The IBARRA Family is originally from mainland Mexico, but has resided in La Paz for many years now. On the premises of their family home is situated both the manufacture and sale of their now patented ceramic pieces.
You can see the whole process there if you please, each piece individually hand painted on a white glaze, highly fired. They display quite a selection of most pieces, which fly off the shelves when the Gringos return in the Fall. You can select one of their patterns, the colors you want and have whatever pieces you desire made uniquely for you!!
When visiting my friends afar, I usually take a bundle of small pieces; vases, condiment bowls, coffee cups, etc. all delivered in tact to Australia, Sri Lanka, Germany and many places around the U.S.
They also make wall decorations, pictures on tiles, numbers for your house-front, etc.
Open Mon-Sat 8am to 4pm
What to pay: You will seldom find any of their pieces elsewhere, and of course with a mark-up. Well-priced, but if you are buying several pieces, you can sometimes bargain a 10% discount.
This very lovely little bookstore is only about 6 months old at writing; owned by a Seattle couple who took a year touring Mexico prior to settling down here.
Lots of great tourist and informational books, maps, cruising charts and language guides on Mexico in addition to many art books, particularly about FRIDA and DIEGO, as well as lots of unique hand-crafted art items from La Paz and elsewhere around Mexico and Central America, as great souvenirs or gifts.
Will make special orders.
Open 10am to 6pm, Mon - Sats
Credit Cards Welcome
OK, it's weird that I'm writing this tip but Whitney adored a few the women's shops in La Paz and I had a great conversation, in my extremely limited Spanish with one of the shopkeepers, so here goes. The shopping area starts on the malecon road (Paseo Obregon) and continues a few blocks in from the sea. A good landmark to start your shopping experience is La Perla Hotel.
1. Nichos - on Calle Augustin Arreola, near the corner of Paseo Obregon (the seaside road).
2. ??? - right across the street from Nichos, between xxx and xxx. For whatever reason the name of the shop is nowhere on the outside or inside of the store! It was here that I had a great (if basic) conversation in my broken, pathetic Spanish which I hadn't polished off for 17 years, with the friendly and patient shopkeeper.
3. Nirvana, right across from the "Everything 1 Price" store (I always wondered if Mexico had $1 stores - they do, and everything is for 11 pesos! I highly recommend the gigantic, lifetime supply bottle of Salsa Huichol.) Whitney really went nuts in this place - there are some "really cute blouses," or at least that's what she said. I didn't write down the exact address, but it's about 3 blocks behind La Perla Hotel, near the corner of Madero and Augustin Arreola.
What to pay: You can get some great deals in La Paz, and some you will pay "boutique prices" for.
Stalls of t-shirts, boots, shoes, fish, meats, candies, and most everything else you can think of. Some good and some not, I far prefer looking so I can't speak to cost or value.
What to buy: Actually, my favorite items are always food. The little stands in the mercados are where I most love. A little facility in Spanish helps but is not required. Waving your hands and pointing will do in a pinch.
What to pay: cheap cheap cheap. A dollar or two will fill you up for the day.
Office Depot in Mexico is just like Office Depot in the US. Office suppplies at a discount when you buy in bulk
What to buy: In fact, it was the only place we could find a desk or floor fan for our home. Other office supply stores and department stores did not have any. We asked the bartender at our hotel where he found the fan in the the bar. He laughed and replied, San Diego - K-MART !
What to pay: Less than the US in most cases
This little shop hides on a quiet street just a block and half from the malecon. While the location is excellent the shop itself appears to be occupying a small garage. I was impressed with the friendliness of the proprieter Daniela Eunice Munoz Lopez (I assume). She was full of laugh and joy with a good head of knowledge about Mexico and it's distinctive states.
I walked out with two decorative plates with scenes from Pascuado and Jinitio Island in the state of Michoacan. In addition I purchased three butterfly wall hangings. Some of the items for sale can be found elsewhere. Her prices are about the going rate and I saved some money when I compared the same item in Cabo San Lucas.
I do want to give her some publicity as I was overjoyed to find such a hidden gem, located on a quiet side street, inside a garage with a charming proprieter to serve me. She wrote down my total - $45.
What to pay: From $3 on up.