Regardless of your vacation destination, shopping for souvenirs is a vital part of any holiday. From handicrafts to artifacts, many tourists look for a memento that will evoke great memories of their vacation experience. You can find a wide variety of souvenirs from every state of Mexico while shopping in Cancun or the Riviera Maya.
We have prepared a list of suggested Mexican souvenirs to purchase on your next vacation.
Tip 1- Shop for souvenirs that are destination specific.
Seek souvenirs typically found and made in the area you’re visiting. If you go beyond colorful sombreros and tequila, you will find an amazing assortment of handicrafts that truly represent Mexican art and culture.
From the Yucatan
Typical Mayan Garments
Huipiles are delicately embroidered linens used by the Mayans for thousand of years that continue to be worn today. For men, there are colorful sashes and belts; single men usually wear brighter colors than their married counterparts.
Distinctive of the Yucatan region, Xtabentun is a sweet liquor made with fermented honey from a regional flower, combined with rum and anise seed. The crafting of this liquor has been perfected by the Mayans for the last 1,000 years and it is now commonly used in Yucatecan cuisine.
Mayan masks are popular souvenir options. In ancient Mayan civilizations, the masks represented functional and ceremonial purposes, such as protection in battle, weddings and birth celebrations.
Hammocks can be found throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. Many people from this region use hammocks as a substitute for beds for ergonomic and comfort reasons. Perfected over centuries, hammocks are very practical gifts that you will surely use.
Beyond the Yucatan
The Mayans cultivated the earliest known cocoa plantations; ‘Xocoatl’, Mayan for cocoa, symbolized life and fertility and was referred to as the god’s food.
Both Mayan and Aztec cultures used cocoa as a thick unsweetened drink believed to be a health elixir. Since sugar was unknown to the Aztecs, different spices were used to add flavor such as chili peppers and corn meal.
Taxco silver is renowned in Mexico and can be found in almost every boutique encountered. This well-known high-quality silver comes from the Mexican state of Guerrero.
Talavera is a stunningly colored ceramic originating from the state of Puebla. It is often found in the form of plates, bowls, mugs, and vases.
Tip 2- Support the local economy by purchasing from local vendors.
Encourage local prosperity, invest in the community and help create jobs by purchasing from local businesses. Large corporations tend to hire employees from other regions while small businesses employ the local people.
Help reduce environmental impact; large corporations expend vast amounts of fossil fuels by transporting goods from other parts of the world.
Market 28 and Plaza Bonita are two typical Mexican-style flea markets located side by side in the heart of downtown Cancun where you can purchase great souvenirs. Coral negro is another popular market filled with local vendors and a wide array of souvenirs. The trendy Fifth Avenue in Playa de Carmen is also lined with boutiques run by natives to the region.