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“Great Place to buy souvenirs”

Masaya Crafts Market
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Ranked #3 of 14 things to do in Masaya
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Owner description: Nicaragua Market is a small company that offers authentic Nicaraguan goods. We work closely to local artisans and the price you see is a reflection of our fair value after partnering with our artists. When you purchase Nicaragua Market products you are helping to ensure that the trade of local Nicaraguan artistry remains a viable small business.
North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Great Place to buy souvenirs”
Reviewed 12 July 2013

Masaya Crafts Market was one of our stops on our tour in Nicaragua. This place is an open market and a great place to buy souvenirs. There were lots of beautiful leather goods and ceramics in this place with very reasonable price. Also, there were beautiful woodcarvings. Do not hesitate to bargain to get a better price. There were several vendors that spoke English. There were several young people (guide) who spoke English that can help you find things you would like to buy. You can give them a little tip afterwards. The coffee mug that my wife bought at a bargain price was well made and sturdy. We bought several souvenirs at this place. I recommend that you will eat lunch or dinner at the restaurant beside the Masaya Crafts Market. They had the best steak I had ever eaten. It was served in a very hot platter with all the herbs and spices. It was very delicious. Our tour guide said that Nicaragua got the best steak. It was a wise choice for me even I stopped eating red meat for a long time already to control my blood pressure. Everybody in our tour ordered steak and was the best conversation in the tour bus. Also, make sure to order a fruit drink at the stand beside the restaurant. They served real fruit drink and cost very reasonable. In addition, the fresh roasted cashew nuts were very good but a little pricey. The vendors accept US dollars. Bring lots of small change like $5, $10 and not more than $20 since you cannot use your Cordova once you left Nicaragua. Happy shopping in Nicaragua.

Visited June 2013
3 Thank Jaime L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rahway, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“Touristy but enjoyable”
Reviewed 23 June 2013

We visited the Masaya Market as part of a day trip. We only spent 30 minutes there but I wish we would have stayed longer so I could have explored it more in depth. You have to look carefully. Some of the stalls seem to have the same items, and some really typical shot glasses/ t-shirts. But in the mix you will find some unique jewelry, sweets, and hammocks. We particularly liked an older gentleman selling leather shoes, right near the entrance. We both bought sandals and paid $8 each.

I think the friendly, non-aggressive people really set this market apart from similar ones I have visited in other destinations.

Definitely worth a stop.

Visited April 2013
Thank majesty318
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“overpriced tourist market - check out the municipal market instead!”
Reviewed 18 June 2013

We stopped at the Masaya Crafts Market and found a great variety of handmade Nicaraguan crafts, but everything was tourist priced. We quickly walked around the market and moved on...the coolest part was the building the market was in.

We later walked over to the "Main Market" or the "Masaya Municipal Market" which is more of a local market, and found very similar crafts for a fraction of the price. the market also had a lot of different produce, meats - you could definitely tell it was a local market and not as much targeted for tourists. We were able to barter prices and purchased most of the souvenirs/gifts that we took home. The main market is located next to the bus stop parking lot. We took a bus from Granada to Masaya, walked around Masaya, and then easily hopped on a bus back to Granada at the end of our day. The bus from Granada to Masaya cost 18 cordoba (about $0.75 USD) for both of us, and the bus back to Granada cost 22 cordoba (about $0.92 USD).

Here are some of the souvenirs we purchased at the main market, and their prices both in Cordoba and the approx. USD equivalent at the time we were travelling
- Wooden bowl made from single piece of wood (125 Cordoba, $6.25)
- 2 pairs of wooden earrings (50 cordoba, $2.08)
- large ceramic vase (180 cordoba, $7.50)
- small ceramic vase (80 cordoba, $3.33)
- extra small ceramic vase (15 cordoba, $0.63)
- 2 t-shirts (100 cordoba, $4.17)
- 1 small painted wooden cross (20 cordoba, $0.83)
- 2 matching wooden bowls on a small platter; (condiment or dip size) (150 cordoba, $6.25)

Visited November 2012
7 Thank javakaty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
900 reviews
225 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,002 helpful votes
“Have to bargain hard!”
Reviewed 13 May 2013

If you are in Masaya and have some spare time, you would enjoy going through this artisanal market. There are wood carvings, leather products, paintings, ceramic vessels, hand bags of all sorts, and much colorful stuff.
If you are not from Nicaragua, the prices usually go high and you need to bargain, and bargain hard. It is possible that you might get these craft items somewhere else cheaper, but the advantage is that it is all there in one place and the place looks very colorful.
Market is inside a fort, which itself is very interesting. There is safe parking on the road and young men identified as guards keep an eye over your car, which is a good thing.
Some paintings look like they were influenced by French artists such as Henri Rousseau with the colorful tropical forests. Another popular theme for paintings seems to be very round women on toilet bowls with toilet paper in hand! Very interesting taste indeed!

Visited May 2013
1 Thank SunnyW358
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
28 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“While in Masaya, you must visit the School of Ceramics”
Reviewed 3 May 2013

My sister and I made a trip to the school of ceramics. It was a very nice tour. They gave us a tour of the facilities and we watched the process of making the pieces of ceramics from start to finish.

Afterward, we went to the gallery and picked out beautiful pieces to buy. They have very, very cool vases, mugs, vessels and other pieces of art for purchase. The amount of time and effort that goes into each piece makes each one special and unique.

We ended up purchasing so many pieces (at great costs), that we chose to ship everything home. They offer shipping for convenience.

I highly recommend making a visit to this place.

Visited April 2013
Thank Kristen750
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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