Shopping Guide: Puerto Vallarta
As the warm months are closing and the winter temperatures creep in it is time to visit one of Mexico’s popular seaside towns. Puerto Vallarta with its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and array of shopping options, it is the perfect destination for a little get away!
boffoSHOP has put together a little shopping guide to help you explore Puerto Vallarta’s historic shopping scene! Keep in mind shopping in PV is all about native history, craftsmanship, and art. The key to a boffo shopping experience in PV is to be open to exploration and the culture. So put on your best walking shoes or pick up a rental bike and weave your way through the back streets and bargain your way through the flea markets! If you are looking for a more traditional ‘American’ shopping experience with international brands, while there are a few malls, before you head to the malls stop by one of the outdoor markets for a more authentic shopping experience!
First stop, downtown Puerto Vallarta! Take a stroll down the recently refurbished, pedestrian only, beach side promenade. Known as the malecón, here you will find unique apparel stores, art galleries, a range of eateries (from McDonalds to authentic taquerias), and souvenir stores. Malecón is well known for its evening activities and nightlife. Though street vendors are out all day, as the sun starts to set more food and souvenir vendors come to hawk their good and late night treats to the night owls. Due to the prime location of these stores and street vendors they can charge a bit more, so to find more authentic and less pricey items venture down some of the back and side streets.
By far the best part about exploring central and old town PV is finding the hidden gems on each street. In central PV head over to Hidalgo street where you will find a little store Erica Maree. Using traditional Mexican textiles and designs Erica, an Oregon native, started a little studio boutique selling handmade bags and traditional Mexican dresses designed by her but made by locals. After checking out Erica Maree and snatching one of her locally hand crafted bags just a block away is a traveler’s well kept secret eatery. El Patio de mi Casa is a tucked away restaurant that is a great place to grab a drink and enjoy some tapas or their specialty, wood-fired pizza.
Delving further into PV, take the little foot bridge at the east end of Calle Matamoros to the island splitting the Rîo Cuale and weave through the ancient trees to Isla Cuale Flea Market. Open most days from around 9am to 9pm, this is authentic open-air market shopping at its finest. From random trinkets, to leather good, fresh made tapas, and PV souvenirs you can spend hours browsing handmade goods. Vendors set their stalls up intertwined between the trees and display their handmade trinkets, fresh baked good. and sometimes artists are out painting or sculpting on the spot! Continue over to the other side of the river to Viejo Vallarta also known as the Romantic zone. Venture down Tepic where you will find handmade leather shoes, art galleries, and other studios selling Mexican handcrafted goods! Be sure to also walk down Basilio Badillo for more art galleries, craft coffee shops, and more native Mexican crafts. If the authentic open-air markets and street exploration is not for you then head to Puerto Vallarta’s largest shopping mall!
On the other end of Puerto Vallarta, closer to the airport, is the one of the larger shopping malls in the area. Galerias Vallarta hosts international brands and well know Mexican favorites a gym and a movie theater. French favorite Lacoste and surf-style giant Quicksilver are present in this shopping center. Along this stretch of PV, known as the hotel zone, you will find wholesale retail chains like Sam’s Club and Walmart. Closer the the resorts you will find a handful of international restaurant and department chains.
Puerto Vallarta has so much to offer, from vibrant and colorful flea markets to hidden gems sprinkled throughout the city you will no doubt find something that surprises and delights you! So take a break from the beach and the seaside resorts to immerse yourself in the culture and find your hidden gem!
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