Visiting the Silvia Market

Adam and I have never been the best at planning ahead. So when we arrived in Popayán, Colombia, to discover that it was the start of Semana Santa and everything was either closed or fully booked, it was just another in a long list of our planning fails. Thankfully, one thing that wasn’t affected was the nearby Silvia market.


Visiting the Silvia Market


The market starts wrapping up in the early afternoon. So we forced ourselves out of bed in time to catch the 9am bus from the terminal in Popayán. After an hour, we arrived in the small town of Silvia, where we found the Silvia market was already in full swing.


Silvia market interior with stalls and Guambianos

Silvia market


The tiny town square was full of stalls and the indigenous Guambianos people. These people live in the surrounding areas, and gather in Silvia every Tuesday to buy and sell their goods.


White and orange church with statue of Jesus in Silvia, Colombia

The church in Silvia square


The main market takes place indoors, in a large warehouse. The stalls are packed with everything from vegetables to clothes to household goods. Women in traditional blue cloaks sit weaving clothes or weighing vegetables, while men in gaucho hats bargain good-naturedly over goods.


Guambiano woman weaving at a stall in the Silvia market, Colombia

One of Silvia market’s colourful stalls


There isn’t much to do in Silvia besides the market. So, once we had explored it all, we just sat with a coffee watching the square bustling past until it was time to get a bus back to Popayán.


Women in traditional Guambiano clothing at the Silvia market, Colombia

Women in traditional Guambiano clothing


The market in Silvia takes place each Tuesday, starting early in the morning and wrapping up shortly after noon. Buses (COP6,000) and minibuses (COP7,000) run to and from Popayan on the hour.


Woman and girl in Guambiano clothing at the Silvia market, Colombia


Vegetable stall with potatoes and carrots in the Silvia market, Colombia

A stall selling fresh vegetables


Silvia (7 of 25)


Gauchos talking at Silvia market


Cat on jewellery stall outside at the Silvia market

A cat taking over an outdoor stall


Male tourist with young boy at the Silvia market

Adam making a new friend


Fruit and vegetable stand at the Silvia market


Silvia (2 of 25)


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