Shopping, Puerto Vallarta
Every Thursday and Friday, the cruise lines dock at PV for the day. Unless you want to pay up to 3 times the amount for things, shop in the evenings or on the other days during the week for the best deals.
Unique Suggestions: If you need to buy items on these days, stay away from the Central Flea Markets or places right along the main strip. They will cost you an arm and a leg.
Fun Alternatives: There are a few flea markets in the less touristy areas, all you have to do is take a bus that says Tunel instad of Centro and it will lead you to the less frequented areas of the City.
I shouldn't put this poor guy in as a tourist trap but what the hell. On the beach there you see a lot of people selling different things from bikinis to sun glasses to wraps to nice gifts, etc. These are all things that could come in handy to wear or a great souvenir.
Forgive me but for some reason it seemed odd to be half dressed on a beach where some people are literally naked and this guy comes up to you and askes if you want to buy a belt. I am sorry but it makes me laugh, it is hilarious don't you think.
Can you picture this guy going up to the ladies who are literally naked, "Belt Seniorita?"
Hheheheh. Maybe not a tourist trap? But maybe....odd to say the least.
This is the local supermarket that offers a lot of different American made products. Although I must admit that I do shop there on occasion please do not think that it is the tourists bargan shopping center. In fact, when you talk to the locals all you here is over priced items, bad fruits and veggies and bad meat.
see my shopping tips to find out where the locals buy their fruits, veggies and meats.
Unique Suggestions: purchase what you can not find anywhere else and get out of there.
Fun Alternatives: Fruteria Zayra
Ok I guess this isn't exactly a tourist trap but it's a rip off! When you get to the Decameron they mention that at the hotel they can sell you time cards for 100 pesos. This was fine and dandy except that they forgot to mention that this only gives you 5 minutes to call to Canada. 5 minutes for 100 pesos? What a rip off! Needless to say, the next day my friend and I went into Bucerias in search of a cheaper phone card. You can go into the super mini (or is it mini super?) and purchase a different phone card for 100 pesos which gives you longer talk time. You can't use these phone cards inside the hotel but you can use them on the phones right outside or in town. Trust me, it is much cheaper to buy the cards in Bucerias. Of course as with almost any phone card you'll buy, they charge you with a connection fee everytime you use it so don't be surprised if you run out of minutes sooner than expected. Of course if you want you could always go to the internet cafe in Bucerias. Don't use the internet at the resort, it's much cheaper to go into town.
the downtown open market might be considered a tourist trap by some, but if you ignore the aggressiveness of the vendors or just say "not today," people are not offended. bargaining is expected, but shop around first to get a good feel for the going rate (most of the tourist guidebooks say to offer 50%-75% of the price requested, don't worry, the vendors will refuse to budge once they have reached their bottom price and you have counteroffered several times).
don't be aggravated when a salesperson says that he/she has to check with someone else; many of the vendors own several stalls and the salespeople are subject to parent/employer control on lowest price they will take. this approval process is very quick and usually occurs only when the salesperson has reached the lowest price that he/she is authorized to accept. there are many stalls and lots of them sell essentially the same things.
I purchased a yellow diamond ring from Pacific Jewelry/Gad & Co (both stores owned by the same people) in April 2010. When I returned to the US, I had the ring appraised and found it was worth less than half of what I had paid! Months of discussion with the manager and owner have been fruitless, as they have been unwilling to exchange, give partial credit for the amount of the overcharge or accept the return of the ring. BEWARE as they target tourists, greatly inflating the prices they charge!