Visiting the Cuenca produce market is essential to a complete experience of this city in Ecuador. The colonial-looking town of Cuenca is known for its cobbled streets, hand-woven Panama hats, and historic architecture, but the market is also a claim to fame. Foodies will feast their eyes on a variety of exotic vegetables and fruits.
One thing visitors love about the authentic Cuenca Ecuador market is the fact that the produce isn’t labeled in English. A few Spanish words will go a long way in discovering what the exotic produce is, or is similar to, but the best way will be to make a purchase and sink your teeth in. This market is more than a place to buy produce—it is one of the favorite social occasions of local people. Here you will see how people bargain and socialize while running their individual stalls.
The Cuenca produce market is open every day, but the main market days are Thursday and Saturday. During the rest of the week, some of the stalls will be open, but the best shopping event is on those two days. Another Cuenca Ecuador market that is popular with visitors is the flower market. Located near the church of the Immaculate Conception, indigenous women sell locally grown flowers; if you like, support the local people by making a purchase and keeping the flowers in your hotel room.
Visitors should be warned that the sellers can become annoyed by tourists who take many photographs of the market but don’t purchase anything. Supporting the local economy can be done by purchasing flowers, produce, or hand-woven Panama hats. If you don’t speak any Spanish, one suggestion would be to hire a local guide for the day who can show you the major attractions and also help translate the names of exotic fruits and vegetables.