What to bring as a gift from Mexico

What to bring as a gift? This perennial problem is usually bothering tourists from the first days of travel. We want to give something unusual, but special for the country and not very expensive - because every one has a lot of friends.

On this page we will publish not standard traveler's ideas what to bring as a gift.

If you can replenish our ideas - indtravel.admatgmail.com (write us) 

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Alcoholic beverages

Tequila is the Mexican vodka. As Puerto Vallarta is located in the Jalisco state, that is the main state of production of tequila, therefore there wide selection of its grades is represented. Tequila that has on bottles near the name of brand an inscription "Reposado" possesses better taste. If someone decides to buy tequila, then the Reposado is preferable to be chosen, so it is drunk more softly. "Don Julio" and "Don Fulano" are good marks of tequila. These are not cheap brands, which valued approximately 50 dollars for a bottle. But it is tasty indeed.  
Mezcal (also spelled Mescal) is not advisable for purchasing, it is similarity of tequila, but of lower rate and turns more than 50°; it is to be told, only for those who to be pleasant get drunk.
But still there is a general opinion that Tequila, Mezcal and Rompope are the best gifts for fans of alcoholic beverages. Rompope is light egg liqueur that has been traditionally prepared for a sale by nuns (they themselves are not allowed to drink it). It can be consumed as the drink, added to a baking, used for dressing fruit salads and coffee - it gives pleasant taste and flavour. Its degree is quite little and taste is originally unique and soft.
To fans of liqueur can be also advised for buying coffee liqueur Kahlua, someone may personally be fond of this liquor more than Rompope (that made of eggs and consequently reminding by something sweet egg flip, known as Gogol-Mogol).

In addition very beautiful small wine glasses for Tequila, which slightly bigger on size then similar glass caps for the vodka, can be offered as a keepsake to connoisseurs of the beverage. On markets named as "Artesanias" can be found copas(it is a Hispanic name that means "wine glasses") made of thick glass and designed in traditional Mexican style.


There are traditional brands of coffee. In regard to coffee can be advised trademark Marinela, it is not so over roasted as other coffee, although, certainly, it is on the personal preference.


A vial of Mexican sauce can be taken for a tasting as a sample (that can not be hotter). 
In the north, in Nuevo Leon it is needed to taste cabrito that is roasted goat kid; and as a gift to purchase candies Glorias – made from goat's milk with walnuts.
Some tourists were observed while buying liquid vanillin in small bottles, it is said that it is especial.


There are local sweets, such as "alegrias", "borrachitos", candied fruit, macaroons with related almond cookies and great number of another confectioneries. 
If someone is fond of sweets, then Cocadas (these are sweets made from coconut shavings in a peel of a green lemon)can be recommended for purchasing; only choose those that are softer. 
In some opinion chocolate is not advised for carrying; although Mexico is the motherland of chocolate, it’s preparing here seemingly has not been done enough well.
There are variety of sweets made from candied fruit and caramel with the hot pepper, but there is a likelihood that having bought it you just will waste your money assets, as it is not on our taste.

Garments, concomitant accessories and textiles

Local ladies and gent’s clothes made of natural fabrics possess very high quality and original style. 
There are available sombreros of different sizes and colourings made of straw and velvet. 
As more expensive gifts can be recommend things from a shop "Pineda Covalin": silk scarves, ties et cetera - Mexican motifs and excellent quality. 
Shawls of various colourings (these are not of low rate, but very beautiful) can be found in large shops Monterrey
Rebozos are such multicoloured shawls, which can be used as a tablecloth, capes on an armchair, a coverlet and so forth as well.
Very warm ponchos weaved from a bright yarn (can be useful during night moving by buses).
There are very beautiful blouses embroidered by local Indian ladies; they wattle also bags and hats from branches of palm trees.
Very beautiful linen clothes embroidered by natives of Maya can be bought for a presentation in Yucatan (Cancun).
National man's shirts, under the name guayaveras (guayaberas) made from linen or cotton fabric that is called Manta, are of different colourings, some with embroidery and very pleasant to a look and wearing.
There are textiles (tablecloths, serviettes) made from fibres of agave.
Coverlets made from local fabrics (uipil, sarape, rebozo) are also available.
Products of embroideresses such as napkins, tablecloths, garments there are in shops. These goods possess embroidery and richelieu that more often white on white, but there are coloured as well. It looks very beautifully, but those not that have been sold at souvenir markets for tourists. Tourists, as a rule, go on a see shore.
If there is a possibility to visit Guadalajara, then the central market San Juan de Dios (something like Vietnamese in Moscow) is advised for having a look. There is wide selection of textiles with American Indian’s embroidery, T-shirts, hats etc. The market is orientated on local population, so prices are normal. But the most important thing, find trade lines with wares for vaquero (Mexican name of a cowboy), if you take an interest in riding - buy there tremendous accessories (by the way, intended for a long usage); if not, then embroidered by a filament of agave (it does not burn and not fray) or silver and gold wire with a decorative pattern or plots (that is more expensive, therefore it is needed to bargain) straps can be purchased as well.


Hammocks have been proposed for buying as a gift to someone at every step. 
Hammocks from the Campeche state are of different colourings, but the most stylish and glamorous those are made from white cotton with tassels.

Commodities with calendars of Aztecs and Maya

There is available a calendar of Aztecs. 
Tablecloths with the calendar of Maya or a wall calendar can be got too.
Unique ceramics (such as dishes, vases, a patterned panel with a calendar of Maya) also are charming gifts.


There are very beautiful (and cheap) drawings and paintings on a special paper ("Papel Amate") made from the rubber plant. 
Seashells can be found in abundance.
At a coast there are a lot of decorations on the marine theme made of corals and cockleshells.
On the coast Acapulco have been sold beautiful Mobil de caracol (cockleshells on threads of different length as a spiral) and caskets decorated with cockleshells. 
Bijouterie of handwork is offered by local craftswomen everywhere. They speak on a local dialect, but in regard to prices understand everything!
There are spheres from a grass, grains and coffee
Masks related to national holidays, depending on a region, can be found very extravagant. They are better for buying in small shops, where have been sold wares, which are not at a production line. There are also masks made of nephrite, turquoise, mother of pearl.
Puerto Vallarta is a city ashore the Pacific Ocean that is annually visited by up to four millions tourists from America, Canada and other parts of Mexico. Here is "eternal" summer. Traditional wares made of ceramics, masks, statuettes, sombreros, products from a beads, goods made of a carpentry ornamental stone in silver and simply from gemstones and minerals, such as lazurite, turquoise, malachite, variety of agate, coral, mother of pearl, opal are offered to tourists as souvenirs.
Here is to you reference a market, where souvenirs have been bought as a keepsake: 
If you have arrived to Mexico through the Mexico City (that almost for certain), then you are advised not to wander all day on the city in search of souvenirs, but depart at once to shop Buenavista (it is the biggest shop of souvenirs in Latin America), which is located in one quarter from the tube station Buenavista; there you will be able to purchase a souvenir, practically, on any taste and purse. Things (masks, chess, figurines) made of onyx, obsidian, silver, beads, iron tree are rather quite good. 
There are collection figurines of mariachi. Mariachis are musicians, which sing serenades and other songs. They can be met in the centre of every town. They carry with themselves all necessary musical instruments; usually there are 8-10 persons, sometimes more. In general, it is as a small orchestra. Not single Mexican holiday has been performed without mariachi. 
Trinkets with scorpions are wonderful souvenirs too.  
In many small and medium towns lovely handiworks can be bought. For example in Tepoztlan, there are charming candles. These candles are poured in miniature boxes done from peels of different fruit, for example mandarine. It looks very beautifully and elegantly. Candles have aroma of that fruit in which peel they are. The smell remains extra long time. 
It is also possible to find vessels for storage of some things and stuff (such as bijouterie, grains, and all that pleasant to a soul, but the main thing it should not be damp), done from a pumpkin and covered by enamel with an original drawing in a local colouring. They can be found in Temalacatzingo, state Guerrero.
In the rest - it is the most easier to go on the nearest market of needlework wares and fancy articles (Mercado de Artesanias) and select that will be pleasant; usually it is inexpensive and on a considerable quantity discounts have been done, bargaining is more than pertinent! It is better to go along with someone from local; otherwise for "gueros" (fair-skinned) or "gringos" (foreigners) prices sometimes are lifted nearly twice.
It is always needed to bargain. Especially if you are not accompanied by someone from local natives, and you do not speak Spanish. But in this way it is recommended to keep politeness and to show respect towards a seller. Even in the capital centre price lists on commodities rarely can be observed in shops. Therefore price in many respects depends on behaviour of a buyer.

Leather wares

There are amazing leather products (jackets, knee-boots, whips, cases for guns, knives, glasses, caskets upholstered with a skin et al). 
Good merchandises made from an ordinary skin - jackets, bags, straps can be purchased at local markets, which are named "fayuca". Belts made from snakeskin can be got too.
City Leon Guanajuato is famous for the leather haberdashery, leather footwear of good value. 
Bijouterie, presented by wares made of skin looks very attractively.

Wares made of stones

There are stone statuettes of Gods (for example, figurines of Tlaloc, who is Aztec God of rain).
Souvenirs made of the volcanic stone are offered too. There can be got statuettes of gods or figurines of some ladies and men made of the volcanic stone that is known as obsidian (also lava stone, volcanic glass), encrusted by nacre (mother of pearl) and semiprecious stones. 
Masks made of nephrite, turquoise, nacre attract a look.
Ritual Aztec knives with edge made of the obsidian and handle as a head of eagle can be bought as well.
There are available also merchandise done of ornamental stones in silver and goods of such gemstones as lazurit, turquoise, malachite, variety of agate, coral, mother of pearl, opal and so on.

Ornaments made of precious and semiprecious gemstones

There are lovely decorations made from onyx.
Mexican opals, which are expensive, even in Mexico, available as well. Wares with Australian opals can be found in abundance too. It is very beautiful expensive stone. There are opals of dark blue, green, blue, red-orange and milky-white colours. Rest of stones (such as turquoise, corals) and pearls vice versa are very cheap and quite accessible.
Tourists from the USA buy diamonds, it is said that here the cheapest. 
But also it is needed to pay attention that in some places brilliants are more expensive than in States.
In some shops can be purchased fine products with tanzanite. It is very rare and beautiful stone. 
There are ladies decorations made of natural and rare stone that is named "aserina" – these hand-made articles are very beautiful and not so expensive. But it is on a personal liking.
Amber of different colours there are in abundance in the state Chiapas - from yellow to green and red.
Bijouterie, especially wares made of skin and semiprecious stones, and even from the volcanic lava, attracts a look too.
In the Mexico City (in centre Zocalo) there are a lot of shops where materials for costume jewellery making, by own hands, have been sold! A wide choice is there! Here is one address of such shops: the Centre, metro station Zocalo, street Uruguay, N 117, 119, 125, 127 (Uruguay #117, #119, #125, #127 Centro, Mexico).


Any varied silver products (ringlets, chains, necklaces, bracelets, etc., there are also, for example, wonderful statuettes) can be cheaply purchased in Mexico.
Silver wares are the best of all to be bought in Taxco, state of Guerrero; it is a city of silver and local skilled craftsmen have been made all souvenirs of this metal. There are plenty small shops in the centre, designed now and then very unexpectedly, as a cave (of Ali Baba, probably)! Articles and decorations are offered on different taste (eyes just run up), all items relatively are not expensive, of course, if it is not a souvenir that contains few kilograms of silver (such can be observed too)!
In Guadalajara district of San Pedro Tlaquepaque that also known as Tlaquepaque or simply San Pedro (any taxi-driver will give a lift to) is advised for visiting; it is the best place to purchase products of artisans (of the high quality), works of art and silver (especially designed). It is truth that prices are not lowest, as during last few years, tourists arrive more and more, but products are the best and collected at one place.

Metal wares and stamping

In the north of Mexico Mexicans propose to buy very beautiful metal wares - the sun with rays and yaguana.
In the north there is also wide selection of stamping and products made of copper.


There offered painted wooden figurines of unknown to the science miracle - animals of different size, which are called "alebrijes". In these figures motifs from myths of Mexico are usually presented.
There are excellent caskets: wooden, upholstered with a skin and so on. 
In general, in every region there is something unique. Very beautiful wooden articles, which are inlaid with beads, can be purchased in Puerto Vallarta at the souvenir market. 
There is an opinion that such items rather have been exhibited nowhere, as it is a product of local folk creativity.
But according other opinion - Huichol, an indigenous ethnic group of western central Mexico that is not live in Puerto Vallarta, does woodworks, encrusted with beads. Their wares were observed in Mexico City as well.
Wooden figurines of dolphins are remarkable gift too. 
Local American Indian ladies have been also wattled bags and hats from branches of palm trees.


Unique ceramics (dishes, vases, a picture with the calendar of Maya) are excellent presents.
Similarly there are for sale colourful ceramic figurines, which are hung up on a wall: lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, snails et cetera (very likable pieces); in a province some facades of private houses are decorated with those features! It looks remarkably, as figurines are big enough, i.e. 30-40 centimetres. 

Commodities forbidden for an export

Souvenirs made from feathers of birds Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) or of turtles, are illegal in Mexico, as well as any archaeological exhibits. Except fines, can be got serious term of imprisonment. 
In regard to varieties of Mexican cactuses it is needed to pay attention that on international rules transporting of plants is prohibited, therefore recommendation concerning cactuses is not suitable.
For export of cactuses and sea sand (from Cancun) on you will be imposed penalty in a lump sum (of course, if find on the customs), therefore it is not advised for taking out.
Commodities made of turtle armours; living tortoises, alligators and products done from hide of jaguars also will be confiscated on arrival in many countries

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