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Masaya market

Donaldsonville...
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27 posts
3 reviews
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Masaya market

Just a heads up for folks going to the market-before we even got out of the vehicle we were surrounded by guys wearing white shirts with the market name embroidered on them-they attached themselves to us and tried to make us purchase from certain vendors. I was looking at hammocks and they got upset when I bought from someone. They kept telling me it was not good quality and insisted I buy from someone else. It was so aggravating and when I told them i wanted to look around on my own they still kept following us. I didn't mind giving them a tip because I realize they are trying to make a living but when I gave each 20 bucks they got angry and wanted more-the guy watching the car was fine with 20 but the other 2 wanted more money. In the time it took to open the car we were surrounded again by guys wanting money-it ended up costing me 80 dollars for the 2 market guys and the guy watching the car. I understand they need to make money and I didn't realize i should have negotiated before they started following us, but I never asked for their help and I was pretty upset by the time I left. The next day I was walking around in Granada and found a lovely place called Tio Antonio that is a non-profit hammock factory and store-the hammocks are incredible-much nicer than the market and a third the price!!! This place is on Real Xalteva and is doing such great work-their focus is on mothers and children, education and health care and provides jobs and refuge for women and children in trouble. I purchased 3 gorgeous hammocks from them for less than what I paid for 1 at Masaya market!!!!! Please go there for hammocks, it is a fabulous non-profit organization and you can actually see the hammocks being made. The courtyard is lovely and the people running the place are so kind and helpful. Just a wonderful place to visit even if you don't want to buy a hammock!!!!

Managua
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641 posts
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11. Re: Masaya market

no you dont need a tour guide to go to the market.

but a tour guide would take you to the volcano, market, laguna etc with no problems and they`re locals so you get a better experience and dont get ripped off.

unusual to hear that kind of story, but it happens occasionally.

the vast majority of Nicaraguans would be sorry to hear it too.

and if your only fault is being a bit ´soft´well thats a good fault to have IMO.

Donaldsonville...
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27 posts
3 reviews
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12. Re: Masaya market

I understand having a guide is a good idea but i had a vehicle and limited time due to the fact that i was meeting with other folks down there who had been working on the Survivor show and was getting together to go with them to the volcano. Unfortunately it was closed due to the heavy rains and the tragedy that occurred 2 days before. I love the country and the people are absolutely lovely. I had nothing less than a wonderful experience everywhere else. I would certainly go back to the market, and especially the local, less touristy market. Everyone, including all the vendors were a pleasure to deal with. In my opinion, the people deserve to be treated fairly and paid a decent wage for their services.The production (Survivor) wanted to pay the folks they hired as drivers, etc., 7.50 an hour but the government told them they had to pay the people 1.50 an hour. Too bad-it could have made a real difference in their lives to make what is minimum wage in the US. I am looking forward to going back and hopefully spend more time volunteering with TioAntonio or other non-profit organizations working to improve the lives of the beautiful people of Nicaragua. What a magical place! I am grateful I had the opportunity to visit such an incredible country! I simply wrote about my experience because I didn't want anyone else to be disappointed like I was. thanks for being kind-

Phoenix
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118 posts
9 reviews
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13. Re: Masaya market

Certainly an unfortunate experience all the way around. The Masaya market is tourist oriented. Pretty much everything thing sold there can be found cheaper somewhere else. The young men harassing you are actually licensed by the municipality in an attempt to provide some order out of chaos. You might have noticed that these boys probably spoke excellent English. That's why.

About all you can do is to notify a local police person if you are being harassed and failing that, simply walk away from the Masaya market into one of the adjacent stores, perhaps the bakery across the street ?

It is a lovely country, but quite poor and the people suffer.

olympia, washington
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4 posts
19 reviews
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14. Re: Masaya market

I believe the Masaya market to which you are referring is not the tourist market.

We had a tough experience there too, even tho we had a nica driver. He took good care of us. Tried to convince us we didn't need to go there, but agreed when I insisted.

The locals there don't fool around. They are very aggressive and are on you before you can get out of your car. It usually starts by them helping you to park your car. We just ignored them, like you, and they followed us. We ended up leaving quickly because of the heat and the hassle.

I can totally see where a woman might feel threatened and toss some 20s their way. You do whatcha gotta do. No one else can judge.

Bottom line is that you better have your "A" game when you go there. Any sign of weakness and it's all over.

Seattle, Washington
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143 posts
31 reviews
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15. Re: Masaya market

I've been to both markets (local and tourist) numerous times. Aside from an attempted pick pocket by an old lady and a kid at the tourist market I have never had a problem...and I'm a chele (blonde female). Hopefully an isolated experience.

Brisbane
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642 posts
241 reviews
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16. Re: Masaya market

What sort of crafts do they have here? I will be here on a Princess Cruises tour next year.

Tyler, Texas
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7,615 posts
123 reviews
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17. Re: Masaya market

Pottery

woodcrafts

scarves

leather goods --shoes

hammocks

clothes

Dallas, Texas
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882 posts
98 reviews
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18. Re: Masaya market

While it is probably true that offering the money probably doesn't help discourage the activity, I can generally understand why you might do it - especially as an older lady by yourself. I'm a healthy adult man and I got tired of being approached repeatedly for cash (and my experience paled in comparison...I either ignored or said no and rarely had someone pursue me).

Nicaragua is a beautiful country, and as mentioned poor so I see why the panhandling happens. Tourists are viewed as rich, and frankly if you have the money to fly there you are in comparison rich. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to go back sometime - just being mindful of the economic situation.

Toronto
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9 posts
2 reviews
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19. Re: Masaya market

I can relate to what happened to you at the market. even though we were there with a guide, we were drilled by him not to give anyone any money, which was probably a good idea but that did not stop them from asking constantly, as soon as you sat down somewhere there would be a crowd of cute looking little kids trying to sell you all kinds of stuff, we felt bad not buying anything and could not get out there fast enough, they even crowded us as we were sitting in the van ready to leave. We were sorry we did not spend more time at the main square in Granada, they has some neat stuff and you were not accosted by anyone. I would have been scared if I had been there by myself.

20. Re: Masaya market

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