Shop ’till You Drop!
Many visitors used to fly to Canada to get the best deals and steals, but the plummeting dollar now makes it difficult to rationalize the exchange rate. Shopping in Mexico can be both a science and an art.
If you’ve booked flights to Puerto Vallarta, you’ve realize the various outlets and ways to shop. Here are some treasures you can stock up on if you’re in town.
Get Acquainted with the new Vallarta Shopping Directory: This online repository has an extensive listing of the stores and contains both generic descriptions (e.g. Mexican Gallery) to the more precise (e.g. Mata Ortiz ceramics). Getting acquainted with the directory and type of stores can save you a lot of time and hassle before you start your shopping spree.
Don’t Visit Only the Main Streets: Many of the best shopping spots including art galleries and stores are not only found on the main streets in the downtown and Southside of Puerto Vallarta. Sometimes, a visit to the lesser known streets can yield treasures that may surprise you.
Set a Budget: The current U.S. Dollar/Mexican Peso exchange rate is 13.48 (so a single dollar yields about 13.50 pesos, so budget accordingly. While shopping for souvenirs is often an impulse purchase, setting some limits can help you get more bang for the buck, especially if you’re a value shopper.
Invest in Authentic Items: It’s hard to know what are the genuine goods and which are imitations but chances are visits to tried and true stores who have salesmen who really know what they’re talking about will help steer you in the right direction. This is where homework and a bit of prep work can yield rewards. You definitely want to make sure that ceramic piece of artwork or oil painting you paid a lot of money for is the genuine item. Galeria Uno, for example specifically prides itself for selling only 100% authentic paintings, graphics and sculptures.
Take Your Time: Much as you may want to do an impulse purchase, take some time to get to know the lay of the land, and then come back for round two where you do actual transaction. If you’re a first time visitor, chances are every store will seem like a worthy point of visit. It pays to savor and revisit.