From the weekly market in a small colonial village in the countryside outside of Morelia, to the fancy malls of Mexico City, it seems that Mexico was made especially for shopping. This country has more than it's fair share of artists that produce some of the world's most colorful and imaginative handicrafts. Many of the handicrafts express the artist's interpretation of life, or even death. Many of these items are still produced just as they have been for centuries, using special, and often well guarded secrets and techniques that have been handed down from one generation to the next.
Often the local crafts depend on locally available materials. You will find one-of-a-kind jewelry that has been fashioned from silver, gold and amber alongside beautiful items made of corn, palm leaves, papier-mâche, copper or clay. Some towns or local areas specialize in a certain item, the guitars for Paracho, wooden toys and furniture from Michoacan, the majolica pottery from Guanajuato or the unique black pottery and intricately painted alebrijes that originate in the Oaxaca area. Guadalajara and especially the suburb of Tlaquepaque are well known to shoppers the world over. Puebla is famous for the Mexican Talavera tile that is made locally.
Rest assured that any shopping expedition will be rewarded with at least one really unique item that will be admired and complimented upon your return. Be very careful, shopping in Mexico can become habit forming.
Mexico offers one of the greatest shopping experiences available anywhere in the world. Just about anything that is made in Mexico is available here, along with countless imported designer items. Then there are the street and beach vendors which seem to sell a bit of everything from gum and snacks to watches and jewelry.
From the weekly market in a small colonial village in the countryside outside of Morelia, to the fancy malls of Mexico City, it seems that Mexico was made especially for shopping. This country has more than its fair share of artists that produce some of the world's most colorful and imaginative handicrafts. Many of the handicrafts express the artist's interpretation of life and even death. Many of these items are still produced just as they have been for centuries, utilizing well-guarded family secrets and techniques that have been handed down from one generation to the next.
Often, the local crafts depend on locally available materials. You will find one-of-a-kind jewelry that has been fashioned from silver, gold and amber alongside beautiful items made of corn, palm leaves, papier-mâche, copper or clay. Small towns and local areas specialize in specific items, such as guitars for Paracho, wooden toys and furniture from Michoacan, the majolica pottery from Guanajuato or the unique black pottery and intricately painted alebrijes that originate in the Oaxaca area. Guadalajara and especially the suburb of Tlaquepaque are well known the world over. Puebla is famous for the Mexican Talavera tile that is made locally.
Mexico is truly a paradise for serious shoppers! It is no wonder, thanks to over one million artists that produce an unbelievable array of beautiful handcrafted items. The incredible variety can become almost overwhelming for some visitors. Many of the better bargains come from the traditional market places, which can be found in most towns of any size. In some parts of the country, the local markets are lined with items of the quality that is often found in galleries in other countries.

You will find silver jewelry, amber, pottery and ceramics, wood carvings and furniture, paintings, blankets and other colorful weavings, all kinds of leather goods, guitars, hand blown glass, baskets, unique (and often very colorful) clothing, tile, sculptures, the list goes on and on. Many of these items are still produced just as they have been for centuries using special and often well guarded secrets and techniques that have been handed down from one generation to the next.
The city of Oaxaca and the surrounding crafts villages are well known for their extraordinary styles of intriguing arts and crafts. Items produced in the Oaxaca Valley have found their way into some of the world's finest museums and galleries. The most famous of these locally produced crafts is probably the black pottery (actually from the nearby village of San Bartolo Coyotepec) and the playfully outrageous wood carvings, called alebrijes, which are hand-carved out of a soft local wood and painted in bright surrealistic colors. Wooden masks, originally used in religious ceremonies and festivals, have become a popular item with tourists as well as interior decorators the world over.
Papier-mâche is another popular art form that is gaining popularity with shoppers and decorators, as well as collectors, for its unique shapes and wild colors. It is said that over a half million artists or crafts makers live in the Oaxaca area.

All areas of the country seem to have their local specialties. Many of the same items may be produced in many different areas of the country, but they usually bear a special local flavor that sets them apart. Weavings from some of the villages in the central plateau will be very different from something that was woven in state of Chiapas. Puebla is where the famous Mexican Talavera tile is made. Talavera-style tile and all types of colorful ceramics are also produced in Guanajuato as well as in the states of Michoacan and Jalisco.
Taxco, which lies between Mexico City and Acapulco, is known as the silver capital of Mexico. Many of the items created in Taxco are found in stores and museums all over Mexico as well as the rest of the world.

Guadalajara and especially the suburb of Tlaquepaque are well-known to shoppers the world over. There are travel agencies that specialize in shopping tours to Tlaquepaque. Furniture and all sorts of original accessories for your home are popular items here. Many local shops will turn out custom items per your design requests.

The Huichol Indians, from the mountains of Nayarit state, spend countless hours producing beautifully intricate items that resemble their ancient symbols. These intricate pieces are made out of beads which are laid down one at a time in a base of beeswax and take many distinctive forms when finished. The Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyon in Chihuahua state create primitive-looking hand-carved figures representing themselves which are usually dressed wearing typical clothing.

But Mexico is not all crafts villages, traditional markets and small shops. Modern malls are located in all major cities and popular resorts. While many imported items are rather expensive, there are many bargains to be found in the malls and department stores.

Large modern malls and upscale neighborhoods that seem like they were developed just for shopping compete with more traditional shops, sidewalk vendors and outdoor markets. For tourists who are seeking the upscale shops and malls, the choices are easy. Plan your days around visits to Polanco, especially the area of Presidente Masaryk, Centro Santa Fe and Zona Rosa.

The nearby colonial neighborhood of San Angel, in the southern part of the city, is locally famous for it's "Bazar Sabado" which means Saturday Bazaar. Try not to miss this if you are in the city on a Saturday. You will actually find three different market places each Saturday, an outdoor crafts market, an arts market and a separate market selling high-end articles.

And finally, the street and beach vendors who seem to sell a bit of everything from gum and snacks to watches and jewelry. The quality is often not the best at times, and some find it difficult to understand the word no, however many are artisans who produce beautiful handmade treasures quite reasonably. Have a little patience with these vendors; just remember that they are trying to make a living in the best way they know how.

Needless to say, you are guaranteed a very special shopping experience anywhere within Mexico!

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