A duo holiday in Cancun and Merida is an ideal holiday combo, you get the gorgeous beach holiday you’ve been dreaming of, plus a vast array of cultural experiences, all within one region of Mexico. One of my favorite things to do in Mexico is to go shopping at a traditional market where you can find great bargains on pottery, hammocks, masks, traditional clothing and textiles. It’s fun way to get fully immersed in the culture of Mexico.
Market Shopping in Cancun and Merida
Mexican markets are wonderful places, full of life and color. Both Cancun and Merida have vibrant traditional markets where you can shop ‘til you drop. Cancun’s Marcardo or Market 28 is large, chaotic and at times overwhelming, my kind of place. It’s easy to get to from the hotel strip (take the R2 or R15 Bus and ask the driver to let you off at Marcado 28).
In Merida, the region south of Calle 65, east of Calle 60 is the main market area of the city, with Mercado San Benito and Mercado Lucas de Galvéz being the best known.
Shopping at a Mexican market can be a fun or frustrating experience, here’s some tips to make the best of day at the market.
1. Be prepared to BARGAIN! Learn the art of walking away and you may score some great deals. Market sellers haggle, go with the flow, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the challenge!
2. Know your prices. Know the fair market value for tequila, hammocks, blankets, pottery, jewelry etc. before heading to the market.
3. Pay with cash, never EVER hand over your credit card when dealing with street vendors. Carry small bills, ones and fives; making change is not a priority for vendors.
4. Pay with pesos, and know your conversion rates. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to bargain the price of most items to a 1/3 to 1/2 of the original asking price, remember tip #1 and if they do not give in, just continue walking.
5. Would you buy ‘top-quality’ jewelry at a flea market at home? Same in Mexico.
Disclosure: As part of a sponsorship agreement with Transat Holidays, the airline asked me to talk about my favorite activities in Mexico and to explore the many benefits of a dual vacation experience in Cancun and Merida.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Transat Holidays.