Puerto Vallarta

It's hard to decide which is more satisfying: shopping in Puerto Vallarta, or feasting at its glorious restaurants. There are enough of both to keep a bon vivant busy for weeks. But while gourmands return home with enlarged waistlines, gluttonous shoppers need an extra suitcase for the material booty they bring home.

Puerto Vallarta's highest concentration of shops and restaurants shares the same prime real estate: El Centro. But as construction of hotels, time-shares, condos, and private mansions marches implacably north up the bay, new specialty stores and gourmet groceries follow the gravy train. To the south, the Costalegre is made up primarily of modest seaside towns and self-contained luxury resorts, and shopping opportunities are rare.

More than a half-dozen malls line "the airport road," Boulevard Francisco M. Ascencio, which connects downtown with the Hotel Zone and Marina Vallarta. There you'll find folk art, resort clothing, and home furnishing stores amid supermarkets, and in some cases bars and banks. Galerías Vallarta is the largest of these shopping malls and by far the most sophisticated. Here you will find some of the most exclusive boutiques in town, an ultra-modern gym, stylish beauty salon, a casino, a food court, and a movie theater complex.

A 15% value-added tax (locally called IVA, officially the impuesto al valor agregado) is levied on most larger purchases. (Note that it's often included in the price, and it's usually disregarded entirely by market vendors.) As a foreign visitor, you can reclaim this 15% by filling out paperwork at a kiosk in the Puerto Vallarta airport and other major airports around the country. That said, most visitors find the system tedious and unrewarding and avoid it altogether. You must make purchases at approved stores and businesses, and your merchandise must total $115 or more. Even if you plan to pay with cash or a debit card, you must present a credit card at the time of purchase and obtain a receipt and an official refund form from the merchant. Tax paid on meals and lodgings won't be refunded.

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  • 1. Cassandra Shaw Jewelry

    It's hard to ignore the huge, chunky rings, bracelets, and necklaces here. In the back of the shop there are more delicate items of pure...

    It's hard to ignore the huge, chunky rings, bracelets, and necklaces here. In the back of the shop there are more delicate items of pure silver set with various stones in artful ways. All are unusual.

    Calle Basilio Badillo 276, 48380, Mexico
    322-223–9734
  • 2. Galería de Ollas

    The 300 or so potters from the village of Mata Ortiz add their touches to the intensely—sometimes hypnotically—geometric designs of their ancestors from Paquimé. At...

    The 300 or so potters from the village of Mata Ortiz add their touches to the intensely—sometimes hypnotically—geometric designs of their ancestors from Paquimé. At this shop pieces range from about $60 to $10,000, with an average of about $400. Stop in during an afternoon walk through downtown.

    Calle Corona 176, 48300, Mexico
    322-223--1045
  • 3. Gallería Dante

    Classical, contemporary, and abstract works are displayed and sold in this 6,000-square-foot gallery—PV's largest—and sculpture garden. Check out the marvelous large-format paintings of Indigenous people...

    Classical, contemporary, and abstract works are displayed and sold in this 6,000-square-foot gallery—PV's largest—and sculpture garden. Check out the marvelous large-format paintings of Indigenous people in regional costumes by Juana Cortez Salazar, whimsical statues by Guillermo Gómez, and the work of nearly 60 other talented artists. 

    Calle Basilio Badillo 269, 48380, Mexico
    322-222–2477

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 4. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Farmers' Market

    This is arguably the best farmers' market in the whole Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit region. It offers a balanced combination of good quality Mexican handicrafts and...

    This is arguably the best farmers' market in the whole Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit region. It offers a balanced combination of good quality Mexican handicrafts and jewelry, as well as clothes, lamps, hammocks, cigars, organic products, and lots of delicious food. Everything is in a delightful environment with stunning views of the Marina Riviera Nayarit and Banderas Bay, and there's live music. It makes for a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

    Marina, 63734, Mexico
  • 5. Myskova Beachwear Boutique

    This boutique has its own extensive line of bikinis, cover-ups, yoga pants, and some items for children (including sunglasses, bathing suits, flip-flops). There's a small...

    This boutique has its own extensive line of bikinis, cover-ups, yoga pants, and some items for children (including sunglasses, bathing suits, flip-flops). There's a small line of jewelry, and Brazilian flip-flops for adults in a rainbow of colors.

    Calle Basilio Badillo 278, 48300, Mexico
    322-222--6091
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  • 6. Peyote People

    El Centro | Crafts

    Here the Huichol are treated as a people, not a product. At their downtown Vallarta shop, the owners— a Mexican-Canadian couple—are happy to...

    Here the Huichol are treated as a people, not a product. At their downtown Vallarta shop, the owners— a Mexican-Canadian couple—are happy to share with customers their wealth of info about Huichol art and culture. They work with just a few farming families, providing all the materials and then paying for the finished products, amazing and colorful handicrafts that represent the most sacred elements of their culture. Huichol imagery is so colorful because they actually see these images when they eat peyote, an hallucinogenic cactus, as part of their religious rituals.

    Calle Juárez 222, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, 68300, Mexico
    322-222–2302

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Weekdays 10–8, weekends 10–6
  • 7. Sergio Bustamante

    Internationally known Sergio Bustamante—the creator of life-size brass, copper, and ceramic animals, mermaids, suns, and moons—has a team of artisans to execute his never-ending pantheon...

    Internationally known Sergio Bustamante—the creator of life-size brass, copper, and ceramic animals, mermaids, suns, and moons—has a team of artisans to execute his never-ending pantheon of creative and quirky objets d'art, such as pots shaped like human torsos (which sell for more than $1,000). Paintings, purses, shoes, and jewelry are sold here as well.

    Av. Juárez 275, 48300, Mexico
    322-223--1405

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 8. Xocodiva

    Exquisite truffles and molded chocolates are all stylishly arranged on immaculate glass shelves at this classic Canadian chocolatier. The chocolate itself is European; among the...

    Exquisite truffles and molded chocolates are all stylishly arranged on immaculate glass shelves at this classic Canadian chocolatier. The chocolate itself is European; among the different mousse fillings are some New World ingredients, including lime, coconut, cinnamon, Kahlúa, espresso, and a few dozen more. Stop by after dinner for a fab dessert. During holidays, out come the molded Santas or Day of the Dead skulls, some packaged as pretty gifts.

    Calle Aquiles Serdan 369, 48380, Mexico
    322-113–0352

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 9. A Page in the Sun

    Folks read books they've bought or traded at this outdoor café by the Hotel Eloísa, and there are almost always people playing chess. The large...

    Folks read books they've bought or traded at this outdoor café by the Hotel Eloísa, and there are almost always people playing chess. The large selection of tomes is organized according to genre and then alphabetized by author.

    Calle Lázaro Cárdenas 179, 48380, Mexico
    322-222–3608
  • 10. Alfarería Tlaquepaque

    This is a large store with a ton of red-clay items traditional to the area—in fact, their predecessors were crafted before the 1st century AD....

    This is a large store with a ton of red-clay items traditional to the area—in fact, their predecessors were crafted before the 1st century AD. Rustic pottery and glazed ceramic pieces come in traditional styles at reasonable prices.

    Av. México 1100, 48350, Mexico
    322-223–2121

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 11. Ancestral

    Ancestral sells local handicrafts and Mexican products of Nahuatl (ancient Aztec) origin. You can even buy beautifully hand-painted bull skulls. From time to time, they...

    Ancestral sells local handicrafts and Mexican products of Nahuatl (ancient Aztec) origin. You can even buy beautifully hand-painted bull skulls. From time to time, they also offer workshops and embroidery, painting, and Nahuatl-language classes.

    Calle Jalisco 4, Mexico
    315-355--0142
  • 12. D'Paola

    Clothing

    ...

    Paradise Plaza, Local 11–A, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, 63732, Mexico
    322-297–1030
  • 13. El Gato Gordo

    Since 2005, El Gato Gordo has been providing locals and visitors alike with the finest selection of Habanos and Cuban cigars in town. Be ready...

    Since 2005, El Gato Gordo has been providing locals and visitors alike with the finest selection of Habanos and Cuban cigars in town. Be ready to spend, as these top-quality cigars sell at over $300 individually and up to $16,000 by the box.

    Av. Olas Altas 414, Mexico
    322-105–3508

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 14. Galeria Cerroblanco

    Zona Romántica | Art Gallery

    This contemporary gallery features fine pieces of jewelry, clothing, painting, and sculpture. Every artwork is from a renowned artist, such...

    This contemporary gallery features fine pieces of jewelry, clothing, painting, and sculpture. Every artwork is from a renowned artist, such as Italian Alessandro Alpiani or Mexican Rodrigo Lara.

    Basilio Badillo 274, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, 48380, Mexico
    322-222–4169
  • 15. Galería Indígena

    The assortment of handicrafts here is huge: Huichol yarn paintings and beaded bowls and statuettes, real Talavera ceramics from Puebla, decorative pieces in painted wood,...

    The assortment of handicrafts here is huge: Huichol yarn paintings and beaded bowls and statuettes, real Talavera ceramics from Puebla, decorative pieces in painted wood, and many other items. 

    Av. Juárez 628, 48300, Mexico
    322-223--0800

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 16. Galería Pacífico

    Open since 1987, Pacífico features the sculpture of Ramiz Barquet, who created the bronze Nostalgia piece on the malecón. Brewster Brockmann paints contemporary abstracts; Marco...

    Open since 1987, Pacífico features the sculpture of Ramiz Barquet, who created the bronze Nostalgia piece on the malecón. Brewster Brockmann paints contemporary abstracts; Marco Alvarez, Alejandro Mondria, and Alfredo Langarica are other featured artists. During the summer months the gallery can be visited only by appointment.

    Calle Aldama 174, 48300, Mexico
    322-222–1982

    Shop Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 17. Galerías Vallarta

    This is the main shopping mall in the whole Puerto Vallarta–Riviera Nayarit area, offering 73,000 square feet of shopping on two floors and a magnificent...

    This is the main shopping mall in the whole Puerto Vallarta–Riviera Nayarit area, offering 73,000 square feet of shopping on two floors and a magnificent view of the arriving cruise ships. This mall and the surrounding shops are mainly visited by cruise-ship passengers and Mexican out-of-towners looking for everything from sporting goods to clothing and housewares. Galerías Vallarta has restaurants, parking, a 12-theater cinema, and a fast-food court with the ubiquitous McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, Chili's, and Starbucks.

    Av. Francisco Medina Ascencio 2920, 48338, Mexico
    322-209--0923
  • 18. Galerías Vallarta

    Marina Vallarta | Shopping Centers/Malls

    This is the main shopping mall in the whole Puerto Vallarta–Riviera Nayarit area, offering 73,000 square feet of shopping distributed on two...

    This is the main shopping mall in the whole Puerto Vallarta–Riviera Nayarit area, offering 73,000 square feet of shopping distributed on two floors and a magnificent view of the arriving cruise ships. This mall and the surrounding shops are mainly visited by cruise-ship passengers and Mexican out-of-towners looking for everything from sporting goods to clothing to housewares. Galerías Vallarta has two escalators; restaurants; parking; a 12-theater cinema; and a fast-food court with the ubiquitous McDonald's, Dominos Pizza, Chili's, and Starbucks (it also has the most slippery polished-stone flooring known to man).

    Av. Francisco M. Ascencio 2920, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, 48354, Mexico
    01800-288–0888
  • 19. Hikuri

    Riviera Nayarit | Crafts

    Near the north end of Banderas Bay, Hikuri is run by a British couple who pay asking prices to their Huichol suppliers and employ indigenous...

    Near the north end of Banderas Bay, Hikuri is run by a British couple who pay asking prices to their Huichol suppliers and employ indigenous workers in the adjoining carpentry and screen-printing shops. The workers initially have little or no experience, and the training and jobs here give them a leg up to move on to more profitable work. The excellent inventory includes large and small fine yarn paintings, beaded bowls and jewelry, and feathered prayer wands. An on-site patio restaurant called Abalón (closed Wednesday and 2–6 pm) is another good reason to visit, for its international dishes and sometimes live music.

    Calle Coral 66A, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, 63732, Mexico
    329-295–5367
  • 20. Jan Marie's Boutique

    The gift items here include small housewares and tin frames sporting Botero-style paintings. The classy selection of Talavera pottery is both decorative and utilitarian. An...

    The gift items here include small housewares and tin frames sporting Botero-style paintings. The classy selection of Talavera pottery is both decorative and utilitarian. An extension half a block down the street has an even larger inventory including leather settees, lamps, desks, and other furnishings as well as pieces from various parts of Mexico. Neither shop is for bargain hunters, but prices are reasonable given the high quality.

    Calle Lázaro Cárdenas 56 and 58, 63732, Mexico
    329-298–0303

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