Is Cancun Good for Shopping (What and Where to Buy)?

With so many fantastic shopping malls, plazas and markets to choose from, Cancun is great for shopping. Shoppers can find lots of souvenirs and gift items, with everything from chic designer clothing to bottles of tequila. Popular shopping spots in Cancun include Mercado 28 and La Isla Shopping Village.
Is Cancun Good for Shopping
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Cancun has plenty of shopping opportunities with everything a traveler needs to enjoy a great vacation.

There are also many fantastic options for those looking for souvenirs or gifts to take home.

Moreover, on your way out, you can also enjoy great shopping at Cancun Airport’s Duty-Free shops.

Read on for the ultimate guide to shopping in Cancun.

What Should I Buy in Cancun?

Here is a list of items you should buy in Cancun:

  • Handmade Jewelry
  • Leather Goods
  • Pottery
  • Traditional Clothing
  • Xtabentun

Is Cancun Cheap for Shopping?

Shopping in Cancun can be cheap, depending on where you shop and how you go about it.

Here are some tips for shopping cheaply in Cancun:

  • Never pay full price; always haggle. This will help you save a lot of money and avoid paying more than the item is worth. Always start your negotiations at half the asking price.
  • Vendors in Cancun may try to rip off tourists who don’t know any better. Always negotiate. If they reject your price, move on as there are many other shops selling the exact same items.
  • Learn the exchange rate. You can get better deals at markets by asking for the price in Mexican pesos and paying in the local currency.
  • Never use your credit card when shopping from vendors at Mercado 28 or Downtown Cancun. You could end up with massive charges from purchases you never made.
  • Always check your change carefully before you leave. Make sure that the vendor has given you back the correct amount such that you don’t end up overpaying for the item.
  • Also check your merchandise before leaving. Unwrap the item and check to confirm that the vendor has given you exactly what you paid for.
  • Before heading to the market, check prices at your hotel gift shop and at malls. This will enable you to know what an item is worth so as to avoid spending more than you would with set prices.
  • Prices are generally higher in the tourist areas. You are likely to find bargains the farther out of town you go, as well as across the channel in Isla Mujeres.
  • Prices are highest at the markets closest to the Hotel Zone. Therefore be sure to negotiate when shopping in these areas.
  • Avoid taking guided tours that include stops at outrageously-priced tourist markets. Hire a private driver instead, or rent a car and drive yourself to the attraction.
  • Duty-Free Shops found in the departures terminal of Cancun Airport also offer good prices, as the items are sold tax-free.

How Much Does Stuff Cost in Cancun?

Here is an overview of prices for souvenir items in Cancun:

ITEM US $ (USD)
Sombrero 25 – 80
Silverware 30 – 1000+
Mayan Jewelry 15 – 900+
Hand-Painted Margarita Glasses 15 – 50
Hammock 50 – 60
Serape Shawls 20 – 30
Mexican Woven Baskets 10 – 40
Olinala Wooden Boxes 20 – 80
Bottle of Tequila 24 – 88
Traditional Mexican Clothing 10 – 550
Zapotec Rugs 50 – 1000+
Maracas Musical Instruments 1 – 15
Mexican Leather Goods 8 – 100
Mexican Marionettes 15 – 40
Huaraches Hand-Woven Leather Sandals 40
Bottle of Xtabentun 10 – 12

What Should I Bring Back From Cancun?

Here is a list of items you should bring back from Cancun:

  • Handmade Jewelry: Handmade necklaces and bracelets from Cancun possess their own special qualities, with no piece being identical to another. For instance, coral bracelets are handcrafted into colorful emblems, forms and shapes, each with its own unique story.
  • Leather Goods: Strolling through the open-air markets in Cancun, you will find an abundance of leather items. Choose from an endless array of handbags, satchels, cross-body bags, laptop sleeves, backpacks and sandals.
  • Pottery: Decorated with bright colors, inspiring images and Mayan characters, Cancun’s clay pottery makes for a beautiful addition to the décor of any home. Pottery souvenirs include ceramic mugs, vases, pots and plates.
  • Traditional Clothing: Typically decorated with blooming flowers, the huipil is a traditional blouse that is often seen in the Mayan areas. The blouse makes its own fashion statement through the stitched colors that pop from its seams.
  • Xtabentun: Unique to the Yucatan region, Xtabentun is a liqueur that is made from the honey of Mayan bees. A symbol of Cancun culture, this rum liqueur has enjoyed a long-standing presence in the region.

Where Can I Buy Souvenirs in Cancun?

Here is a list of places where you can buy souvenirs in Cancun:

  • La Isla Shopping Village: A great place to browse and shop, La Isla Shopping Village features over 150 stores, surrounded by water channels upon the shores of Nichupte Lagoon. In addition to its famous brand name stores, there are restaurants, a cinema, museum and aquarium.
  • Luxury Avenue: Despite having just 25 stores, Luxury Avenue boasts some of the top international brands. The exclusive shopping mall is ideal for lovers of fashion and jewelry, with lots of famous upscale names.
  • Plaza Las Americas: Situated in downtown Cancun, Plaza Las Americas is a favorite among the locals. Spanning over 1,000 square meters, the shopping mall has 234 shops that offer the latest fashion clothing, along with bookstores and 2 cinemas.
  • Plaza Caracol: Plaza Caracol has 200+ shops, including boutiques. Some of the famous stores are Sunglass Island, Señor Frogs and Museo Del Tequila. Plaza Caracol is one of the most popular malls in Cancun because you can find almost everything you need for your holiday here.
  • Mercado 28: This is the biggest souvenir market found at the heart of downtown Cancun. Mercado 28 is a great spot to buy silver jewelry items, Mexican handicrafts and other souvenirs. Moreover, the prices for souvenirs are better here than at most other places.
  • Kukulcan Plaza: Launched in 1992, Kukulcan Plaza stands out for its amazing architectural design and stunning Mayan stained glass. The shopping plaza is open daily and receives over 2 million visitors each year.

Where Do the Locals Shop in Cancun?

Here is a list of places where the locals shop in Cancun:

  • Tianguis de la 94: Located well away from the tourist areas, Tianguis de la 94 is a market where locals gather to buy and sell everything, from clothing and kitchenware to plants, bicycles, and personal care products.
  • Tianguis de la 219: One of the biggest street markets in Cancun, Tianguis de la 219 offers lots of vintage items and an endless array of books, clothing and second-hand goods, all at low prices. Locals also come here for the tasty street food and snacks.
  • Tianguis de la 100: Set aside a couple of hours to see the whole of Tianguis de la 100, which is the biggest street market in Cancun. Here, locals come to buy cheap, vintage clothing and second-hand goods.
  • Mercado de la 95: A tiny market selling local goods, Mercado de la 95 is the place where many Cancun residents shop for groceries. Here you can find cheap local produce including fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood, meat, eggs, cheese, grains and more.
  • La Caja Orgánica Bazaar: La Caja Orgánica is a store that sells locally-made organic products, ideal for vegans and green consumers. Here you can find fruit and vegetables, milk, soya, cacao, ice-cream and even cosmetics – all fresh and certified organic.
  • Manos Mágicas: Manos Mágicas is a market situated within the gorgeous Jardín Del Arte. Here you’ll find over 200 local artisans sell their wares, including clothing, handbags, green cosmetics and more.
  • Mercado 23: One of the better known markets, Mercado 23 is where locals go to buy everyday goods such as food stuffs, grains, tortillas, groceries, medicinal plants and crafts. Items sold here are cheap but of good quality.
  • Mexican Outlet: Popular with both locals and tourists alike, Mexican Outlet has lots of stores selling a wide array of souvenirs. Here you can shop for fridge magnets, coffee cups, candies, t-shirts, sombreros, bags and more.

Is It Safe to Go Shopping in Cancun?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to go shopping in Cancun, as long as you use your common sense and stick to the well-populated tourist areas.

Except for opportunistic crimes such as petty theft, pickpocketing and bag-snatching that commonly occur in major tourist areas, crimes against tourists are rare in Cancun.

Here is a list of the safe areas to go shopping in Cancun:

  • The Hotel Zone: Most tourists visiting Cancun usually stay in the Hotel Zone, which is the safest area in Cancun. Its main road, Kukulcan Boulevard has many shops where tourists can safely shop during the day. However, tourists should take precautions shopping here after dark.
  • Shopping Malls: Most shopping malls within the Hotel Zone are safe. For instance, upscale malls like La Isla Shopping Village are generally safe for tourists. Such malls have many American brand-name stores that sell everything from clothing to local crafts.
  • The Beaches: Cancun’s beaches are generally safe areas. This is because the beaches are well-guarded, especially those within the Hotel Zone. As such, walking along the beach to check out vendors and shops in other beachfront hotels is a safe activity.
  • Isla Mujeres: Located 9 miles from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a small island that is accessible via ferry. Here, visitors can walk around the small town and do a bit of shopping. Isla Mujeres is a safe area where you can spend a relaxing day on the beach.

Here is a list of the areas to take extra precaution when shopping:

  • Parts of Downtown Cancun: Downtown Cancun is generally safe for tourists to go shopping, particularly the area closest to the Hotel Zone. However, the farther you get from the Hotel Zone, the less touristy and more dangerous it becomes.
  • Markets: Cancun’s large “mercados” (open-air markets) are great spots to haggle for local crafts. However, visitors should be careful when shopping in these areas. Always secure your wallet, purse and jewelry from pickpockets. Also stay away from these markets after dark.
  • Outskirts of Cancun at Night: The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, is considered generally safer than northern Mexico. Avoid straying outside of well-known tourist areas at night for shopping.

What Can You Buy at Cancun Airport?

Here is a list of things that you can buy at Cancun Airport:

  • Beauty Products: Skin Care, Make-Up, Fragrances & Toiletries
  • Liquor: Wines & Spirits
  • Food: Local Produce, Chocolates & Sweets
  • Jewelry: Necklaces, Bracelets & Earrings
  • Clothes: Men & Women’s Fashion Clothing
  • Accessories: Sunglasses, Leather Bags & Shoes

What Shops Are at Cancun Airport?

Here is a list of shops at Cancun Airport:

  • Aerotiendas
  • Air Craft Silver
  • Cinco Soles
  • Hand Craft Air Shop
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Inter Sew Shop
  • Joyeria Sofia
  • Ocean Blue
  • Oprendi
  • Pineda Covalin
  • Spa
  • Froggs
  • Sunglass Island
  • T-Shirts
  • Tabaqueria Cenca
  • Tiendas Duty Free
  • Value Drugs

Does Cancun Airport Have Gift Shops?

Yes, Cancun Airport has the following gift shops:

  • Tiendas Duty Free
  • Tabaqueria Cenca
  • T-Shirts
  • Sunglass Island
  • Spa
  • Senor Froggs
  • Pineda Covalin
  • Oprendi
  • Ocean Blue
  • Joyeria Sofia
  • Inter Sew Shop
  • Hand Craft Air Shop
  • Cinco Soles
  • Air Craft Silver
  • Aerotiendas

Can You Buy Alcohol at the Cancun Airport?

Yes, you can buy alcohol at the Cancun Airport.

There are several Duty-Free Shops in the Departures terminal of Cancun Airport where travelers can stock up on their favorite liquor.

These shops offer an array of great alcoholic brands and flavors at unbeatable prices.

Can You Bring Alcohol Back From Cancun?

Yes, you can bring alcohol back from Cancun.

Here are the legal requirements for bringing alcohol back into the United States from Cancun:

  • Each person can import 1 liter of alcohol and 1 case of beer every 30 days.
  • Travelers must be 21 years old to import alcoholic beverages.
  • You must present a valid ID to prove that you are over 21 years old.
  • Under Texas law, you must pay state tax on all alcohol you import.

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