Cancún

The centros comerciales (malls) in Cancún are fully air-conditioned and as well kept as similar establishments in the United States or Canada. Like their northerly counterparts, they also sell just about everything: designer clothing, beachwear (including raunchy T-shirts aimed at the Spring Break crowd), sportswear, jewelry, music, electronics, household items, shoes, and books. Some even have the same terrible mall food that’s standard north of the border. Prices are fixed in shops. They're also generally—but not always—higher than in the markets, where bargaining is a given. Perfumes in Cancún are considerably less expensive than at home (and even than at the duty-free shops at the airport). Of course tequila is a bargain here as well, but make sure you buy at the supermarket rather than at a souvenir shop.

There are many duty-free stores selling designer goods at reduced prices, sometimes as much as 30% or 40% below retail. You can find handwoven textiles, leather goods, and handcrafted silver jewelry, although prices are higher than in other cities and the selection is limited.

Monday through Saturday, shopping hours are generally 10–1 and 4–7, although more stores are staying open throughout the day rather than closing for siesta. Many are now opening on Sunday afternoon as well. Centros comerciales tend to be open daily from 9 or 10 am to 8 or 9 pm. If all that shopping leaves you feeling frazzled, you’re in luck. With wall-to-wall resorts lining Cancún’s coastline, competition among spas pushes the limits on pampering. From gemstone-treatments to hydrotherapy circuits and wine-and-caviar facials, expect to be treated like royalty.

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  • 1. La Isla Shopping Village

    Zona Hotelera

    The glittering, ultratrendy, and ultraexpensive La Isla Shopping Village is on the Laguna Nichupté under chic, white canopies. A series of canals and small bridges...Read More

  • 2. Mercado 28

    El Centro

    Mercado Veintiocho is Cancún's largest open-air market. In addition to a few small restaurants, it has about 100 stalls where you can buy many of...Read More

  • 3. Chedraui

    El Centro

    With several locations in El Centro, this popular superstore—think a Mexico-wide version of Walmart—has a large selection of local and American products....Read More

  • 4. Coral Negro

    Zona Hotelera

    Next to the convention center, this open-air market has about 50 stalls selling crafts and souvenirs. Everything here is overpriced, and vendors are pushy; however,...Read More

  • 5. Forum Cancún

    Zona Hotelera

    This three-level entertainment and shopping plaza in the Zona features brand-name restaurants, upscale clothing boutiques, a food court, and chain stores, all in a circus-like...Read More

  • 6. Mega Comercial Mexicana

    El Centro

    One of the major Mexican grocery-store chains, Mega Comercial Mexicana has multiple locations. The most convenient is at Avenidas Tulum and Uxmal, across from the...Read More

  • 7. Mercado Veintitres

    El Centro

    If Mercado Veintiocho is El Centro’s large local Mexican crafts market, Mercado Veintitres goes more local still. Here’s where the typical Cancunese comes to shop...Read More

  • 8. Plaza Caracol

    Zona Hotelera

    North of the convention center, the two-story Plaza Caracol has chain stores, souvenir shops, jewelry boutiques, and pharmacies. If you work up an appetite, it...Read More

  • 9. Plaza Flamingo

    Zona Hotelera

    Around 80 shops that sell mainly clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs fill this small mall, but the Outback Steakhouse and Bubba Gump restaurants are the main...Read More

  • 10. Plaza Kukulcán

    Zona Hotelera

    This mall has about 30 shops and restaurants. The mall also hosts art exhibits and other cultural events. While parents shop, kids can enjoy the...Read More

  • 11. Plaza la Fiesta

    Zona Hotelera

    Near the convention center, Plaza la Fiesta has 20,000 square feet of showroom space and more than 100,000 different products for sale. Offering probably the...Read More

  • 12. Plaza Las Américas

    El Centro

    This is the largest shopping center in downtown Cancún. Its 100-plus shops, three restaurants, two movie theaters, video arcade, fast-food outlets, and several big department...Read More

  • 13. Súper Akí

    El Centro

    This is a smaller grocery store downtown....Read More

  • 14. Dorfman's Art Gallery

    Zona Hotelera

    Dorfman's Art Gallery features Mayan-inspired and environmentally-themed sculptures and paintings by local artists and brothers Renato and Adán Dorfman....Read More

  • 15. El Pabilo

    El Centro

    This downtown café showcases Mexican painters and photographers on a rotating basis. It's open only in the evening, Monday through Saturday from 5 pm to...Read More

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