After amazing days in Playa del Carmen, you’ll want to get something that remember you this incredible experience, or give a unique gift to a relative or friend. In any case, you need to look for authentic pieces that represent the Mexican culture avoiding the kitschy knick-knacks shops. Here, I come up with a list with the souvenirs and where can you get them.
Mexican Textile and Handcrafts items
The high quality of the Mexican textile is well-recognized, there are a wide variety of things you can find, its range from elegant well-crafted woven blouses to colorful implements for our houses. The 5th Avenue is full of shops of all kinds; you can see sellers with a blanket spread out showing different types of vibrant colored crafts coming from different parts of Mexico. Normally, they do not show the prices, you need to ask and considering you’re in the beaten path, the prices would a little higher.
There’s a small gift shop that worth to visit on lower 5th Avenue named Sol Jaguar, you’ll enjoy the fine craftsmanship of traditional folk art. Here, you can find ceramics, textiles, wood carving, figures among others. The prices are not low but you can see why in the high quality of theirs products.
As I mentioned in a previous post Where to buy traditional Mexican Outfits? one of my favorite shops to buy off the 5th Avenue, is El Jaguar Dorado located on 8th Street. You find so many creative pieces of arts here, that it’s difficult to decide what to buy.
Chocolate and Traditional Sweets
How people say Chocolate always the answer, no matter the question. The Mexican Chocolate is famous for its great quality. One spot that stands out among the others is the coffee shop Ah Cacao, right in the center of Playa del Carmen. Additionally of the refreshing and delicious chocolate beverages they offer, they have a selection of cacao souvenir including bars, drink mix, cookies. Also have a variety of no-edible products made of cacao like: body oil, moisturizer, soaps. It’s a perfect souvenir for that chocoholic friend.
You must not forget the full of flavors candies that Mexico is famous for, they can go from mild sweetness to spiciness, passing for a mixture of fantastic gamut of flavors. Along 5th Avenue you can find numerous sellers that offer them and they are budget-friendly. You can include: cocada (heaven sweet made by coconut and condesated milk), palanqueta, alegrias, ate or if you have bold taste you may try the tamarindo with chile sweets. Definitely it’s a conversation starter in any meal when you back home.
Xtabentun Liquors and Tequila
The Tequila is for sure the most worldwide famous Mexican liquor, so it’s totally make sense you’d like to bring your authentic sample of this spirit in your way back. You can get it from The Tequila Museum on 5th Avenue, they have a fair selection where you can choose. However, if you're looking for more options, there is a little tequileria on 1st Avenue that offer great variety at different prices. They even have some free samples.
In Playa del Carmen you can find massive liquors store that have a wide selection, the most popular among the locals is La Europea located on 5th Avenue and Constituyentes Avenue. Here you can find the Mezcal (It’s a traditional alcohol made from the maguey plant) that is becoming more and more popular, not just in Mexico. Finally, you can’t forget the local liquor of the Riviera Maya, Xtabentún. It’s a drink made from fermented honey and herbs that give it an anise flavor.
If you still have enough space in your luggage and you can get out of your mind those calm days lay down in the hammocks on the beach. So, you’d considered to buy an authentic handmade hammocks for your house. There are some shops arounf the 5th Avenue that sell them, but if you're looking for great quality at affordable price you should go to the 30 Avenue between 52 Street and 54 Street where is a shop exclusively dedicated to Hammocks called La Casa de las Hamacas (Hammocks House).
Do not forget to get your souvenirs, Playa de Carmen offers a lot of great options. You not only would be bringing colours and vibrant energy to your place, you’ll be helping the locals and conserving Playa as the paradise it is.