You find yourself shopping in Mexico at the local marketplace on your holiday and wonder, “What in the world should I buy as a souvenir?” While souvenir shopping Mexico style certainly a sombrero and the best tequila to bring back from Mexico are always an option.
However once the tequila is gone you may find that your wardrobe back home really doesn’t suit a sombrero on a day to day basis. Heading home with great Mexican souvenirs requires a bit of knowledge and an eye for traditional work of local Mexican artisans.
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Best Souvenirs to Buy in Mexico
The Spanish word for souvenir is recuerdo translating to reminder. The tequila sombrero combination may be seem like the best Mexican souvenirs Cancun could offer. However Mexico has a long tradition of artisans creating beautiful pieces which will leave lasting memories of the colors and traditions of Mexico.
Silver the Mexican souvenir show off
At most every market and Mexican souvenir shop you will find silver items for sale, often religious in nature. It may not be everyone’s idea of a perfect souvenir to have a 3 foot crucifix in their suitcase but often small intricate pieces can be found.
Taxco silver, produced in the town bearing its name, will be most reasonably priced at the point or origin. Still this renowned Mexican silver can be found throughout Mexico. With a bit of negotiating it can be purchased without breaking your Mexico shopping budget.
Be sure to look for .925 stamp which indicates quality sterling silver. Mexico souvenir prices can vary a great deal for silver. Be sure your souvenir in Mexico is the real thing.
Souvenir shopping Mexico – Clay Pottery a practical find
Mexico’s geology includes a variety of clay with red being most common. When wondering what to bring from Mexico, a small dish or a casserole, whatever your luggage might be able to handle can make a perfect Mexican souvenir. Imagine the authentic Mexican meals you will make in this souvenir dish.
Keep an eye open for a clay souvenirs from Mexico made from the much less common clay barro negro. You will recognize it by it’s pearly black shine.
Shopping in Mexico for Leather
Leather work in Mexico is tied to the history of the charro/vaquero the cowboy tradition, and makes a smart souvenir. Historically it was belts and boots that stole the shoe as traditional Mexican souvenirs.
The unique Mexican handbags, purses and wallets are fabulous choices for what to bring back from Mexico. Such colorful accessories will more likely to be a hit with that teenager you are shopping for than a ceramic donkey and get you top marks on the souvenir Mexico quest. No offense to the ceramic donkey.
Souvenir Shopping Mexico for Fabrics and Clothing
Shop for cotton or traditional linen items which are cooler than the newer polyester options. Vibrant embroidery on shirts, dresses and shawls may not work for the office but can be a fun casual look and offer some of the best shopping prices in Mexico.
The huipil is traditionally worn by Mexican women. The loose fitting fabric blouse or tunic is embroidered with a variety of pictures and designs. Styles vary among ethnic groups in Mexico and Central America.
Mexican blankets come in every shade imaginable. On our first trip to Mexico many years ago we chose these Cancun Mexico souvenirs. Acting as a couch cover, picnic blanket and fort walls they turned out to be the best souvenirs from Cancun we could have chosen.
Good Souvenirs from Mexico for Children
Mexico and music go hand in hand so it will be no surprise to find maracas and wooden flutes in abundance. If shopping for children of friends, consider that noise making souvenirs are not always a desired option. It depends on how much you like your friends.
Quieter options include marionettas (puppets), dolls in traditional Mexican dress and who wouldn’t love a mini skull necklace?
Wood Carvings and Artifacts
Mexican folk art holds a rich tradition of items made of various materials with multi purposes from decoration to creations used for celebrations and religious rites.
The traditionally made items are referred to in Mexican Spanish as ‘artesania’. The term refers to arts and crafts created with traditional methods rather than off an assembly line.
Watch for unique items not seen in other stalls in the market. Hand made or not these colorful Mexican souvenirs are easy to get back home and great conversation starters with guests.
Jewelry the special find of souvenir shopping Mexico
Turquoise, leather and silver jewelry can be found in abundance in Mexico souvenir shops. The pretty items are popular Mexico souvenirs. In some areas of Mexico black coral is sold.
A word of caution to not buy any as it is endangered and you may have adventures with the customs agents should it be found in your possession. Avoid tortoise shell for similar reasons and for the sake of the poor tortoise.
Mexican food as a souvenir
Harvested in the states of Oaxaca, Verzcruz and Chiapas, coffee beans make not only a delicious souvenir but a non breakable one. Perfect for packing in corners of suitcases, the organic java is a happy traveling companion.
Mole paste is best found at authentic local markets however may be more challenging to get through your country’s customs. Be sure to check regulations prior to transporting this tasty Mexican souvenir. Vanilla is another commonly sold Mexican product which any baking fan at home will be thrilled to receive.
Whether you are looking for souvenirs in Mexico City or the best place to buy tequila in Cancun our suggestion is to do some research. Talking to locals and getting suggestions will help you arrive home with the best souvenirs Mexico had to offer.
Until not so long ago, I avoided souvenir shopping when traveling like the Bubonic plague. Then I found Kristin who has the most amazing travel site called Souvenir Finder. Kristin can tell you the best thing to buy in most any country, what is legal to purchase, where to get it and best of all how to get home.
Do you have a favorite souvenir you like to bring home from your travels? Can you suggest what souvenirs to buy in Mexico?
Now a Mexico souvenir from me to you for those of you on Pinterest.