Some tips on bargaining: Although haggling over prices in markets is expected and part of the fun, don't try to browbeat the vendor or bad-mouth the goods. Vendors won't bargain with people they consider disrespectful unless they are desperate to make a sale. Be insistent but friendly.

  • Resort Wear in Cancún: Resort clothing -- especially if you can find a sale -- can be a good value here. And the selection may be wider than what's available at home. Almost every mall on the island contains trendy boutiques that specialize in locally designed and imported clothing. The best is La Isla Shopping Center. Less expensive local fashions are widely available in the original downtown known as El Centro.
  • Duty-Free in Cancún: If you're looking for European perfume, fine watches, or other imported goods, you'll find the prices in Cancún's duty-free shops (at the major malls on the island and in downtown Cancún) hard to beat.
  • Quinta Avenida, Playa del Carmen: This pedestrian-only street offers leisurely shopping at its best. No cars, no hassle; even the touts are laid-back. Simply stroll the street and let your eye pick out objects of interest. New Age types will be in their glory, with the abundance of batik clothing and fabric, Guatemalan textiles, and inventive jewelry and artwork. But you'll also find quality Mexican handicrafts, premium tequilas, and (genuine) Cuban cigars.
  • Mérida: This is the marketplace for the Yucatán -- count on the best prices and the best quality in hammocks, guayaberas, Panama hats, and Yucatecan huipiles.
  • San Cristóbal de las Casas: Deep in the heart of the Maya highlands, San Cristóbal has shops, open plazas, and markets that feature the distinctive waist-loomed wool and cotton textiles of the region, as well as leather shoes, handsome pottery, and Guatemalan textiles. Highland Maya Indians sell direct to tourists from their armloads of textiles, pottery, and wood carvings.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.