Guaza market gives up on Arona to open in Las Chafiras

Update 14 December: AquíSur is reporting tonight that the opening of the new Rastro San Miguel (former Guaza car boot market) has had to be postponed for a week. The new market, behind Lidl in Las Chafiras, was supposed to open tomorrow but it appears that it will now be inaugurated on Sunday 22 instead. The problem appears to be a minor administrative one.

Update 8 December: Guaza market has not only left Guaza. It has now given up on Arona and left the municipality altogether. As AquiSur has reported, it has taken refuge in in Las Chafiras, in San Miguel de Abona, where the Ayuntamiento has achieved in just a few weeks what Arona failed to do in a year, namely formally authorize its activity.

According to leaflets distributed this morning, the new market will be behind Lidl from 15 December, and will open Saturdays and Sundays between 7am and 2pm. From now on, although it will probably be called “the old Guaza market”, its formal name will be Rastro San Miguel, and it will be a proper market, offering new goods as well as second-hand items. There will also be a cafe bar and toilet facilities.

Update 6pm: Arona has announced that it has managed to arrange for the Guaza market to be held next Sunday, though on a different site in the town. At present, this still lacks Guardia Civil approval and an agreement between the organizers and the owners of the proposed site. There will be further information later.

Update 23 September: Some 200 traders are set to camp outside Arona town hall in protest at the loss of part of their livelihood with the closure of the car boot sale. Arona Ayuntamiento, however, says that in the face of police threats of denuncias to the Courts it had no choice but to withdraw the “verbal permission” it had given for twelve years for the site to be used. Some would argue that the traders who are now protesting shouldn’t have had a “livelihood” from it to lose because it was not supposed to be a formal market, where stallholders should have trading licences and pay stall fees. Some 150 out of the 200 traders are said to be “regulars”.

The police argument is not just that it was an illegal market however. A large part of the problem is police exasperation with following up the many denuncias they received about thieving from sellers and public alike – the market was notorious for the problem – and for the number of stolen goods that were cleared through the site. Police also say that in the case of a major denuncia against the “market”, they themselves would be partly responsible in law because they would not have carried out necessary policing, but that in such an illegal situation normal policing is impossible.

Under such police pressure, Arona Ayuntamiento didn’t have much choice other than to close the market. The last thing the council needs right now is another denuncia for anything!! But why didn’t the council take the alternative route of granting a licence? At root of it all, it appears to be yet another example of Arona’s chaotic and inept management, because it transpires that there is a complete lack of regulatory bylaws in Arona concerning markets. To be fair, Adeje only arranged theirs a fortnight ago, and right now Arona Ayuntamiento has its hands full with umpteen legal procedures against the ruling group for corruption which could yet see even the top of the tree in prison for several years. The next worry, however, apart from Guaza, will be Los Cristianos market – because that is therefore also completely illegal. How long before the council closes that?

Original post 22 September: Arona’s Mayor Niño has ordered the closure of Guaza car boot sale from today, which was the last sale. I have no further information other than it was as a result of repeated pressure from the Guardia Civil concerning the illegality of the market and the lack of municipal licence.


  1. For the love of god its a car boot,had one todat to. Raise funds for our school

  2. today all the resellers at arona protesting to leave the market open. even spoke to a few this morning saying it the only way to get money for the week to get food for the week.. i agree with resellers if you take away the market how can anyone get food for the week. .. i really enjoy guaza market shopping and selling . yesterday spoke to pepe who in charge of the market . he told me he been doing this for 10 years and everyone know guaza the most busy market then los cristanos. i for one hope the market stays open. it the only thing to do on sundays….

  3. This place is getting worse and worse. As Nigel said – “its a car boot sale”. A sad reflection of the unnecessary bureaucracy and the frustrating processes that are part of everyday Spanish life. Crazy, but at the end of the day, its their country. Shame they are not so keen to sort out real issues (TF1, Hospital, coastal environment, life guards, optical communications, etc. etc. etc.)

  4. Author

    Trouble is, I think, that it wasn’t being run as a carboot sale but as a proper market. The figures show that 150 or so of the 200 “cars” there regularly were traders rather than individuals. That should mean, really, that it should be properly organized and licensed, and the traders legal. The real outrage to my mind is that Arona has no system in place for such licences, nor any municipal scheme for them. I think this would have run on on an informal basis were it not for the Guardia Civil, who’ve clearly reached the end of their tether.

  5. If there has been a robbery on our complex,the locals always head for the market in Guaza to get their stuff back.It’s a standing joke in the area.So I imagine the Guardia have got well and truly fed up with the complaints.I suppose that the traders will move to the new market in Guargacho which is on a properly laid out pitch and will be held every Saturday.El Ilustrio Ayuntamiento de Arona moved pretty quicky in getting that set up two weeks before they closed Guaza down.

  6. What a pity its been a highlight of our holiday for the last 5 years getting there early for the bargins & a wonderful mix of people so friendly also a great chance for our grandaughter to practice her spanish & us! she is going tobe gutted as im i boo boo boo tenerife is not like the place we visited back in 2007 our first hols on the island.

  7. We have visited most of the “markets” in Tenerife over the last fifteen years of visiting the island, although not Guaza. They are fun places to visit although not necessarily where I would choose to spend my money on tourist stuff. I want to see markets thrive, especially those where local people are selling local produce and handicrafts without the dead hand of “legislation” and “health & safety” falling upon them.

  8. I am on the Licensing & Orders Committee of a local authority in England. It is quite simple to set up policies and procedures by which car boots can operate. In England Trading Standards deal with most problems apart from crimes such as pickpocketing. The best way to deal with a ‘problem’ is not to ban it but ‘sort’ it.
    One of the highlights of our visits to Tenerife seemingly now gone.

  9. Author

    It hasn’t been banned, and I’m sure that there will at some point be a system in place for regulating it – Adeje has just done it, after all. This is being led by the police who are fed up with having to deal with the thieves and the stolen goods. There are also other similar markets, Guargacho and Los Cristianos being the two nearest to Guaza.

  10. If it is a haven for the disposal of stolen property, as suggested, then is this not a helpful situation for the local police – to question traders and hopefully detect the culprits concerned ? or am I missing something here.

  11. Author

    On the surface, you’re right, but the problem seems to be that there’s no legal framework within which the police can act because it’s not a licensed site, indeed there’s no licensing scheme in Arona at all. That means they’d be essentially “stopping and searching”, and they can’t descend on a place to do that under the Spanish constitution.

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