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Lose your suntan lotion, need cheap sandals or towels, want to browse real Mexican music, need some stomach remedies, want to pay way less for your booze? Plaza 2000 (pronounced "plaza dos-mill") is where the locals go to buy all their stuff. It's a standard mall, without the giant foreign name brand stores. Matter of fact, you'll probably be the only tourist in there!
At Plaza 2000 there's ATM machines, clothing, music, and food stores. There's also a pharmacy and department store and with a massive selection of snacks and liquor.
This mall is where you should go to pay lowest dollar for regular items.
When you ask a cab driver to take you to Plaza 2000 he may hesitate confused and suggest other malls, saying, “Plaza Las Americas or Kukulcan Plaza are nicer.” That's true, they are nicer and may be where to go if you want Sears, the Gap, JC Penney, or the Harley-Davidson store and want to pay full tourist price. Cabbies wonder why anybody would want to shop at the local mall (‘cause that’s where he goes). To give something back to the community or to save some big cash on regular supplies, go to Plaza 2000. I visit every time I need something while in Cancun. (I seem to get drunk on the beach and lose things.)
What to buy: Inexpensive footwear, clothing, snacks, alcohol, (pharmaceutical) drugs, suntan lotion, music, cigarettes, camping supplies, sunglasses, articles for the beach, some souvenirs, bottled water, even some applicances.
Updated Jan 10, 2005
Address: Avenida Tulúm, 42
Phone: +52 98 849988
You can't visit Cancun without at least stopping in one of the many SENOR FROG'S outlets. It's a fun place to shop during the day and it's a fun place for entertainment at night.
What to buy: Hats, T-shirts, towels, etc. all with the Senor Frog's logo. I bought Hans a "Senor Frog's Drinking Team" shirt. Together with his red flowered Hawaiian bathing suit, he looked pretty cool.
What to pay: I thought the shirts were overpriced, but hey you pay for the privilege of wearing "Senor Frog's"
Updated Dec 13, 2005
Address: Blvd. Kulkulcan KM 9.5 Hotel Zone
Phone: (998) 883 21 88
If you are ready for another day of haggling over small trinkets, and actually enjoy this sort of thing, head to Playa Tortugas, next to Fat Tuesday. In every shop, they have virtually the same stuff you would find in a US dollar store, but as normal, each vendor tries to start you off at 80 USD.... and the bidding war is on.
What to buy: There really were just the same trinkets... magnets, small musical instruments that don't play well, some leather goods, t-shirts and the average mexican rugs.
What to pay: $1 to $20 USD unless you have something large that you need.
Written Dec 19, 2004
If you're looking for a supermarket stop by the Super Express across from the Hotel Presidente. They have a wide selection and good prices. I recommend stopping in here to buy provisions if you're looking to save some money while you're in Cancun. Their prices definitely beat any hotel gift shop.
What to buy: Stop in here to buy bottled water, film, batteries, fresh produce, cereal, breakfast bars, postcards, phone cards, etc. Much cheaper than buying them in the hotels!
What to pay: I bought a 2 gallon bottle of water we kept in our room and used to fill our smaller bottles throughout the day for a whopping $1.40 US and 6 AA batteries for my camera for $3 US.
Updated Feb 4, 2005
Address: Av. Kukulkan Km 7.5
The lobby at the Moon Palace was huge. The design of the roof itself, I thought was pretty captivating. I really enjoyed the main lobby at the moon palace, and spent one day shopping for gifts here. Rather than doing individual shopping tips for each shop in the main lobby, I figured I would just describe them as a whole. The main gift shop located near the back of the main lobby had everything. It had t-shirts, alcohol, cigars, swimming apparel, and much more. I bought these 2 really pretty water pastels of the beach there for people back at home. I also bought my calling cards here which weren't too expensive. The jewelry shop located next to the main shop had some very fine jewelry at some pretty decent prices. It also had some native pieces that I thought had some of the most unique and eye grabbing designs I had seen. I really thought the braclets were nice for women, unfortunately my mom isn't a bracelet person, so I figured why waste the money. They had a clothing store there with leather jackets, and some more dressy clothes, like button up shirts and dressy pants(not like suit pants, but not jeans I hope that explains it well) Overall the shops were quite reasonable, and I would definetly recommend visiting them if you wind up staying at the Moon Palace.
What to buy: There are no particular items to buy. I thought the water pastels done on like some tile slate were really pretty, and I new some friends back home would love them.
What to pay: You can expect to spend on average between 10 and 20 dollars for most of the stuff there. It is not to expensive unless you get some finer jewelry or something.
Written Jul 4, 2005
Address: located in the main lobby at the moon palace
The Mexican Outlet is a one-stop shop for all your Mexican handicraft needs. Here you can find anything from postcards to onyx, silver to beach towels, sombreros to hand blown margarita sets. The store is easily divided into sections for each specialty. If you're running low on time and looking for the common, run-of-the mill souvenirs stop in here. The prices are clearly labeled. Don't expect to bargain here - except possibly at the jewelry counters. Help yourself to a welcome shot of tequila and browse to your hearts content.
What to buy: Don't expect to find anything "special" here. By that I mean you won't find anything here that you can't find everywhere else in the markets. It's all here - nicely laid out and organized aisle by aisle. You won't have to worry about walking from stall to stall or bargaining with vendors. It's Mexican tchotchke heaven. You won't find original local art - but that's nearly impossible to find in Cancun.
What to pay: Prices are reasonable, but probably a little more expensive than in the markets because they don't bargain in here except at the jewelry counters.
Updated Feb 19, 2005
Address: Blvd. Kukulcan km. 8.5 (aprox)
There are lots of individual shops featuring all sorts of souvenirs and handicrafts along Av. Tulum in downtown Cancun. Tourists also find women and children pedaling their wares along this major thoroughfare. Although you can't bargain with many of the shopkeepers it is another alternative to shopping at the overcrowded markets.
What to buy: You'll find the same things here you find elsewhere in Cancun... without the haggling.
What to pay: No bargaining here. Expect to pay the posted prices.
Updated Feb 8, 2005
Address: Av. Tulum, Downtown Cancun
New shopping centers are always popping up around Cancun. Each one is bigger, and better than the last. You will not have a shortage of choices. If you feel the need to negotiate prices in the market place, you can find one of those as well.
Written Jun 28, 2004
In Cancùn? Are you KIDDING me? Carísimo! We have already bought all the touristy souvenir stuff from previous trips to Mexico, and a good thing, too. A lot of the things we found that we may have bought, we could buy at home for cheaper.
What to buy: 990 ml Jose Cuervo tequila for about 130 pesos. We also priced 1800 tequila, ranging from 330 pesos tp 500 pesos. At Wal-Mart, about 250 pesos. I hate to say it, but this is the place to shop in Cancùn.
Written Dec 9, 2003
This marketplace is big and the vendors are so much more patient and less pushy than the Coral Negro market by Hotel Zone. I would highly recommend people even staying in the Hotel Zone to come by here than Coral Negro. This is a good place for local crafts, souvenirs, leather, etc - I found a much better selection and quality. There is also more room to haggle with the vendors, especially if you buy two or more items. There is a liquor store with good prices (much much lower than many in the Hotel Zone, although in La Isla there is a souvenir shop with similarly good prices if you can't make it out to Mercado 28) on tequilas. There's also a specialty cigar shop.
However, if you plan on going to Playa del Carmen, we found that the shops there had much better and vast selection and quality for jewelry and craftswork.
There are plenty of very casual places for lunchtime around there.
What to buy: The leather sandals are beautiful, great quality, lovely unique design. We loved those.
There are also gorgeous hand-painted ceramics and kitchenware.
What to pay: We paid US $60 for two pairs of leather sandals, one for each of us. Cancun frames were about US $15 and hand-painted bowls/plates were about US $15 as well. Prices were lowest we've seen for souvenirs: shirts, towels, stuff like that.
Updated Jul 18, 2006
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