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1. Mercado de Mariscos, Panama City

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The Mercado de Mariscos (Seafood Market) in Panama City is abuzz with local fisherman carrying their catches to the vendors inside set amongst the many casual eateries. Located right next to the city’s fishing marina, the market is a fully operational trading space which is lively with business from just before day break and then slowly winds down in the early afternoon with hangers on cheerily sitting at one the many small seafood stands which surround the main building, enjoying a well earned beer and a generous helping of local seafood.

Where: Panama City, next to the city’s main fishing marina. Be a part of the action at the Mercado de Mariscos and drop in during the first few days whilst on the Alcíon: Central America discovery group tour.

“I would recommend trying a combo ceviche which mixes fish, prawns, squid and calamari. Prices are pretty much the same from stall to stall, so just choose the most popular!” Nicola Gude, Group Tours.

2. La Nieve Viga Market (known as La Viga), Mexico City

Believe it or not, La Nieve Viga market, the largest seafood market in Mexico, is the second largest in the world. Located inland in Mexico City due to historical commerce patterns, this vast market sells locally and exports to the United States. Although it is less of a touristy destination, more a fascinating insight into the seafood trade in Mexico, there are a variety of food stalls serving tamales, tacos, cocktails and other popular seafood dishes. Be sure to go before midday to catch the freshest fish.

Where: Central de Abastos in Mexico City. The market sits a few streets over from the Central’s main fruit-and-vegetable complex, behind a row of seafood empanada stands. A trip to this interesting, if a little smelly, seafood quarter combines perfectly with our new A Taste of Mexico holiday.

“Despite the enormous size of this food market, the vendors we met were friendly and full of facts about their fish despite our small scale purchase.” Rafe Stone, Product Manager.

3. Mercado Central, Santiago

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Santiago’s buzzing fish market, housed in a beautiful old building, features a striking glass and wrought-iron ceiling – designed by Mr Eiffel (Tour Eiffel) himself! This market caters for all, offering a broad mix of products from seafood, herbs, meat, and pies to pharmaceuticals, jewellery and a call centre. The fish market and restaurant stalls (found on the ground and second floor) are busy, bustling areas serving delicious freshly caught fish dishes – a recommendation is the caldillo de congrio (a tomato and potato based fish stew).

Where: Santiago city centre – we’d recommend you try and sneak a visit in whilst on our Penguin Group Journey: Extremes of Chile during your first couple of days in Santiago.

4. La Libertad Market, El Salvador

This authentic open air fish market takes place in La Libertad port – El Salvador’s most infamous port – where the fishing boats are winched up onto the pier and the fresh fish is auctioned out in a boisterous fashion. Wander amongst the hagglers taking in the sights and sounds before catching a bite to eat at the stalls in the surrounding area. Be prepared to go early as once the fish are sold, the stalls will pack up and head home.

Where: Half an hours’ drive west from San Salvador to La Libertad which fits nicely with our Undiscovered Nicaragua and El Salvador holiday.

“It’s great fun to see the local fishermen at work selling their freshly caught fish to the highest bidder.” Lina Fuller, Travel Consultant.

5. Manaus Fish Market, Manaus

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Amid the sound of knives chopping in the long warehouse full of frenzied stalls in the river port of Manaus is the renowned fish market. Of which, fish types include piranha, peacock bass, catfish and others. Quite a neat trick is that the vendors pre-cut your fish, ready for quick grilling at home – an inspired idea!

Where: Manaus on the bank of the Rio Negro in Brazil – tie it in with our Signature Brazil: Brazil at a glance holiday which visits Rio de Janeiro, Iguazú Falls, Brazilian Amazon, Salvador da Bahía and the Chapada Diamantina.

“This is a fully functioning, lively market that can host up to 40,000 visitors in a day – so my advice would be to get there early!” Laura Rendell-Dunn, Press & Marketing Manager.

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Sallly
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

  • Juliet
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

  • Charlotte
    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

  • Millie
    Millie Davies - Travel Expert

    Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Chris
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

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