locals going about their shopping in a brisk and no-nonsense fashion. To my great joy, I was just about the only gringo cruising the narrow aisles that day and just about any other day I went there afterwards. This is an authentic market in the middle of a predominantly Mayan town.
Elena suggested we have a mobile Spanish lesson at the market so told me to meet her at a street corner in Pana where we would get our ride. Turns out the ride, El Pickup, was in fact a pick up truck with railings attached to its business end. The trucks can hold about 8 standing, well pretty comfortably, after 12 people it’s kind of pushing it since live chickens held at the “ankles” by a few passengers are usually included in the ride.
Once on the truck and gripping the rails hard, the upward climb gives a view of the lake and surrounding highlands that is worth the ride. It was a beautiful and clear Friday morning.
Arriving at the teaming market, it became apparent to me that talking (mustering my best Spanish which isn’t much, I’m ashamed to say) and walking the jammed food aisles was not easy. Especially since the locals have figured out how to do this while keeping going, examining fruit, and gossiping among one another.
Cursed with Canadian cultural niceness, I kept saying excuse me and trying not to bump into people who could care less about these milquetoast niceties ingrained in the True North psyche. More than once my teacher was leagues ahead of me and a bit mystified that I couldn’t find my way around old ladies and women with three kids. ”Sorry,” I said in my reflexive Canadian way. I’ll try to blend in and move like they do.
Mistake, for sure. I tried to have it both ways, nice a la canadienne and full-speed-ahead as the locals were doing. Result was I fell shoulder-deep into a bushel of persimmons and miraculously emerged without damaging any of them. The vendor didn’t notice since there is such a whirl of people at the Solola market at any given time.
The next time I went to the Solola market I adopted a use your shoulder first and ask questions later attitude. The people are all really nice, just not timid physically. There is actually a learned code whereby you get around people by getting them to move. It’s subtle, and it’s a little like playing a polite game of chicken to see who will blink, that is, move first. If you master this code it works and keeps you out of the fruit bins.
I highly recommend the trip to the Solola market via El Pick up. You can skip falling into a basket of fruit and still have a good time. The ride back down was just as good as the way there.
Written September 13, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

roamergirl
Whitley Bay, UK85 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2011
The market in Solola is crowded, noisy and full of beautiful fabrics, food, etc. You can buy almost anything there. Be cautious with your money - like you would be in NY or other crowded places. Just sit in the square and people watch. It is fascinating!

If you like fabrics, like I do, be sure and go to the Asociacion Maya de Desarrollo (also known as Threads of Hope). It is located at 8a Avenida 13-21 Zona 2, Barrio San Bartolo, Solola. This is a women's coop and they sell some amazing chenille fabrics that are from organically grown, fair trade bamboo. They are open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9am-3pm or by appointment. You can see their online store at www.athreadofhope.org.
Written March 5, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kayak-atitlan
Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala1,476 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Family
Everyone knows about the Chichicastenango market, and even the San Francisco del Alto market, but not many people venture into the Solola market. You will drive right by it on the way to Lake Atitlan, so it does not require a special trip or even a special day. It is open every day, and at almost every hour.
The "old market" has moved to a new location for at least the next 3 years. They are building a new market in the old location, and in the mean time, you will find the market at the upper end of town, just as you enter from the Pan American Hwy.
The variety of fruits and veggies and meats are much better than Pana., and many locals who live here visit the Solola market once a week or so to buy.
For an extra element to the market, try hiking in from Santa Cruz la Laguna. You will hike through the vegetable fields along the way where you see the local farmers working to grow and harvest some of the vegetables for the market. If you are not up for the hike, you can hire a pick up or taxi to take you into the countryside beyond Solola.
If you ask around, there is a great fish seller who has fresh fish from the Pacific Ocean. My favorite is the Red Snapper which sells for 20 Q ($3) pound.
I recommend a new restaurant just above the market, El Gran Mirador. They most likely will not be listed on Tripadvisor as the owner is Guatemalan and does not know about the bene's of a T.A. listing. El Gran Mirador has just that, a great view. And the food is excellent and has something in every price range. I have eaten there dozens of times and have not had a bad meal.
Written April 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arte11
Bucerias, Mexico146 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Couples
This twice weekly market was really good. We enjoyed it much more than its touristy counterpart in ChiChicastenango. We only saw a total of 5 other gringos at the Solola market. The items we purchased there were very good value. The people were quite friendly. It's worth going to Sololá just to see the men wearing their traditional and very unique clothes.

Please note that this market is incorrectly marked in TripAdvisor and Google Maps. It is actually located about 1 km north (at the junction of Avenida 6 going south and Avenida 7 going north).
Written January 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lakwatsera2014
East Granby, CT880 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
If you don't mind observing the indigenous poor as part of an escorted tour, then it's a Mecca for people watching. It has a lot of color, it depicts everyday life.
Written December 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anton F
Kyiv, Ukraine347 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Friends
If you want to see dead Mayans, go to Tikal; but for the real Mayan experience you should visit one of Atitlan villages. Solola is one of the best, with authentic people, traditions and culture. The market is very attractive, with lots of traditional things, food and so on. It's much more convenient than Chichicastenango market and rather cheaper.

The best experience on the lake is people. The real Mayan people. Here, in Solola.
Written May 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GregPJensen
Panajachel, Guatemala103 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Family
If you want to see a huge, authentic, indigenous Mayan market, this is the one. You can wander around for a long time and see just about anything for sale. Fairly light and clean, as markets go. Easy to get great photos, not scared of foreigners. My pro local tip: The market is open everyday, but Tuesday and Friday are official "market days" where it is much busier, and it gets bigger as is spills into the surrounding streets. If you don't want to rub elbows as much, avoid Tuesday and Friday.
Written July 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DarkWaterCalls
Blythewood, SC98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Solo
This is the BEST Maya market in all of the Maya world. This market doesn't setup for tourist. (That's one of the main reasons I LOVE it.....It's REAL.) I go to this market every time I return to Guate. The most tipico dress and warm, wonderful people. Try to visit on the town's saint day, normally in the middle of August. The celebration and ceremony are unbelievable. So cool, if you are interested in the real Maya culture. It's so close to Panajachel (Tourist central) but a world apart in it's natural Maya life.
Written June 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bobsiej1
Beaconsfield, UK131 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Family
We were the only gringos at Solola market just after Christmas. Nothing touristy about it, no knick-knacks or tat for sale, we were not harangued into buying anything, it was just regular folk going about selling their produce. There was an abundance of fresh food - fruit, veg and fish from the lake that would give Borough Market in London a run for its money - and a few eating places on the side, as well as stalls selling toys, kids' clothes and seemingly dozens flogging CDs! Nothing startling to see, but worth a visit.
Written January 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

phebert
London, UK848 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2011
We loved this teeming, local market held on Friday and, I think, Tuesday every week. People, the majority in traditional costume, come from all over the area to visit the market which is REALLY, REALLY CROWDED. This is not a market for tourists and we saw only about half a dozen other "gringos" there. On sale is produce, meet products, fish - dried & fresh, a wide variety of dried corn, live chickens, turkeys and geese and eggs by the hundred (I've never seen no many in one place before. Women everywhere carrying either net-covered baskets or cloth-covered bundles on their heads and men using forehead straps to carry things. For me, at 5' 2". a unique experience was being as tall and even taller than just about everyone there!! Given the degree of crowding it is sensible to be careful with money etc. but no more so than in many major cities around the world.
Written February 4, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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