Chapala Lakeside Market
There are a lot of places in the world with a lakeside view, but nothing is quite like the view of Chapala, Mexico from the Chapala Lakeside Market, which is right on the water. This is not just a park, but it has lots of vendors that sell really cool things, like hand-woven backpacks, leather bags, jewelry, and snacks.
Outside view of the Chapala Lakeside market
Inside the Chapala Lakeside Market
There are three large restaurants, but they're more of a touristy type of restaurant, so you won't get the cheapest prices for the best food. If you walk a little bit farther, you'll find three food stands all together. Here you can get really delicious hamburgers and traditional Mexican food, like tacos, for a really good price.
Big block of ice used for keeping drinks cold
One of the three large tourist restaurants
Salsas for tacos
There are lots of snack vendors throughout the market, most of which sell little fried sardines in chile. (The fish are cooked, but they still have eyes.) They also sell potato chips with sauce. You'll also find a few vendors with an ice cream type of snack, called Nieve de Garafa. It's a water-based ice cream, and it’s delicious! There are lots of different flavors like corn, lime/lemon, strawberry, coconut, chocolate, cappuccino, and vanilla. The chocolate is really light and tastes delicious, but it has chocolate chips in it, and good quality chocolate chips are hard to find here, so they taste a little waxy. The coconut has coconut shavings in it, but the other flavors don't have any add ins.
Snack and drink vendor
Nieve de Garrafa stand
Snack vendor in the market
Fried sardines in chile
You'll also come across lots of vendors who sell leather products, such as bags, wallets, coin purses, and a variety of key chains. When you buy something, they will offer to burn your name or a personal message on to it for no extra charge! The bags and wallets have some really cute designs burned on them, like Disney characters, Hello Kitty, and flowers, but the most common design is the Sunflower. The items are dyed in tons of different colors - black, blue, pink, purple, and orange, etc.; and all of the colors come in different shades, so each item is very unique and different from the other. The flip-flop key chains are ten pesos, which is about 80 cents.
Leather vendor stand
There are a few vendors who sell woven items, like backpacks, bracelets, purses, and sometimes blankets. It takes them a whole week to make one backpack! They seem to focus on making backpacks and smaller items. Everything they make is strong, and boasts the traditional Mexican colors like red, green, blue, yellow, and orange - the kinds painted in pictures of Mexico.
Woven bag and jewelry vendor
Every now and then, you'll come across a jewelry vendor with lots of bracelets, and some little clay frogs on a glass stone. Each frog represents something different, like work, health, money, friendship, peace, and more! Each frog is in a different pose with a different colored stone.
Frogs on stones
In the center of the market you'll find a few toy vendors. They don't just sell toys though; they also sell ukuleles, maracas, and Jenga games! They sell some Jenga games with truth or dare questions on them. They're really fun! My little sister and brother got a Jacob's ladder, and a little toy car from one of these places, and they both love them!
So after a fun-filled day at the Chapala Lakeside Market, we all headed home for a Mexican Siesta.
Statue in lake
View of Lake Chapala
Metal swing set by the lake
Stray dog, and balloon vendor
Big purple house
View of Catholic church from down the street
Walking to the market
Fountain in the street
Close up view of church
Joy Whitehead is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.
All photos courtesy and copyright Joy Whitehead.