Be warned, this market is not for the faint of heart. Any peso-pinching traveller should be prepared to wheel-and-deal while shopping at this overwhelming market. Excited tourists looking to bring home Mexico-inspired trinkets are outnumbered by the eager sellers armed with whimsical sales pitches that seal the deal. Though there are rows upon rows of souvenir style t-shirts, baseball caps and keychains, the trained shopper will easily spot the unique gems in this market from a distance.
Those colourful, handcrafted jewellery pieces that they sell at overpriced hipster stores in the mall can be found in equally beautiful colours – for a fraction of the price – at Mercado 28. Before entering this massive flea market, shoppers should have their spending limit set and stick to their budget no matter what. Uncertainty is smelled from a mile away and these vendors know how to sell. It doesn’t take too much to while the day away in this market. After bartering with vendors for dazzlingly unique pieces, most visitors end up at one of the taco stands for a much-needed shopping break.
Mercado 28, Av. Xel-ha, Mz. 13, SM 28, Cancún, Mexico +52 01 998 892 4303
As the oldest handcraft market in Cancun, Ki Huic is calmer than some of the neighbouring markets in the area. Striking colours and vibrant fabrics surround this market as over 100 local artisans await purchases from savvy tourists. Ki Huic is definitely the market to check out for the discerning tourist seeking something with more local flavour than an ‘I Heart Cancun‘ t-shirt. The crafts here proudly and gracefully demonstrate the heritage of the region. The rich culture and history of the area shines through in the goods sold here.
Away from the master-planned resorts of Cancun’s hotel district, Mercado 23 offers up a unique experience. A jaunt through its aisles offers a glimpse into an authentic Mexican market experience. Local goods, fresh produce and handmade crafts are available in abundance. The pulse of the area can be felt as the locals mosey through with baskets of fresh strawberries and papayas. Unlike some of the other downtown markets, shoppers can feel a bit more at ease roaming around without being pushed to buy souvenirs. This laid-back attitude makes shopping at Mercado 23 easy and appealing to all travellers.