Maya Market: Souvenirs
As usual in such tourist spots in Mexico can see a large number of traders of souvenirs. In Chichen Itza there were many souvenirs for sale. At the edges of hiking trails were the local Indians, and offered a variety of goods. I am not a big fan of such purchases since then as my bookcase filled with guidebooks and a sideboard filled with mugs, saucers and other souvenirs from around the world.
However, many tourists buy all sorts of things.
I hate when tourist guides bring a group to souvenir stores and leave it for an hour or more, wasting our time which is better to take for excursions. Here, in Chichen Itza it was not so. Every person chose the time for shopping and did not waste precious time of the group.
It was interesting to watch the faces of Indians sellers. For us Europeans, these people are very unusual. And I saved on purchases by photographing and taking video of these souvenirs.
- Arts and Culture
Chichen Itza: Plates and Bowls
For sale around the ruins
What to buy: All around the ruins, people are selling things. We got a couple plates here, but I wanted one more. I figured I could find one when we got to Cancun. I was wrong! I only found one at a market in Cancun, and it was much more expensive than they were in Chichen Itza.
Toh Boutique at Chichen Itza, Yucatan: Exquisite Mayan Replicas, Jewelry and Fine Arts
Toh Boutique, located within the Hacienda Chichen & Yaxkin Spa in Chichen Itza, is a rare jewel of a giftstore with the best collection of Maya Replica Pottery, textiles, silver jewelry, crafts and handmade aromatherapy bath oils, soaps, etc. The boutique is runned by volunteers of the Maya Fundation In Laakeech, a civil organization that helps Maya families and communities wellfare.
The boutique donates its profits to the Maya Fundation In Laakeech, a volunteer social organization dedicated to help the Mayan children and Mayan community health and education programs nearby Chichen Itza.
What to buy: My favorite items were:
Its Original "one of a kind" Jewelry Collection; including the Marc Petit's exquisite Maya Glyphs necklaces and bracelets, each piece signed by the artist.
Fine Pottery & Mayan Replica Collection, the boutique has a lovely collection of original artwork created by wellknown Fine Artists.
Handmade textiles: table runners finely embroidered with utmost care and beauty.
Organic Mayan Cuisine products, from pure raw honey to Maya Herbal Pastes, all giftwrapped in unique decorative textile bags.
What to pay: Prices are low for the quality of items sold, small gifts run less than five dollars a piece. We paid a hundred dollars for a truly exquisite Mayan Replica Vessels signed by the artist and with an original Fine Art Certificate.
- Spa and Resort
All over Chichen Itza: Lots of places to buy stuff
Chichen Itza has peddlers all over the place, selling all sorts of knick-knacks. I didn't bite, but I think prices can be negotiated. Tour buses also generally stop by one of the souvenir shops along the route, so you can buy your stuff there too. The one our bus stopped at was actually quite nich - I only bought some cookies though.
Either way, there's shopping a plenty at or near Chichen Itza, more than enough to scratch that retail itch.
- Historical Travel
person outside the gates of Chichen Itza: Mayan Date
You can choose a date special to you (eg anniversary, birthday - that kind of thing) and they transfer it onto some olde paper in the form of the Mayan calendar (which equals some nice Mayan drawings). It may sound tacky tourist but the result is/was rather nice.
You place your order with a person on the roadside outside the Chichen Itza entrance. They take the details and you collect later.
We did this in 1999 - I would hope that they have kept it the same.
EL MAGUEY: MEXICAN HANDICRAFTS
During our tour to Chichen-Itza, the bus made a rest-stop at the EL MAGUEY, a lovely shop featuring Mexican handicrafts. The merchandise was very good quality at very high prices. They had blankets, leather hats, ceramic masks, silver jewelry, hammocks, etc.
Outside on the veranda, a man was busy on a wooden weaving machine, making a colorful blue and yellow blanket. It was interesting to watch him as the machine went back and forth, by hand, and intricately weaved the threads into a lovely blanket.
What to pay: The prices were much higher than in the shops of Cancun.
- Family Travel
Hawkers: A good deal
Besides shops that sell usual tourist goods, there are hawkers (I think they are unauthorised sellers) who sell woodworks. For know more about them go to my 'Local Custom tip'.
What to buy: If you bargain over the price you'll can do good deals. I bought a nice wodden Maya idol for 1 dollar and a beautiful jaguar head for 7 dollars.