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Shopping in Cancun: Coral Negro Flea Market

©istockphoto/ncognet0

©istockphoto/ncognet0

In Cancun, located in the hotel zone right on Kukulcan Blvd. near all the big nightclubs, this market is where you can get all those souvenirs you’ve been wanting to bring back home.

Easy Access
If you’re staying along the hotel zone shopping is just an easy bus ride away. No need to take a cab; they charge way too much for what is a quick, cheap and easy bus ride. The buses are well marked for the hotel zone and run every few minutes. For less than a buck you can get to all the shopping or bar-hopping you want.

There are Malls, Then There are Flea Markets
Cancun has shopping, that’s for sure. You can stop in at the malls where you’ll find Gucci and other top-name stores. If you want a Rolex or a Coach bag, you’ll find the real thing in the mall. If you want t-shirts, a shot glass or some in-expensive jewelry, go to the Flea Market. In Cancun Flea Markets are not full of used items like in the States. These are shopping spots that offer a wide variety of souvenirs and gifts.

Bring Your Haggling Chops
Like anywhere in Mexico, haggling over prices is part of the game. You never pay what they ask, and if you do, you’re not playing the game right. Though the prices here start out a little higher than they would in say, Playa Del Carmen, you can bargain them down in no time. Ask them to throw in a shot of Tequila and a beer and they will produce both instantly; let the haggling begin.

Jewelry
There are many shops here that have cheap or even fake stuff, so beware. You’re not getting the highest quality stuff so if you’re in the market for really high end jewelry, you may want to go to the mall. There is some nice stuff here and good deals to be found though. We got some great pieces at reasonable prices at Chiquita Bonita in the Flea Market. Their shop is nice, air-conditioned and they make their own pieces in a room above the shop. Ask to see it and meet the master and they’ll take you up the stairs.

Beware the Slow Season
We were there in October and that is right during a lull between seasons. There are not as many tourists there at that time and that translates to fewer shoppers as well. Although this should give you an opportunity to haggle even more, it also means you may be the only ones walking around. This is a problem as every vendor has spotted you the minute you enter. It gets a bit ridiculous with them seemingly fighting over your attention and practically dragging you into their shops.

You’ve Seen One. You’ve Seen Them All
As mentioned earlier, this is a souvenir spot so most shops carry the same old stuff. If you need the basic t-shirts, jewelry, shot glasses and other standard gifts, this is the place to go. You don’t really need to go into all the shops as they all seem the same after a while. We did get some great air-brushed t-shirts, some nice sapphire jewelry pieces and you can always get a shot glass thrown in, usually with a shot of Tequila in it.

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