What Should I Buy in Mexico: A Shopper’s Guide
Mexico is a vibrant and culturally rich country known for its traditional crafts, delicious cuisine, and unique souvenirs. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first trip to Mexico, it’s essential to know what items are worth buying during your visit. From handcrafted textiles to traditional pottery, here is a comprehensive guide on what you should buy in Mexico.
1. Textiles: Mexico is famous for its vibrant textiles, and buying them is a great way to support local artisans. From intricately woven rugs and blankets to embroidered clothing and colorful tapestries, Mexican textiles exhibit a rich heritage. The state of Oaxaca is particularly renowned for its traditional weaving techniques, while Chiapas is known for its intricate embroidery.
2. Pottery: Mexican pottery is another must-buy item, as it reflects the country’s history and artistic traditions. Talavera pottery, with its vibrant colors and intricate patterns, is a popular choice. You can find beautifully crafted vases, plates, and tiles adorned with traditional designs. The town of Tonala, near Guadalajara, is famous for its pottery markets, offering a wide range of options.
3. Silver Jewelry: Mexico is one of the world’s largest producers of silver, making it an excellent place to purchase unique and high-quality jewelry. From traditional pieces with Aztec or Mayan motifs to contemporary designs, you’ll find a diverse selection. Taxco, a town in Guerrero, is renowned for its silver jewelry and is home to many skilled artisans.
4. Tequila and Mezcal: Mexico is the birthplace of both tequila and mezcal, and no visit to the country is complete without indulging in these traditional spirits. Consider bringing home a bottle or two of these authentic Mexican beverages. Tequila is made primarily in the state of Jalisco, while mezcal production is concentrated in Oaxaca.
5. Traditional Clothing: Mexico’s traditional clothing is not only beautiful but also showcases the country’s rich cultural heritage. Colorful dresses like the famous “traje de Tehuana” from Oaxaca or the embroidered blouses known as “huipil” are popular choices. These garments are handmade using traditional techniques and are unique to different regions of Mexico.
6. Mexican Chocolate: Chocolate has a long history in Mexico, dating back to the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations. Mexican chocolate typically contains spices like cinnamon and chili, giving it a distinct flavor. Consider buying some traditional Mexican chocolate bars or cocoa powder to enjoy at home or to gift to chocolate lovers.
7. Handmade Leather Goods: Mexico is known for its high-quality leather goods, ranging from handbags and wallets to belts and shoes. The town of León, located in the state of Guanajuato, is considered the leather capital of Mexico. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of leather products at affordable prices.
Q: Can I bring pottery back home without it breaking?
A: While pottery can be fragile, many stores in Mexico offer packaging services to ensure safe transportation. Additionally, consider packing fragile items in your checked luggage or using bubble wrap for added protection.
Q: Can I bring tequila or mezcal on a plane?
A: Yes, you can bring tequila or mezcal in your checked luggage, provided it adheres to the airline’s alcohol restrictions. It’s advisable to pack them securely to avoid any leakage.
Q: Are prices negotiable at markets and shops in Mexico?
A: Bargaining is a common practice in Mexico, especially in local markets. However, it may not be as common in established shops or boutiques.
Q: Are there any restrictions on bringing silver jewelry back home?
A: Generally, there are no restrictions on bringing silver jewelry back home. However, it’s always advisable to check the customs regulations of your home country to ensure compliance.
Q: What is the best place to buy traditional Mexican clothing?
A: Oaxaca and Chiapas are excellent places to buy traditional Mexican clothing. These regions are famous for their indigenous textile traditions, offering a wide variety of options.
In conclusion, Mexico offers a wide range of unique and authentic products that make for excellent souvenirs or gifts. From textiles and pottery to silver jewelry and traditional clothing, there is something for everyone. Remember to explore local markets and shops to find the best deals and support local artisans during your shopping adventures in Mexico.