You can literally get lost in Mercado 28, it's a maze of shops where every corner can look so similar you wonder if you're walking in circles. This is your one-stop shopping for all the Mexican souvenirs you could want, without the pushy pressure of the other downtown markets on Avenida Tulum.
You can spend anywhere from a few hours to an entire day in this market. Make sure you have a specified meeting time and place if you seperate, otherwise you may never find each other.
They accept pesos and American dollars.
About half the price of the same souvenir items found in the Hotel Zone, but have your haggling skills ready.
Visit my Cancun Travelogues for more photos of Mercado 28.
What to buy: Pottery, statues, crafts, hats, leather, rugs, blankets, food and herbs, clothing, baskets and handbags, and lots of silver jewelry.
What to pay: Anywhere from $50 to $300 depending on how much jewelry you want to buy.
The traditional downtown area is home to most of the colorful local craft markets. Here you will find many Mexican goods including ceramics, colorful jewelry, blankets, souvenirs, T-shirts, etc. Tulum and Yaxchilan Avenue are the centers of downtown shopping. The busiest market is the popular Mercado 28.
Located in the Hotel Zone, PLAZA CARACOL is a good size flea market. You will find just about anything Mexican you may be looking for. I was looking for a terra cotta sun and there were many carrying a good variety of Suns. The only problem was that they didn't give me a chance to just browse and look to see what they had. I found most of the vendors annoying and downright rude. I don't like to be called "Hey Lady". As a result, I ended up buying my terra cotta sun on Isla Mujeres. Too bad for them.
Market 28 is the huge open air flea market located in downtown Cancun. It's a maze of stalls and vendors selling everything from silver jewelry to sombreros, postcards to leather. Any Mexican tchotchke you're looking for you'll find here. Each stall features something different, although the more time you spend here you'll find that doesn't necessarily mean unique. Take the time to shop around. Chances are if you find what you're looking for in one stall you'll find something similar 5 shops down. Market 28 also houses several restaurants and cantinas if you're in the mood for something to eat or a cold cervesa. It's by far the largest of the marketplaces in Cancun so if you can't find that souvenir here, you probably won't find it elsewhere. It's the one stop tourist shopping mecca in Cancun. The advantage to shopping at Market 28 is that you get into the heart of downtown Cancun and get to experience a little more of the culture than you would shopping in the Hotel Zone markets.
What to buy: Leather, silver, pottery, postcards, hair braids, frames, magnets, glassware, art work, handicrafts, etc. Don't expect to find anything "out of the ordinary" or terribly unique though, all the marketplaces in Cancun sell all the same types of things.
What to pay: Shop around and bargaining is the key to getting good prices here. We talked a vendor down from 900 pesos to 300 pesos. Talk about a markup!
There are several open air flea markets peppered throughout the Hotel Zone. If you're not willing to venture downtown but are looking to purchase Mexican pottery, silver, art, souvenirs, etc these are your best bet for deals. The advantage to shopping in the markets are the deals - you can bargain with the vendors, which is something you can't do in the department stores and malls. Be prepared for vendors to "hawk" their wares. If you're not interested a simple "No Gracias" will do.
What to buy: Hand painted pottery, silver jewelry, Mayan art and hand blown glass are among tourist favorites.
What to pay: Shop around and bargain with the vendors to get the best deal.
This is your one stop flea market in Cancun. We took a bus to get there and it is pretty safe.
If you stick to the local stores in downtown or htel central Cancun then prepare to pay a lot of pesos. The Flea market is a labyrinth and get ready to get lost. At one point my friend and I were too hungry to go back to our hotel and ended up eating at a very fresh , outdoor seafood place. We paid so cheap and got free t-shirts at the same time! I think we ended up with a $15.00 CAD cuenta.
What to buy: I ended up buying sterling silver earrings, bracelet, and necklace. Also, bought some clay art and pottery. My friend bought traditional cotton blouses, wooden art and jewelry. T-shirts are cheap if you know how to compare prices from shop to shop.
What to pay: I prepared $150.00 canadian dollars, and spent close to $100 at the end of the day.
This is the market where the locals go. It is called Market 23. It is a bit difficult to find and some of the venders can't speak English. We had to ask a few times before we received enough directions to find it, but it was worth the trouble. We found some great buys on hand painted pottery, masks, and other such local crafts.
What to buy: Local crafts are the best thing we found in this market. The venders will cut their prices. We onlyl used cash here and I believe they didn't accept plastic. They also had a fruit market here where the produce was fresh and delicious.
What to pay: Bargin with the venders. We got some really nice hand painted pottery for 5-8 dollars and masks for around the same price. Blankets or throws were also a great buy.
Ahhhh... as a Wal*Mart associate, I had to check out the Cancun version. Much the same as anywhere else, Low Prices, Always!
I was amazed at the way their store was set up... Mainly the fresh areas. I have never seen pork rinds as big as the whole pig!
What to buy: You can stock up on souvenirs at any of the local flea markets, but be prepared to haggle over the prices! If you start to walk away, the price suddenly gets lower!
There are beach vendors that usually sell sterling silver, street vendors sell everything from t-shirts to hand-made leather goods and the malls sell the same goods as in the states.
What to buy: If you are looking for sterling silver or leather products I would suggest shopping the black market in the downtown area. Everyone wants your money and they even compete with each other to give you a lower price.
There are a couple of flea markets along the hotel zone. They are all, actually, selling the same products, but with different prices. Market 28 is located outside the hotel zone (in downtown area) and the merchandises are sold @ the lowest rate.
What to buy: silver accessories, potteries, handcrafts. Personally, I like the ear rings and rings they sold there. Some of them are pretty stylish.
What to pay: I found that all the merchandises they sold in the flea market don't come with a fixed price. Those people vary the cost of a merchandise based on how they judge on how much you can spend. THEREFORE, never pay for what the price that they quoted for you!!! BARGAIN plays an interesting role in the flea market there. I have an experience that a silver necklace is marked as 800 pezels (=US$80), and I got it for 180 pezels in the final.
In the flea markets in Cancun, the best to pay is in pezels. Although they also accept US dollars, they usually charge you in a higher rate. Don't get worried if you don't have enough pezels while you are shopping in the flea markets, there are many money exchange shops around.
If you want bargains, head to the mainland to Cancun City's outdoor markets lining the east side of Avenida Tulum-but note that while prices may be lower there, the quality can be, too. Market vendors may not accept credit cards; even if they do, you can often get a better price if you offer cash instead of credit cards. Almost all stores take U.S. dollars as well as pesos-often you'll find prices marked in both currencies-or even just U.S. dollars! Bargaining is expected in the markets in Cancun City, but plan to pay the marked price in shops in the Hotel Zone. Almost all the shops in the Hotel Zone take major credit cards. Shopping is a popular pastime in the Hotel Zone, but don't expect many bargains in the shopping malls. In fact, you can expect prices to be higher than in other parts of Mexico. The shopping malls contain everything from souvenir shops to internationally known boutiques-resort wear and handicrafts are among the best buys. Handicrafts include handwoven fabrics, blown glass and jewelry. The largest shopping malls are Plaza Caracol, Plaza Kukulkan (midway along Paseo Kukulkan) and Plaza Flamingo
So many shops so many souvieniers to buy....so many drugs to try, get whatever you need at these places.... beware: use bargaining skills because theywillofferyouapricethatisthe highest they think you will pay!
What to buy: Coral, SILVER very cheap! tequila!handbags, my favorite was the art work andcrafts... marajuana was good, the Xtasy was not so good, and thecoke looked horrible so i didnt bother with it
What to pay: dependson how much u can afford... i could have bought a huge wooden mayan calender for 400 us dollars but i didnt want to spend the cashfor shipping
What to buy:
The Flea Market is a great place to buy sterling silver jewelry for cheap. Knick Knacks can be found all over the place and cute sari's can be found hanging and flowing from high in vendor's tents.
What to pay: Everything is negotiable. I bought a really cool sterling silver ring with a nice engraved design for $5. If you're good, you can get them for less.