Shopping in the Riviera Maya
For some people, the best part of going on vacation is the fact that there are surely new stores to check out, besides their interest on swimming with dolphins, exploring cenotes or hiking around archeological ruins. They mostly want to see what kind of things they can buy that you wouldn’t find at home, and they love bargains and haggling as well. Even if you aren’t one of them, you will definitely run into shopping aficionados if you visit the Riviera Maya.
The Riviera Maya has become such a hip and happening area to visit lately that it makes sense that there would be all kinds of interesting shopping opportunities to check out. Of course, the most famous would be the Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen, which is a long avenue full of vendors and shops of all kinds. You’ll find some shops you may know from the U.S., but there are also plenty of authentic shops that sell ceramics, clothes, crafts, and more. The best part of the Quinta Avenida is that it’s also full of bars and restaurants, so when you finish shopping you can have a drink or nibble on something without having to go to another area.
Another hot spot for shopping, especially if you want to snatch up some things you would never find in other places, is Cozumel. Yes, this is an entire island, but it’s so tiny and cute that you won’t find yourself complaining at all while you walk around its entirety. If you walk in the right areas, you’ll come across the downtown area, which has regular shopping (grocery stores, etc.) as well as more specific and touristy shopping spots.
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Further south, in Tulum, you won’t be disappointed with the shopping either. After exploring the ruins and maybe taking a quick dip in the ocean or cenote, shopping is a great way to wrap up your time there. In the downtown area of Tulum, on Avenida Tulum, you can find the Tulum Bazar. This is a shopping area full of vendors, much like a craft fair. You do have to be careful about certain costumed entrepreneurs trying to charge you to take pictures of them, but other than that you will see all kinds of woven products, ceramics, traditional art and crafts, and more. This is a place where you can haggle to get a better deal, so if you’ve been dying to do that, this is your moment to shine. One tip: ask the vendors if the wares are made locally or not.
Now you’re ready to shop to your heart’s content!