Markets, Puerto Vallarta
As I've mentioned before there's a little town called Bucerias about 15 minutes away from the Royal Decameron. It is very easy to get to and a great place to buy souvenirs or anything you may have forgotten at home...such as sampoo! My friend and I made our way down to Bucerias everyday of our two week trip. Everytime we went there we would find something different to buy. Frankly, we also went there to meet the people. They are so nice in Bucerias and fun to talk to. Do not go to Puerto Vallarta to buy your souvenirs, it is too expensive compared to Bucerias. Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful city to visit, but I would buy my gifts in Bucerias for half the price.
What to buy: I'm not really sure what Puerto Vallarta's specialty is, but I bought a lot of stuff. Here's a list of things you can buy.
-Wood carvings (such as dolphins, lizards, turtles)
and much much more...too much to name. I love this market and I can't wait to go back.
Oh! This is very important....if you get thirsty while shopping, you can stop at either the mini super or one of the many restaurants and buy beer for CHEAP! The beer is so cheap in Bucerias (not sure if it's cheap everywhere in Mexico)...but so good. I love Mexican beer. Anyhow you can buy beer for about $1CND. Here in Canada you pay $5.50 or more for one beer.
What to pay: You actually don't need a lot of money when going to the market. I spent about 800 pesos and came back with A LOT of stuff. I still have stuff left over because I had too much and not enough people to give it to. Needless to say I came back to Canada with about 1100 pesos left over.
If you're wanting to buy Mexican blankets, jewellry, sandals, or any kind of souvenir....you should visit the markets by the Rio Cuale downtown, nearby Riso's Supermarket. You walk across two little swinging wooden bridges to get to it, very fun!! To get the best price on things, walk around a bit, ask prices from different vendors...they will try to give a better deal than the next guy, always bargain with them, and often if you buy several items you'll get a better price.
What to pay: Prices vary depending on the item.
This two story maze of shops is laden with everything "Mexican." One of the stalls we frequented was the Artesanias Los Gemelos run by Dora.
What to buy: Here you can find scores of T-shirts, silver jewelry, leather goods, hundreds of handicraft items and home-style lunches.
What to pay: The rule of the day is to barter for the best price, but beware the sales people are well versed in this way of selling their wares.
Along the River & the Flea Market area there are so many venders, many with the same products.. They all go to the same distributor to buy.
It seemed the River Markets gave us better deals than in the flea market.
What to buy: sombraro.. kids don't pay more than 16.00, adults 22.00 USD
shell jewerly, buy in bundle & save ALOT.. 3 necklaces for 650 pesos
wooden snakes for the kids... 5.00usd a piece engraved
What to pay: as little as possible.. We paid about 40% of their initial asking price every time.
This is a collection of many local stores and craft persons, there is a great selection and plenty to buy, great opportunities for souviners but remember I guess you have to bring it back, I got a Hammock that was a challenge for sure!
What to buy: Hammocks are good quality, Iron Wood Scuptures, Pottery, Jewellry, Wraps, SunGlasses.
What to pay: Half they ask or less, hehehe, that was my rule that worked most of time :-)
This market is a huge building filled with stall after stall of local crafts such as pottery, silver and blankets.
What to buy: I bought some beautiful silver jewellery here, make sure its labelled 9.25 and also I found a great pewter bowl which I just love. There are lots of pewter items to be found and I wish I had bought more, like the salad tongs I had been looking at.
What to pay: It's up to you what you pay, just make sure you barter for it ;-)
When I went to downtown Puerto Vallarta I wandered to where there was a large market of Mexican crafts, leather goods, pottery etc etc with many, many shops under one roof, geared to tourists. I think that its one of the places they steer cruise ship passengers.
It's a fun place to look around, lots to see and buy.
Ruebens was the name of one of the shops (more like sectioned off cubilces).The reason I even remember the name of "Rueben's" was that I just ran across a business card, with rather primitive graphics of a suitcase, a wallet and a T-Shirt on it, plus the name and address.
What to buy: I purchased a leather duffle bag on behalf of one of my friends there, and somewhere I have a photo of a smiling Rueben (or his minion) holding the duffle bag.
What to pay: I think I spent the equivalent of about $15 for the duffle bag; at the time the exchange rate I believe was about 10 pesos to the dollar. A good buy.
This wasn't a shop in particular but if you are looking for some fashionable clothes, I suggest you look for small boutiques. There are quite a few in town but you have to look a bit. They are small but the clothes are great and are in style. There is one small shop down the street from Pipi's.
What to pay: Anywhere from $20-$75. Depending on where you are going!
When going downtown shopping, you must learn this phrase "no gracias" & say it firm (not mean), to let them know you're not interested. If you don't, you'll have some people following you & not shutting up.
What to buy: Glass bead work from the Indians and yarn work
What to pay: anywhere from 4.00-50.00 USD
OXXO is the convenience store where you can buy some groceries, drinks, etc. They are all over town, prices are reasonable and they come in very handy :)