Monday, February 14, 2011

"Feria Libre" and other open-air markets in Cuenca

Open air markets (mercados) abound in Ecuador. They are spread throughout the city of Cuenca, and each has a name relating to some famous event in Cuenca and/or Ecuadorean history. The most common Cuenca outdoor markets are

• Mercado 27 de Febrero (independence day of Quito)
• Mercado 12 de Abril (foundation date of Cuenca)
• Mercado 10 de Agosto (independence day of Ecuador from Spain)
• Mercado 9 de Octobre (independence day of Guayaquil)
• Mercado 3 de Noviembre (independence date of Cuenca -- we pass by/through this one if we walk to the main square in Cuenca)

[On a side note, several of these dates are also the names of main streets in Cuenca, and other Ecuadorean cities.]

But the king (or would that be “queen”) of all the open-air markets is the “Feria Libre,” which happily is only a few blocks from our apartment. “Feria Libre” literally means “Free Fair” because the stalls used to be free (not anymore, though, apparently, but the name remains).
All of these markets are great places to buy fresh fruits and veggies (with proper cleaning of course, to rid them of the parasites that are prevalent in the fruits/veggies in this area), as well as meats, fish, cooked food and various other home and clothing supplies. They are also great places to view the various clothing and hats of the indigenous people (and the mestizos) from this area. 
Be looking for a later blog on the indigenous people and their dress, but for now, go with us on a journey through the “Feria Libre” in Cuenca.


  1. Love the photos. I dare you to try all of banano varities!

  2. Muchas gracias. Nuestra clase le gustan las fotos!

  3. Directions would be helpful. We're in Racar.

  4. Nice pics of the Feria Libre, but you don't say where it's located except that it's in Cuenca.