Mexico City's most famous treasure hunt is held every Sunday just north of the Centro Historico at La Lagunilla market. While it has a reputation for being a wild and dangerous place, locals know that the real danger you face is drinking too many micheladas and possibly taking up a stylist on the offer of a market haircut.
The Lagunilla Sunday market has always been a place of pirated products, coveted antiques, and deal-making. Mexicans even have their own word for this beloved cultural pastime – chacharear (to negotiate over trinkets and baubles). In the Colonial era this market was located in the city's central plaza, the zocalo. Much of the merchandise in that original market was resold goods that made their way to Mexico City via the Nao de la China – the trade route from Manila to Acapulco traveled by Spanish ships.