If you’re lucky enough to be headed to Cancun for spring break, I wanted to share a guide to shopping in Cancun from markets to high end shopping malls. It was the second time I visited Cancun, but I have only vague memories of Mercado 28 when I was only 11 years old. From souvenirs to high-end shopping, Cancun has many shopping options.
Mercado Coral Negro
Let’s just say that I spent about 20 minutes here before running out screaming. I’m used to shopping leisurely on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, but here the shop owners are extremely aggressive. I went to Cancun alone with my sister, and we were practically harassed by store owners to come into their stores. No I will not marry you, and no, I will not come into your store after you yell at me. My sister and I adopted a policy where we would only go into a store where the shopkeeper is either silent or offered a friendly hello.
There’s nothing too exciting in this market, and the prices are a lot higher than Playa del Carmen. The location is convenient, because it was right next to our hotel, but we did not return.
My sister bought an adorable handmade toy from this stand that also sold pretty embroidered handbags, dolls and friendship bracelets.
Plaza la Fiesta
Right near the hotel zone is Plaza la Fiesta. They stock tons of souvenirs, clothing and have a pharmacy and mini grocery store in case you need any essentials. Their prices can’t be beat, however the products are mass produced. I stopped to take some pictures with the sombreros and tequila barrels.
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This is easily the most gorgeous grocery store I’ve ever been to. The first level has a pharmacy, clothing and dry goods. It’s a great place to pick up cheap Mexican salsa and tobasco sauce. Upstairs is a gourmet paradise, complete with a massive liquor and cigar section, cheese, a gourmet bakery and an eat-in cafe. There’s outdoor seating and a sushi bar too!
La Isla Shopping Centre
If you take a $1 bus ride down the main boulevard, you will arrive at La Isla Shopping Centre. This large outdoor shopping mall has high and low shops and fast food options. You can buy an expensive handbag at Louis Vuitton or Prada, or check out Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs.
There’s also La Boutique de Palacio, which is a large department store in Mexico. The store was kind of like Nordstrom, with an extensive beauty department, however the prices were a lot higher than North America.
For duty free beauty, Liverpool is another option. The mall also has a few sit down restaurants and a faux canal!
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I ended up buying a pile of clothes on sale at Zara… they had items that were completely sold out in North America, and a great selection.
I didn’t have time to visit Mercado 28, but that is another option for more authentic souvenirs. If you have a chance to visit Isla Mujeres, there are plenty of artisans on the island as well! I hope this guide will help you when you go shopping in Cancun!