The Sunday Chronicle: Mercado 23, Cancun


Mercado 23, the market in Cancun frequented by locals (vs. Mercado 28 that is all the tourist rage).  We found out about it through reading info about Cancun before getting there; also learned more from the hotel staff who told us about it to differentiate it from where they were sure we wanted to go, Mercado 28…so wrong; I like to get off the tourist trail even though I am one. It’s a much better feel for a locale when you get into a little bit of the foreign everyday.


Being here was like going back in time for me. When I spent my childhood summers in Guadalajara with my Aunt Angeline, who owned a little café, I would go to one of the local markets every morning with her and my cousin to shop for the day’s menu.  The variety of everything always fascinated me.  Mercado 23 has been around for a while, but it has character. There was one shop selling medicinal herbs, and the sidewalk outside the shop was filled with very aromatic smoke; as I glanced up at jars that lined the shelves in front of the shop and saw belladonna, which is an old-time opiate, and other unknown names, I decided to move on quickly to avoid taking in too much of that smoke.

I’ve included these photos and more in the following gallery; open it up by clicking on any photo.

It was a great morning.

I’ll wrap it up next Sunday with my favorite places and faces in the Riviera Maya.

About Angeline M

Love travel and photography. Living in Northern California. Photos of locations visited are personal file photos.
This entry was posted in Travel, Travel to Mexico and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The Sunday Chronicle: Mercado 23, Cancun

  1. rommel says:

    My kind of shops. Love the colorful drinks. We have a lot of those in the Philippines, but this place looks cleaner and neat-er.


  2. Madhu says:

    What a marvelous slice of local life! I love markets and I would have opted for the less touristy mercado too 🙂


  3. Patti Kuche says:

    I am in awe of your Aunt Angeline who owned a cafe in such an exotic place!


    • Angeline M says:

      My aunt was an incredible woman; she married a Mexican who was visiting in Texas where she lived, moved to Guadalajara and knew she had to make money to help the family. She went on to do quite well with the business and in turn helped a lot of the poor around the city. I think of her as the Mother Teresa of Guadalajara.


  4. Jo Bryant says:

    what a wonderful place Angeline…wandering around must have been just a joyous experience


  5. markquijano says:

    I want to explore places like this…


    • Angeline M says:

      For being in such a touristy part of Mexico, this little off the grid excursion was refreshing! I guess a matter of reading up on an area and/or talking to hotel staff or locals and ask about places that are off the usual tourist places.


  6. I like the side streets and off the beaten trail too!


  7. Colline says:

    So full of colour. That is what I enjoy with markets such as this one.


  8. Amy says:

    It nice to be off the tourist trail when you travel 🙂


  9. John says:

    One of the few times I’ve been out of the country, we spent the day exploring the market in Guadalajara, the largest open-air market under a roof in the world at that time. With diverse wares, including those from local craftsmen, it seemed a simple atmosphere not geared to tourists at all, but serving the basic needs of the city and its inhabitants instead. I love to go back to see the changes over 30 years.


    • Angeline M says:

      The market in Guadalajara when I would go there about 100 years ago, was immense, or at least it seemed so to me then, and lots of little shops around the outside on side streets as well. San Juan de Dios. I really need to get back to Guadalajara soon; I imagine it’s changed just a tad over the years!


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