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Trip List by YucatanLiving

10 Places to Shop in Merida for Handmade Items

Jun 10, 2007  I live and shop here regularly...
4.5 of 5 bubbles based on 12 votes

Wondering where to get a great hammock or a gift for someone back home? If you're looking to buy a pair of jeans, let me direct you to the Gran Plaza (shopping center). But if you're looking for something handmade, try something on this list...

  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Shopping
  • Appeals to: Business travelers, Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Budget travelers, Active/adventure, Tourists, Pet owners
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Miniaturas Folk Art

    On Calle 59 between Calle 60 and 62 is the Miniatures shop. If it's closed, you won't be able to find it, but if it's open, you'll enjoy the little shop full of little things. This shop has everything from calavera (skeleton) necklaces to masks to movie posters and tree of life candlesticks. Also a good place to find a Mexican-themed greeting card. Their hours? 10 am to 8 pm, mas o menos :-). We were recently there at noon, and they weren't open yet. Like they say, mas o menos.

  • 2. Casa de las Artesanias

    Don't be fooled by the many places also named similarly... this is the real one underwritten by the State. Located on Calle 63 next door to the Monastery (Casa de las Monjas) between Calle 64 and 66. Artesans from around the state contribute their goods here. They have products from henequen, jewelry, guayaberas and huipiles, honey, carved stone gifts, etc. A little bit of everything.

  • 3. Vintage Store

    What a great store! Vintage clothing and other goodies, including radios, furniture, milk bottles, textiles... whatever they've turned up in their latest buying trips. A little treasure trove of mid to early 20th Century kitsch.

  • 4. Sunday morning at Parque Santa Lucia

    A favorite place to go for local expats. At least three or four antique dealers go each Sunday and bring their more portable antiques, suitable for packing. Also you'll find people selling old books, old coins and other collectibles, handmade huipiles, guayaberas and tie dye, jewelry, honey products, and henequen baskets and purses. Occasionally some original artwork as well. And then at noon, there's live music and food stalls. Its a party every Sunday!

  • 5. Amate Bookstore
    http://www.amatebooks.com

    This great Oaxacan bookstore has now opened in Merida! Located on Calle 60 at Calle 51, Amate Books has english-language books on anything relating to Latin America: history, art, interior design, biographies, novels, etc. They also sell masks and other handmade gift items. Air-conditioned and very conveniently located.

  • 6. Fonart at the Hotel San Angel
    http://www.fonart.com.mx

    High-end Mexican artesanias products can be found at Calle 49 and Paseo Montejo in the hotel lobby. Fonart is a chain of government-sponsored stores that cull the best artesanias' products from around Mexico. Here you'll find beautiful carvings, silver, pottery, textiles and other high quality items, all made in Mexico. A great store to visit even if you don't buy anything.

  • 7. The Lucas de Galvez Mercado

    This is the main downtown market. It's huge, covering several city blocks. The section at the corner of Calle 60 and Calle 65 has a lot of things that tourists like (embroidery, shoes, pottery, hammocks, jewelry), but venture in farther and you'll find all sorts of interesting things that you'll only find in Mexico and the Yucatan. Henequen twine, hammock hooks, live birds, fruit, flowers, religious statues, spices, candies... the list goes on and on. Go early and see the Mayan ladies selling the plants, flowers and food from their villages. The mercado isn't just shopping, it's an adventure!

  • 8. Cacao Maya

    Everyone needs chocolate, right? This little hole-in-the-wall is run by a couple who learned their chocolate-making skills in Belgium. Of course, chocolate comes from Mexico, so they came to the right place. Treat yourself (or your friends back home) to some genuine Mexican chocolate. If you don't want to eat chocolate, you can buy one of the creams or oils made from the cacao bean instead. EIther way, this shop is a treat for the senses. This shop is located on Calle 55, between Calle 62 and Calle 60.

  • 9. Outdoor market next to the Jose Peon Contreras Theatre

    No matter how many stores come to Merida, its still a pleasure to shop at night along the pasillo between the theatre and the church on Calle 60 at between Calle 57 and 59. You never know what you'll find there exactly. There are always a few people from Chiapas selling scarves, shirts, hakky saks and pillow coverings. Usually quite a few people selling silver jewelry. It's always worth a stroll by to see what they have... you might just find the treasure you've been looking for.

  • 10. Merida en Domingo

    Every Sunday, the whole zocalo is closed to cars and buses and there are a million "puestos" selling everything from tshirts to placemats made from henequen to keychains with your photo on them. This outdoor bazaar is for tourists and residents alike, and though most of the time I buy nothing there, on occasion I've found a jewel of handmade artesania. One of my favorite things only cost about 10 cents: a little handmade skeleton, made out of straw. He looks great on my doorknob!