From Seattle to San Pedro Sula, Taxco to Tegucigalpa, markets can be a fascinating way to get a glimpse into a city. The most important in town is the San Isidro Market just over the bridge in Comayagüela, between 5 and 7 Avenidas and 1 and 2 Calles, worth a visit to check out the hustle and bustle. Commerce is hardly confined by the actual market building, though, with thousands of vendors of all variety lining the surrounding streets, bridges, and sidewalks.
Absolutely everything seems to be for sale: pencils, erasers, T-shirts, toothpaste, toilet paper, dried herbs still on the stem or ground in plastic bags, cheap silverware sets, pocket calculators, wristwatches, freshly slaughtered pork and beef, cheeses from Olancho, and myriad other sundries—really an astounding assortment of products.
Most people in the market seem cheerfully amused by foreign visitors. Take a chance and go inside the market building itself—it looks daunting from outside, but you’ll generally find it a lot quieter and less hectic than the streets.
The Mercado Mayoreo is also located in Comayagüela, on the road toward Carrizal and the highway, and a number of intercity buses leave from the streets around the market.
Less intimidating and easier to each is the much smaller San Miguel Market, located on Avenida Gutemberg near the Nan King hotel and restaurant. This is a good place to pick up fresh fruit—look for mangoes and the azucarrón pineapple when they’re in season.
Located next to the Estadio Nacional, La Feria del Agricultor (Fri.–Sat.) is the place where small farmers sell their goods. On a Friday morning it’s the best place in the city to buy fish—by Saturday afternoon it may well be the worst, as testified by the stench and the swarms of flies. Fruit is an excellent buy and the fresh cheese vendors have a good reputation—but we don’t suggest eating at the fried food stands unless you have a large stock of Imodium with you.
Any obvious foreigner is a natural target for pickpockets, so come with little to lose, and be aware of your surroundings at all markets.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition