Booth in the Draft Market: Actual craftsman with beautiful work
I was a little disappointed to go to the Craft Market and find that the booths sold pretty much the same stuff sold elsewhere in Mexico and that the items were not made by the people selling them EXCEPT for on booth I will recommend. There was a young Mexican Indian fellow who had a booth in the back corner (check all four corners, you'll find him. He's the opposite side of the market from the one Burger King side if that helps). He spoke excellent English, but more importantly, he actually MADE the things he sold right there. Beautiful earrings made of one piece of silver wire, bracelets of intricately woven silver, arrowheads he crafted and beads he made. His stuff was well worth it and sold for very good prices. He was the only craftsman of his level of skill I found during my whole time in Mexico.
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- Jungle and Rain Forest
As in any place with tourists there are locals trying to make a buck. The trick is to know which peddlers you should buy from. If they're looking ok in their clothes and are not pushing too hard or don't look desperate just say, No gracias and move on. If you see a small family in rags trying to sell you something handmade, buy yourself a souveneir. Some of these folks depend on tourists to buy food for dinner that night. You just have to try and weed out the others. If you really don't want anything at all, say No gracias, don't make eye contact and don't really look at what they're trying to sell you because they will follow you for a while trying to sell something.
What to buy: Aside from the wandering peddlers, there is a small artist market beside the Palacio de Cortes. In here they have some very nice hand made folk art, crafts, etc. If they weren't made in Cuernavaca they were probably made in the state, Morelos.
What to pay: Most items vary from a few pesos to a couple hundred pesos. And most people will bring their prices down if you pretend to be mildly interested or ask.
A large canvas tent next door to the castle houses a variety of vendors selling nealry every Mexican souvenier that you might think of from pottery to vanilla. The quality of some many of the items here was marginal but walking through the stalls is noteworthy.
Street Vendors: Watercolors
A local artist approached me with a small number of paintings. Each was a one of a kind. I'd almost always prefer a momento such as this over a mass produced souveneir.
What to pay: These water colors were 150 pesos a piece.
Mina de Plata (Silver Mines): Taxco exursion
There are many mines along the path back to the city center. When ariving on bus, ask the tourist information to call you a taxi that will drop you off at the far end of the city (the shops are less expensive here). The shop keepers will pay for your taxi ride, you are not required to make a purchase.
What to buy: Silver
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