San Francisco El Alto

What is Guatemala's largest market? Everyone guesses Chichicastenango, but it's actually the Friday affair at this highland town an easy drive from Quetzaltenango. (It's Central America's largest such doings, too.) You'll find far less of interest for visitors here than you will in Chichi, but the local color and the experience of its market, with its brilliant views and good buys on the textiles that are for sale, can't be beat. Make sure to leave time to visit the open-field animal market where everything from pigs to parrots is sold. This is pickpocket heaven, so be aware of your belongings and bring only the cash you'll need for the day.

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