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Although your quiet Mexico beach villa will provide plenty of opportunities for enjoying a relaxed and luxurious vacation, there is still plenty to see and do off the sand, as well. In fact, one of the many reasons people choose this part of the country for their tropical getaway is the proximity to larger cities like Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. If taking in the historic sites, enjoying an active nightlife, and shopping are on your itinerary, you’ve come to the right place!
Shopping in Mexico is one of the big reasons so many people come back, year after year. The colorful collectibles and unique handcrafted items are unlike anything you can find anywhere else in the world, and the cost makes it easy to fill a whole suitcase of things to take home. From decorations and plateware to clothes and gifts, it’s hard to say no to this kind of shopping spree!
Shops You’ll Find on the Pacific Coast
Whether you spend a few days in Ixtapa or stick to the smaller beach communities, you’ll find plenty of different types of shops. Upscale boutiques, art galleries, shopping malls, indoor markets, and artisan centers are available in many locations, offering the chance to buy just about every item on your wish list.
Of course, shopping in Mexico isn’t quite like shopping back home. Although the shops catering to foreigners often provide fixed prices and a similar retail experience to what you’re used to, you’ll also find that bargaining can be a part of the more local shopping districts. You can always pay what’s asked of you, but bringing the price down by as much as 50 percent is also fairly common.
What to Buy in Mexico
Although you should feel free to purchase whatever goods suit your fancy, Mexico is particularly known for a few items. Things to look out for include:
- Holiday Decorations
- Textiles (Rugs and Blankets)
- Unique Kids Toys
- Sculptures/Fine Art
As is the case with any sort of large purchase, be wary of being taken in by items that sound too good to be true. Stick to more established shops for expensive items like jewelry and fine art.
Shopping in Mexico is traditionally done during normal business hours, though you can expect many shops to be closed on Sundays and for a midday break. The best hours to try shopping are between 9am and 2pm, and then about 4pm to 8pm.
Mexico Shopping: Tax Information
In most cases (especially small markets), you should expect to pay for your items with cash. Some of the larger stores will take credit cards, but they may charge more for this privilege. Your purchases will also be subject to the VAT tax (value added tax), which adds a 15 percent tax onto your purchase. For travelers from international destinations, you should always save your receipts, since you can get a refund via mail once you get home.
Start Your Mexican Beach Vacation Here
Even if you only plan on buying a few token souvenirs to take home with you, the Mexico shopping experience is something you shouldn’t miss. Purchase local wares that support the economy or splurge on larger items that you can showcase in your home—you’ll be glad you took the time to find a permanent memory of your vacation that you and your loved ones can enjoy for years.