Nim Po't: Nim Po't - Best Place for Souvinirs
This is a wonderful large shop that has a lot of local crafts. All items have prices (which for the most part are very reasonable) which avoids having to bargin with vendors. They sell everything from wood items, quilts, pottery, t-shirts, books, coffee (which is very expensive!), fabric, bags, tin items, calendars, post cards etc.
The girls who work at this store speak some English which is helpful and will help you find something you are looking for.
I bought a one of a kind purse at this store that I paid about $40 US for but, it was all hand beaded and I get sooo many comments on it. It was worth the money and I've gone back looking for more somewhat like it and haven't been able to find anything.
I highly recommend this store as a starting point for buying souviners.
What to buy: Bags (made with the traditional fabric from the natives); Coffee (try the grocery stores for cheaper coffee); wooden products; leather belts; souviners; beads (necklaces, hair clips etc.),
Jade (many Jade stores in Antigua); t-shirts; post cards.
Remember, that if you find something you like, buy it ... it might not be there tomorrow. Some items are unique and one of a kind, so there aren't anymore in the back.
What to pay: Depends how much you want to buy and what you find. I have no problem spending lots of money in this store.
Angelina's Shop: Exquisite, Unique wooden furniture and Antiques
Decor and Style Shops
Art and Furniture. Lamps, accesories and Decor.
4 Calle Oriente No. 22
011-502- 7832 0203 (as dialed from the US)
owner: Miriam Angelina
Email : email@example.com
What to buy: Beautiful, One of a kind furniture and Antiques.
Fashioned from trunks and roots of Guatemalan trees into exquiste pieces of furniture.
(No trees killed or damaged to produce the furniture.)
What to pay: High Price range
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Casa de las Escudillas: Tiny antiques shop in Antigua Guatemala
One of my favorite shops for antiques in Antigua is the tiny, enchanting Casa de las Escudillas (House of Bowls), across from the restaurant Sabe Rico on 6th Avenida. From floor to ceiling, this little tienda is filled with pottery, some furniture, santos, nichos, masks, and other types of antique and vintage decor items. Some items are true antiques, some are vintage in age, and some are contemporary reproductions, but all are good quality and charmingly displayed. The owner of the shop speaks some English, and she is welcoming and helpful as well as delightful.
Many stores in Antigua have similar assortments of new handicrafts. While many of the newly-made objects are beautiful, some may prefer the faded colors and patina of older items, as I do. If you are one of these people, Casa de las Escudillas is a place you'll want to seek out.
What to buy: Casa de las Escudillas is my favorite shop for old Guatemalan pottery and ceramics.
What to pay: Prices range from $10 for smaller, new items to $100s for older, finer items.
Local nick nacks
Antigua has a feel similar to Santa Fe NM in the US. The place is fully of galleries and craft shops since this in gringo central. While I did buy something for my better half in the hotel I probably did not get a bargain or anything unique but it looked nice and beauty is in the eye of the beholder right???? I tend to suggest going to the source if you want something special. Take a look around town you might find that special piece that you were looking for to compliment your house or flat.
What to buy: Local crafts.
What to pay: I would bargain a bit..what is it worth to you
- Adventure Travel
- Historical Travel
Nim Po't: Some of everything
Nim Po’t has all sorts of handicrafts. The shop is large, and crowded with merchandise. They seemed to have some of everything, and I thought the prices were pretty good.
I really liked some of their masks and large carvings (too big to bring home.)
What to buy: I just bought Christmas ornaments and ocarinas, but they had a lot of interesting stuff.
- Arts and Culture
For more reasonable priced local crafts and gifts, visit the Market about 5 blocks west of Parque Central on 4 Calle Poniente. The market has 2 sections --- a local market on the North side and a tourist market south of that. The market to the north have many of the same items as with the tourist market at cheaper prices. The tourist market has a better selection of items for sale.
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
Jades, S.A.: Beautiful Jade
Jades, S.A. is one of the finest jade shops in Antigua, pulling a great number of fine pieces from the local areas. Guatemala is, of course, one of the largest jade-producing areas in the world. And this shop has excellent things to buy, in a range of prices. This shop was even featured in National Geographic once.
What to buy: Here you can find jade jewelry in all the colors (contrary to popular belief, jade is not just green, but can be any color of the rainbow), from rings to pendents and earrings. There are also small statuettes, and replicas of famous Mayan jade masks that have been found in excavations.
What to pay: The prices for real jade are rather steep, but you can find some smaller pieces in the $20-30. The jade masks can range from $100-2000, and the jewelry is anywhere in the middle.
- Arts and Culture
Dona Maria Gordilla: delicious dulces
This delightful shop has been in business for 130 years. I took a recommendation and was not disappointed. The authentic Guatemalan sweets on offer are spectacular. I visited the shop two times and not one of the delicate sweets disappointed me. They are all good and nicely displayed; chocolates, gelees, several candies made with milk, marzipan and much more. Prices average about 6-8 Quetzales (about USD1) per piece and are worth it. The shop itself it worth visiting. It is full of decorative pieces displayed on shelves from floor to ceiling. Definitely give the shop a try. You will get a taste of authentic Guatemalan treats.
Mayan Craft Market: Small Mayan Craft Market
Away from the craziness of the Mercado Municipal and with less overhead and a much lower rent (free?) than at the Mercado de Artesanias, local Mayans set up shop on the very wide street in front of the ruins of the Iglesia del Carmen. All the Mayan crafts you've seen elsewhere can be found here and at likely lower prices than in the shops of Antigua. Be sure to use your bargaining skills to get the best price!
What to buy: Mayan textiles, masks, etc.
What to pay: Depends on how well you bargain!
Mercado Municipal: Anything you want!
Just north of the Mercado de Artesanias is Antigua's general market. Unlike the small towns in the Highlands, every day is market day here. The market is sprawling outside and jam-packed on the inside where there are narrow aisles between stalls of kitchenware, luggage, shoes, jeans, all manner of food items, etc. I you need something, anything, and are willing to bargain for it, this is the place to go. Just to be among the organized chaos and the crowds is a great experience. Well for us it was anyway.
We went a bit overboard on our souvenir purchasing on this trip so we went to the market to buy an extra bag that we could use to take back our textiles. We were able to buy a soft-sided sports bag for $8.
What to buy: You name it, they have it!
What to pay: Bargain hard!
Casa Artes: Vintage Textiles, Ceramics, and More!
This is THE antiques store in Antigua. If you're looking for vintage textiles then this is the Mother Lode! Casa Artes purchases all types of Mayan clothing directly from families who use them. If nothing else it's worth it to go in and get a history lesson on the variations in the design of the traditional women's blouse, the huipil. The staff are very knowledgeable and helpful. Prices are not low mind you. I did buy a woven men's shoulder bag from Nahuala ($60) which was significant since we had visited there earlier in our trip. But the inventory here is more than impressive. Besides the textiles they also have quite a variety of ceramics (bowls, pots, plates), some hundreds of years old, wooden and ceramic masks, and other indigenous artwork.
Seriously this is better than most of the musuems in town!
What to buy: Vintage Guatemalan textiles, ceramics, masks, artwork
What to pay: Big dough
Dona Maria Gordillo Dulces Tipicos: Sweets and Ceramics
I put this in the shopping category because besides the large array of baked goods and sweets on offer here, they also have ceramics in the traditional Antiguan design. I purchased a small ceramic chicken as a present for my mother and resisted the temptation to purchase cookies as we still had a stash of champurradas from Panadaria San Antonio. But I'm guessing the goods here are pretty tasty. At least they looked really tasty!
What to buy: Baked goods, sweets, ceramics
What to pay: Varies
Various Shops: Jade
Jade is native to Guatemala including many colors that aren't found anywhere else in the world including my favorite, black. Take the time to get educated on the types of colors, grades, where the jade comes from and to view the variety of artistic styles before deciding to purchase. Also do a scan of prices from shop to shop to be sure you're getting the best price. There are many jade factories and shops in Antigua all with very beautiful and creative jewelry, figurines, and artwork. Some of the shops include Jades S.A., Joyeria El Angel, and Jades Imperio Maya.
What to buy: Jewelry, artwork, etc.
What to pay: The sky's the limit!
Colibri: Higher End Guatemalan Crafts
This is a slightly upscale home décor store with lots of textiles and some ceramics. You’ll see some of the same textile patterns on table cloths, napkins, etc. as in many craft stores throughout Guatemala but they do have some exclusive patterns that may catch your fancy. We have sets of place mats from this store that were given to us as gifts. We did likewise on our visit and purchased place mats for friends back home. Colibri also has a variety of clothes and some antique ceramic pots and plates.
What to buy: Guatemalan crafts
What to pay: Varies but can be a bit pricey although that goes with the quality of much of their merchandise
Gigantes: Excellent collection of handicrafts
This store is a one-stop shop for Guatamalan crafts at very reasonable prices. We found many gift items here for folks back home and even a couple of things for ourselves. Wood-carved masks and figures, ceramics, textiles, and metalwork are among the items for sale here. We saw a lot of items that we hadn't seen before as well. For ourselves we bought a small wood serving trey with a colorful textile under glass as the base, an oldish-looking ceramic pot, and a carving of Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals. I wasn’t sure if bargaining was OK here since it’s a store rather than a vendor stall so I didn’t bother and paid the listed prices. The fact that they were already reasonable made me feel like bargaining wasn’t really necessary here. Located across the street from the Iglesia de San Francisco.
What to buy: All variety of Guatemalan-made arts and crafts
What to pay: Varies but we found it to be very reasonable