Shops around bus staion.: Shopping around bus station.
On the way back from Isla de Ometepe,when we arrived the bus station ,we just walked back to the hotel.In the mean time enjoying seeing people’s life and the market along the way.We asked the price of few things ,they were really cheap.My mate need a sunglass cuz it’s broken during the hike.We were still with our backpack so the shop owner didn’t try much to sell things to us ,cuz they think we should be in a hurry and not seriously want to buy anything ..but ..no..we were shopping.. with our backpack on.We started to get used to people here so the fear of danger from pickpocket had faded a little.We didn’t have valuable with us anyway if they open our bag they’ll get only cheap and dirty cloths : )
We asked price of sunglass ,it’s about 70 cd. We kept walking on but the intention not to do bargain trick …I just need to see more somewhere else cuz there were plenty of shops but the guy called us back and said 55 cd…ok .. why not.. ..so we bought from him.It's a nice one but a counterfeit from some famous brand.
We even walked through the part of the market that look unsafe for tourist to go in.We just walk with carefulness,walk a little faster and alert.There’s nothing interesting much ,just very cheap daily stuffs that locals used everyday, no craft ,nothing for tourists,but good experience to see the locals life.It’s a bit dark in there so I didn’t take much photos cuz need to use flash and of course they don’t like to be taken photo especially with the flash on,so this is the only picture I have.
In the mean time we also had a look around for some hotels that close to station but nothing nice.All looked rundown and not cheap, so we headed back to our Backpackers Inn.
Old Market Hall: Rummage Among the Locals
The Old Market Hall caters mostly to the locals but is worth a visit. Its collection of locally manufactured and imported stuff spills into the street near the Managua Bus Station. For more adventure, just enter the faded green facade entrance. This is a good place to buy a belt or get your shoes repaired.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
ChocoMuseo Shop: Cacao and Chocolate
ChocoMuseo Shop is a little shop inside the ChocoMuseo. When you enter the museum you find it on the left side, just in front of the Choco Café. As the name suggests, the shop specializes in cacao and chocolate. They also sell some other products but all with the same theme and many of them are uniquely designed for ChocoMuseo.
Traditional ceramics, such as mugs, cups, plates and vases, are hand-made by Duilio Jiménez, a talented artist from San Juan de Oriente, where most beautiful ceramic works in Nicaragua can be found. All the stone sculptures in the shop are made by Teodoro Gutierrez, a stonework artisan, also from San Juan de Oriente. Beside flat stones used for grinding cacao nibs to make your own chocolate at home, he also made the big stone sculpture of the Maya god holding a cacao pod in his hands which stands in the ChocoMuseo.
The shop also offers a shade grown, high quality organic coffee. It is grown at an elevation of 1700 m in Kilambe mountainous region in northern Nicaragua, the highest coffee plantations in the country. The coffee is hand picked, washed by spring water and sun dried, to maintain a rich coffee taste.
And finally, here's organic chocolate, made from beans to bar in the little factory located in ChocoMuseo. Nicaragua is a country where one of the best cacao is grown. They use the best organic cacao beans in Nicaragua from the cacao cooperative La Campesina in Matiguas (Matagalpa region), a blend of criollo and forastero. The chocolate here is made with 50% and 70% of cacao and does not contain additives, artificial ingredients or preservatives. Sometimes cocoa nibs, coffee beans, peanuts or cashew nuts are added. Beside the chocolate you can also buy organic cacao so you can make your own chocolate at home, and something that I've never heard of before, cacao husk tea. I tried it and really enjoy it. It smells like hot chocolate and has a very nice flavour.
What to buy: You can find some nice pieces of traditional ceramics, flat stones used for grinding cacao nibs, wooden cacao pods, organic coffee, chocolate, cacao and cacao husk tea, chocolate related films and books, cigars Joya de Nicaragua (produced in Esteli in the north of the country and are considered some of the best Nicaraguan cigars) and T-shirts and caps designed especially for ChocoMuseo.
I bought a 400g package of Kilambé gourmet organic coffee which was 5 US $ and a package of cacao husk tea which was 4 US $.
What to pay: the prices are quite reasonable, except for the the 125g chocolate bars which at 4,5 US $ are not some of the cheapest
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Mercado and around
Things and fruits around mercado are very cheap.I often bought bunch of banana from there.The price vary depend on size and quality of the fruits.The big size of banana they use for frying.(fried plantain)I didn't buy any other stuff much ,just walk around.Before travelling ,many people warning about the safety walking there.I didn't feel any danger walking there.Anyway I walked quite fast and hold my belonging tight in front of my chest.
Roberto: Silver Jewelery
Roberto Corrales sells his jewelery at a table in the square - not the central park but on the east side of the square where you find Tres Mundos. He is not like the other people selling jewelery in the park - his work is artistic and made with Nicaraguan silver and local stones which he gets from the Caribbean coast. He speaks english and is a very nice guy. He also sells tshirts of his own design which are very high quality - we have put one through the wash about thirty times and it is fine. Next to his table ar the usual tshirts that he sells for a friend at $5 (in May of 2009). Roberto's prices are a bit higher than the stuff you can buy all over and in the park but the pieces are hand-made and nicely designed.
What to buy: Roberto is an artist and uses local materials. His silver and stones are from Nicaragua. He designs and prints his high quality t-shirts.
What to pay: Roberto will usually give you a special for that day. The more you buy the less expensive it becomes.
Mercado Municipal: Shopping out on the streets
At one block west and two blocks south from the Parque Central you will find the vivid "Mercado Municipal". Here you will see dozens of small stalls on the streets, where you can find fruits, vegetables and other foods and drinks, but also electronics, kitchen gear and things like watches and jewelry.
At the market you'll also find a nice old building in which another part of the market is located. Inside this hall you'll find lots of small clothing shops and also good: in here it is a lot cooler then outside!
The salesmen are not pushy at all here and a walk over the market is a great way to get to know the Granada away from the tourist attractions that were built here by the Spanish, so many years ago.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Lacaya Supermarket: Create your own meals
In the Calle Real Xalteva, you will find the big Lacaya Supermarket. This is one of the few places where you can buy food and drinks in a supermarket-way in Granada, and for a lot of occasions that can be very handy.
First of all: in Granada there are a lot of guesthouses where you have the possibily to prepare your own meal. Here is the place to buy your ingredients.
Then also: if you go out on a daytrip to places like Masaya, Las Isletas or the Laguna de Apoyo, this is the place to buy your lunch for the day, and something to drink.
And also a good one: if you are planning to have a cheap party at night: this is the place to be! Try the Nicaraguan "Flor de Caña" rum: it is veeeery good!
Two block west of the Parque Central you will find it at the left side of the road.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
LOCAL MARKET: ANYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE
There are a couple of small supermarkets in Granada but local people still do their shopping in the market. Market is spread all around the orginal building and all the sidewalks are in use of vendors, people repairing shoes, clothes, watches, radios, TV's. Selling clothes, CD's, DVD's, fruit, raffle tickets, toys....Though I didn't buy anything there it was very interesting to walk there and look at everything. Streets are narrow, cars, bicycles, horses and pedestrians are coming and going all the time. Music is played loud. People talk and laugh. It was like a colourful show! I went there every day just to see people in their daily routines.
What to pay: I suppose that you are expected to haggle there!
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Market in Granada
What to buy: Leave the rain gear at home and pick up an umbrella in the market for the equivalent of a couple dollars that is well made to replace the crappy one you brought from home that broke the first time you could use it.
- Budget Travel
Masaya Market (Mercado nacional de Artesanias): Handicrafts
A very clean, spacious and airy space selling only local handicrafts, from small pieces of ceramics to hammocks and rocking chairs!
Sure, it's aimed at tourists, but is a very pleasant and peaceful place to shop for souvenirs. Prices are low but fixed, so you don't bargain.
What to buy: Masaya is well known for its beautiful hand-made hammocks.
You can buy them at the handicraft market, or go directly to the "hammock factories", family-owned businesses which you will find clustered near the southwest edge of town, across from the old hospital, on the road to the malecon and baseball stadium.
What to pay: It's all pretty cheap. You can get some little souvenirs for a couple of dollars.
Buy a hammock
If you don't go to Masaya or one of the white village and want to buy a hammock.You can find one easily from central park.Street vendor wait for costomer there everyday.You can bargain the price.
I'll check it out next time...:): Do bargain!!
Antiques and handicrafts....
Ask for a 35% percent discount is quite reasonable when shopping in Granada.
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