Indigenous Cultures and Markets

One-day trips


This colonial city, about an hour’s drive from Mexico City, holds a great handicraft market every Friday. Hand-woven goods are the specialty, but all the stands offer fascinating items – many handcrafted by members of the nation’s indigenous groups. Toluca is located west of Mexico City and is serviced by buses leaving frequently from the Western Bus Station at the end of Metro Line 1.


Monday is the market day in this town, in the state of Hidalgo, 158 km. north of Mexico City. It is well known for its weaving and embroidery work. The Huejutla Market is particularly interesting on the Sunday before the Day of the Dead (November 2nd) when special items are sold.


Sunday is the market day in this small town in the mountains of northern Puebla. Here one may see Otomí women in their native dress, which consists of a small woven and embroidered poncho. For the more adventurous, the village of San Pablito lies just across the canyon. It is a long hike, but worth it if one is interested in seeing bark paper being made. It is accessible by bus or car from Tulancingo, Hidalgo.


Saturday is market day when embroidered blouses and woven belts may be found. Huachinango is a town in northern Puebla, on the road to Poza Rica, Veracruz. It is accessible via bus or car from Mexico City. 


Cuetzálan has two market days per week, Thursdays and Sundays. The Náhuatl men and women come to town in one of the most beautiful costumes in Mexico. At the market you may purchase embroidered blouses, woven belts, ponchos and the famous shawls from Hueyapan, Puebla. Cuetzálan is a village located in the mountains in the northern part of the state of Puebla. It is accessible via bus or car from Mexico City.


Tlatlaqui has a Thursday market, which is famous for black embroidered blouses. Tlatlaqui is a small town in the northern part of the state of Puebla. It is a five-hour bus ride from Mexico City and an hour from Tezuitlán.

Weekend Trips


Pátzcuaro is a colonial town on a lake in the state of Michoacán famous for its white fish and its large markets on Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays. At the market one can purchase hand-hammered copper from Santa Clara del Cobre, rugs, sarapes, straw figurines, pottery, lacquer-ware and embroidery. It is accessible via car or bus. 

San Cristóbal de las Casas

San Cristóbal de las Casas is a colonial town, located in the mountains of Chiapas, not too far from the Guatemalan border. There is a daily market (except on Sundays) to which indigenous groups from miles around come to trade, dressed in their customary garments. For those interested in ethnology, San Cristóbal de las Casas has the advantage that one may easily visit the Tzotzil and Tzeltal villages nearby. It is accessible via plane, bus or car.