World ? Caribbean & Central America ? Mexico

Mexico: The Best Shopping

  • Bazar del Sȥbado in San Angel: This festive Saturday market in colonial San Angel, one of Mexico City's more exclusive southern neighborhoods, offers exceptional crafts of a more sophisticated nature than you'll see in most mercados. Furnishings, antiques, and collectibles are also easy to find in surrounding shops and street plazas.

  • Polanco, Mexico City: This fashionable neighborhood is noted for its designer boutiques, formal dress shops, fine jewelers, and leather-goods offerings.

  • Contemporary Art: Latin American art is surging in popularity. Galleries in Mexico City feature Mexico's masters and emerging stars, with Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, and San Miguel de Allende galleries also offering excellent selections.

  • Taxco Silver: Mexico's silver capital, Taxco, has hundreds of stores featuring fine jewelry and decorative objects.

  • Talavera Pottery in Puebla & Dolores Hidalgo: An inheritor of the Moorish legacy of ceramics, Puebla produces some of the most sought-after dinnerware in the world. The tiles produced there adorn building facades and church domes throughout the area. Dolores Hidalgo, 40km (25 miles) northwest of San Miguel de Allende, produces attractive, inexpensive Talavera of less traditional design.

  • San Miguel de Allende's Diverse Crafts: Perhaps it's the influence of the Instituto Allende art school, but something has given storekeepers here real savvy about choosing their merchandise. The stores have fewer typical articles of Mexican handicrafts and more interesting and eye-catching works than you'll find in other towns.

  • Pȥtzcuaro's Fine Crafts: Michoacȥn is known for its crafts, and Pȥtzcuaro is at the center of it all. You can find beautiful cotton textiles, woodcarvings, pottery, lacquerware, woven straw pieces, and copper items in the market, or you can track the object to its source in one of the nearby villages.

  • Decorative Arts in Tlaquepaque & Tonalȥ: These two neighborhoods of Guadalajara offer perhaps the most enjoyable shopping in Mexico. Tlaquepaque has attracted sophisticated and wide-ranging shops selling a wide variety of decorative art. In Tonalȥ, more than 400 artisans have workshops, and you can visit many of them; on market days, wander through blocks and blocks of market stalls seeking that one perfect piece.

  • Huichol Art in Puerto Vallarta: One of the last indigenous cultures to remain faithful to their customs, language, and traditions, the Huichol Indians come down from the Sierra Madre to sell their unusual art to Puerto Vallarta galleries. Inspired by visions received during spiritual ceremonies, the Huichol create their art with colorful yarn or beads pressed into wax.

  • Oaxacan Textiles: The valley of Oaxaca produces the best weavings and naturally dyed textiles in Mexico; it's also famous for its pottery, and colorful, imaginative woodcarvings.

  • The Markets of San CristɃbal de las Casas: This city, deep in the heart of the Maya highlands, has shops, open plazas, and markets featuring distinctive waist-loomed wool and cotton textiles, as well as leather shoes, handsome pottery, genre dolls, and Guatemalan textiles.

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