Know Your Currency When Paying by Credit Card!
Here is an important point about shopping, moreso for Mexico in general rather than in Tulum specifically: When paying by credit card be sure that you check to see whether you are paying pesos or US dollars. I bought a bag in Cancun (really nice) which the clerk verbally told me was $10 US, but all I had was a credit card. When I got the receipt it said 180.00, which I assumed was the amount in pesos. However, when I got the bill for my credit card I realized (in horror) that I was charged $180.00 US dollars for the bag! So always check your slip before you sign or just come out and ask what the amount is! Man, I could have gotten a Coach for that price!!
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Shopping for Souvenirs, etc
There are many shops in the little town of Tulum which cater to tourists selling all types of handicrafts such as blankets, hammocks, silver jewelry, and clothing. All of these items are available for much less money here than they would be in Cancun or at the airport so here is what I am going to ask you to do if you decide to buy something from one of the local merchants: Give them what they are asking for the item you want. I know that all of the tourist guides will tell you that they expect to be bargained with blah, blah. But look, these people work very hard for very little money. Most Americans and Europeans would go pale if they knew what the average person in Tulum made in a week. And chances are if you are there you've already spent a considerable amount of money just getting there. Don't be a jerk.
Blankets in the Trees
Some of the vendors on the access road into the Tulum Ruins hang their blankets, sarapes, and ponchos in the trees for display. It's a very colourful sight! I couldn't stop looking and admiring how neat it all looked.
The prices along the access road are higher than the same items in downtown Tulum, thousands of people walk up and down this road each day so the vendors can hike the prices. If you're on a tour and can't make it into town, try haggling these down before you buy. If you see something you really want, pretend you hardly even noticed it. I love my Mexican blankets and have bought several.
What to buy: Blankets and Sarapes: $15 to 40, depending on how large it is, how intricate, and whether it's handmade. The stitchwork on handmade looks tighter and they feel more like cotton (apparently).
A sarape is much thinner than a blanket and has brighter colours, the line work is denser--you could fold it and wear it on your shoulder. They also look beautiful as tablecloths or as the top covering on a bed. The blankets are thicker and cozier, good for having naps, using for picnics or at the beach--they're very durable.
Outside Vendors: Shopping in the Ruinas of Tulum area.
This shopping area is an area that will see as soon as you come of your bus and it is near the road ,it is your usual open air booths
wit many many Mexican/Mayan crafts ,like blankets ,hat's ,scarfs and many other items .
Very nice and very colourful
What to buy: There is something for everyone's taste ,the blankets are especially very nice .
- Family Travel
VARIOUS SHOPS: SHOPS IN THE SQUARE
When you come to the access road leading to the ruins, you will come across a little square full of shopping stalls. They offered the usual fare of souvenirs, Mexican pottery and handicrafts and beautiful blankets as seen in this photo. I must say that the prices were a little higher than in Cancun, but there were specialty Tulum souvenirs that you don't find elsewhere.
- Family Travel
Mexican and Mayans art and crafts
For us to reach the ruins we got in to a bus that was provided by the cruise ship that we were on.
We stopped in this shop on the road. Unbelievable what they have.
If you are into Mexican decorations, mask, chess pieces really beautiful... Beautiful things.
What to buy: Mask, art craft, chess board, T-shirt, goifts
What to pay: Not very expesinve.
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- Hiking and Walking
San Fransisco Grocery Store: Save money! Buy groceries!
One thing a I highly recommend when staying at the Tulum beach cabana's is brining your own drinks and snacks. Most cabana's will charge about $5 for a beer and $3 for a Coke! When you arrive in Tulum off route 307 from Cancun you will see a grocery store on your right. You can't miss it, its painted in bright blue. I can't remember the exact name but its close to San Francisco Market so that should give you an idea. They sell stryofoam coolers for about $10 and ice for $2, the drinks are priced closer to what they should be, no premium charge here! They also sell fresh fruit and fresh baked goods as well. With a cooler you will be able to have cold drinks and fresh fruit all day long at a much lower price than buying from the cabana's. Granted this is only really an option if you have a rental car but I used this method the last time I went and saved a bunch!
Suenos Maya's: The Souvenier Capital of Tulum
Suenos Maya's is located just beyond the parking lot for the Tulum Ruins. Its right by the road that leads to the ruins, its the biggest shop in the area so you can miss it. Suenos Maya's offers the largest selection of Tulum gifts and also the most authentic. The have handmade jewelry, carvings, and scultptures that are beyond the cookie cutter items you find in other places. They work with contracted artists and as a result the craftmanship is of the highest quality and in most cases unique to this particular gift shop. Their prices are reasonable and so bargaining is not really required. So if your looking for unique Tulum gifts that you can't find anywhere else then Suenos Maya's is the place to be!
hand made blancets
Local Crafts are easy to find everywhere. Its good to negociate the price.
What to buy: Tradicional, colourful blancets and Mayas Gods figures