Puerto Vallarta Shopping Mall
Puerto Vallarta shopping is varied and plentiful. The kinds of souvenirs and items available are similar to what you will find elsewhere in Mexico, with some regional variations. Many visitors who come here are taking advantage of vacation rentals, and they are looking for stores in Puerto Vallarta that sell food and other staples that they need to cater meals for themselves. If you want to shop for food the way many Mexicans shop (buying fresh items every day), you will find a number of markets in Puerto Vallarta where you can buy fresh seafood right off the fishing boats and fresh produce grown in the nearby fertile Ameca Valley. For this, it really helps if you know some basic words in Spanish. However, this is a very cosmopolitan city, and you will also find modern supermarkets just like in the United States. You will even find very familiar stores in Puerto Vallarta like Sam’s Club and Walmart.
Most visitors look for markets in Puerto Vallarta that will net them authentic souvenirs authentic to the area. Silver mining has historically been a major industry here, and you will find wonderful handmade silver jewelry, some with turquoise and other semi precious stones. All true sterling silver is stamped with a mark. Look for a small .925 to identify good sterling silver. Before leaving home, it’s a good idea to check prices in your area for comparison. And once you’re enjoying your vacations, look at a number of different shops—don’t buy at the first place you see. Look for the better shops that often sell silver by the weight. If you’ve found a really cheap silver bargain at one of the shops lining the beaches, it is probably fake sterling.
The local Indian communities are also part of the region’s history. There are many boutiques, galleries, and other markets in Puerto Vallarta selling a variety of handcrafts made by these people. Look for masks, yarn and bead paintings, pottery and ceramics, embroidery, baskets, and even reproductions of pre-Hispanic musical instruments. You can book tours into the countryside that visit an Indian village. On these, you will be able to purchase some of the same items directly from the woman or carver who made it. These tours are available from tour operators in the city as well as in places such as Sayulita.
You can also book guided Puerto Vallarta shopping tours that take you to a number of different outlets. These tours are most common in the Old Town district, where there is a wide variety of Puerto Vallarta shops and galleries. This area is known as a center for art, and there are many well-known contemporary local painters and sculptors displayed in the galleries here. Some pieces you can purchase are museum quality.
Shopping in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta shopping in the gift shops of the better hotels provide the most convenient (and most expensive) items. Luxury hotels and resorts, in particular, are high priced. However, they also offer very fine articles. The beautiful Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita is known for its excellent quality of goods, including high fashion and fine art. The city’s colorful main flea market has dozens of stalls offering local items at more reasonable prices. Many stores in Puerto Vallarta also offer clothing. You can find good beachwear, sandals, and the trademark Panama hat almost everywhere. The best of these stores will be found along the Malecon.