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Mexico now has
a seat-belt law.
Due to the size of the Cancun Hotel Zone the shopping experience has been created in the form of large malls that occur every few miles along the hotel strip. No matter what hotel you stay at on the strip as quick as you can say "charge-it", you're at one!
These malls are quite trendy [Gucci, Bally, Cartier, Pelletier-Piaget, Ralph Lauren, Versace etc.] and sell almost anything you can think of.
The malls carry the up-scale shops where you will find the latest European fashions, expensive perfumes and lots of jewelry. You also find a large number of stores selling Mexican crafts.
The malls could also be classified as tourist attractions since they all try to outdo each other by including entertaining features. Each mall will have at least one hot club and more than a few restaurants.
Travelling into Cancun City you will find it just like any other city, filled with stores catering to the people who live in Cancun.
Almost every hotel has a convenience store and usually a boutique selling arts and crafts. Many hotels also have a store selling tequila and cigars.
CANCUN HOTEL ZONE SHOPPING MALLS
Malls are open daily from 10am to 10pm
Malls also provide security, public washrooms, ATMs, money exchanges, public telephones, parking, taxi-stands and pharmacies. Malls are wheelchair-friendly.
La Isla Shopping Village
CANCUN OPEN-AIR MARKETSEvery Mayan city and village has at least one open-air market. These are colorful flea market type venues where you can find anything from iPods to live chickens. The further into Mayan territory you go the more "Mayan" they become culminating in the spectacular market in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Of course the markets in Cancun are not as rich in cultural flavor as their southern cousins but they are the place to go to get great deals on arts & crafts, practical merchandise and souvenirs.
There are three big open-air markets [Mercados], which are all located within walking distance of each other in the downtown area [El Centro]. Here you will find an assortment of goods such as silver, jewelry, clothing, rugs and blankets, Mexican pottery, leather, carved wood, hammocks, sombreros etc. etc..
Venders in the market are more likely to negotiate prices as many venders in the malls are now fixing their prices in stone.
Ki Huic Market
Markets are located north of the ADO bus terminal in downtown El Centro Cancun.
Mercado Coral Negro - Hotel Zone
Most of the stuff that you will see at the flea market you can also find at the malls. Depending on your bargaining skills the prices will vary. But be forewarned many of the market sellers are aggressive and you have to know how to handle it. They will badger you endlessly like jackals. You have to learn how to play the game to come out ahead.
It has been our experience that when times are good the vendors are not as aggressive. After 9/11 and Hurricane Wilma, Cancun took major blows and tourism was down, way down. The vendors were hurting for business and aggressive, but things are back to normal now.
Although the author of this text has never worked as a vendor I have spent hours hanging out with friends in their stalls watching them work. Some tourists complain that the vendors are rude and abusive however it is a two-way street and I have seen many a tourist treat the vendor with no respect what so ever.
The best way to get a good deal is to be nice to the vendor. It is all a game to them. Most work 6 days a week for little money. The majority of vendors you meet do not own the stall or the merchandise they are selling.
These are our favorite vendor lines:
PESOS OR USD
Pesos are the way to go if you are any nationality other than American. In Cancun every store, restaurant and street/beach vendor accepts the US dollar.
The reason to use pesos if you are not American is to eliminate a currency conversion which can get pretty tricky if you have to convert the Euro to American because the vendors generally price everything in pesos then calculate the cost in American dollars if you ask. Of course most vendors will be able to convert the cost from pesos to Canadian or Euro. They ALL have calculators and know the daily exchange rates.
Over a couple of days you will inevitably end up having pesos in your pocket [change is always given in pesos] so if you are not American you will have pesos and American dollars and have to deal with not one foreign currency but two. Stick to pesos and you only have to make one conversion.
For more shopping information see:
Cancun Mayan Riviera Shopping
WHERE DOES ALL THAT STUFF COME FROM?
Most of what you see at the malls and markets is made in small villages around Mexico. A village will excel in producing a certain item like hats for example and they will become renown for their hat making abilities over time. Many artisans also work at home and the whole family pitches in to produce the goods.
Believe it or not many goods are now imported into Mexico from China, Guatemala, Indonesia, etc. and sold along side of Mexican goods.
CANCUN HOTELSFor current Cancun hotel and resort information including rates, availability and secure on-line reservations please see:
Cancun Hotels & Resorts
Cancun Airport to Hotel Shuttle see:
Answers for many of your questions may possibly be found here: