Playa del Carmen or Tulum for shopping?

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Playa del Carmen or Tulum for shopping?

Postby Cancun Manny » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:00 pm

I was lucky enough to had the chance to travel around different Mexican towns when I was younger. There are some great Mexican craftsmen that produce incredible pieces. Some towns are known for their specialty on certain items. For example, The city of Taxco is known for its silver, and silver work. Puebla has a long tradition with "Talavera". The town of Tonala in the state of Jalisco produces a large amount of pottery and other hand made crafts.

Unfortunately, most of these pieces don't get imported to the area, and instead we get the inexpensive "Mexican" souvenirs. So it might be difficult to find that high end Mexican hand craft piece you might be looking for. That said, let me share what I know about shopping in Tulum and Playa del Carmen.

I will start with Playa del Carmen. Most of the shops are located on 5th Ave. 5th Ave comprises of about 20 city blocks, full of shops, restaurants, bars, and a handful of boutique hotels. Although a bit touristy, it is still a fun interesting walk. Here you will find more of the generic type of Mexican souvenirs. There are also some name brand boutiques. Most of the time folks are able to find the souvenirs they are looking for here, specially if you want something that has "Playa del Carmen" or "Riviera Maya" written on it.

Tulum is much smaller than Playa del Carmen, a bit more "hippie-sh" (if that is a word). You won't find large crowds walking around the main street of Tulum, and once the sun sets there are few people around Tulum downtown area. There are not as many shops as in Playa del Carmen, but they do tend to be a bit more "unique" and many of the items are Mexican made, but don't say "Playa del Carmen" or "Tulum" on them, basically not the standard touristy souvenirs. There is one store in particular that I like that sells amber jewlery, some made with metals (silver, gold, etc), and others made with Macrame. Because they don't have as many shops, shopping in Tulum can be a hit or a miss.
I do put a lot of time and effort to provide much detailed information to help you have a great time while in Cancun. If you feel I provided you with valuable useful information and want to reward me, why not buy me a beer? Cancun Manny
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