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Shopping and Art Galleries in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Once you've been to Puerto Vallarta, it should come as no surprise that many of Vallarta's visitors are here mainly to SHOP.

 

We offer incredible original art, beautiful handicrafts, stylish clothing,and of course lots of silver jewelry!

This is your guide to find what you're looking for; click on any merchant's name (in bold) to link to their web page.


Galería Mata Ortiz is a small elegant gallery who exhibit and sell the Exquisite Mata Ortiz Pottery, the finest pieces of pottery in Mexico, and possibly in the world. Visit us in Viejo Vallarta ('old town') to see the most exquisite collection of this exquisite art pottery.

The shopping scene in Vallarta generally takes place in small independently-owned stores rather than in large impersonal malls. Downtown (‘El Centro’) and Viejo Vallarta (the ‘old town’ just south of Downtown) are the primary centers of commerce. The beach-walk malecòn downtown is lined with stores, but some of the more unique are on the streets two and three blocks away from the beach. Viejo Vallarta has a huge variety of unique stores and galleries along their cobblestone streets. There are a couple notable shopping centers: Plaza Caracol in the middle of the hotel zone, and Plaza Marina between Marina Vallarta and the airport. You will find little in the way of unique art or handicrafts here, but are great for necessities such as groceries and the like. Paradise Village Shopping Center in Nuevo Vallarta has a wide range of interesting stores as well as a nice grocery store if you’re staying in that area.

 


SILVER and JEWELRY
You’ll find an abundance of silver here…Mexico is a leading producer of ‘plata’ and the beautiful jewelry that can be made from this wonderful metal, so you’ll find lots of bargains to be had. True silver is stamped “.925”, but beware that much of the ‘silver’ sold on the beach is actually ‘alpaca’, a lower-quality silver metal, even though it may have been stamped “.925”. This doesn’t mean you won’t find beautiful rings, bracelets, and necklaces from the beach vendors…they just might not last as long and will require more frequent polishing to maintain their shine.

 

The highest quality silver jewelry is sold in the stores. Prices typically are not marked, but instead based on the weight of the piece. Your prospective selection will be placed on an electronic scale, and the weight multiplied by the store’s price-per-gram. Most stores will allow a little ‘wiggle room’ for negotiation, especially if you are buying multiple items or a single large piece.

 

Native gemstones included in jewelry typically include jade and polished coral or onyx. You’ll find silver stores all over town. Notable: One especially notable establishment is Viva Collection on Basilio Badillo Street in the Viejo Vallarta section of town.

 


HUICHOL ART
You may see Huichol Indians on the streets of Vallarta -- they are easy to spot, dressed in white clothing embroidered with colorful designs. Puerto Vallarta offers the best selection of Huichol art in Mexico. Descendants of the Aztec, the Huichol are one of the last remaining indigenous cultures in the world that has remained true to its ancient traditions, customs, language, and habitat. The Huichol live in adobe structures in the high Sierras (at an elevation of 1,394m/4,600 ft.) north and east of Puerto Vallarta. Due to the decreasing fertility (and therefore productivity) of the land surrounding their villages, they have come to depend more on the sale of their artwork for sustenance.

 

 
NIUWEME: This small but quaint Huichol Indian art store that is a lot different than the rest of the stores in Vallarta. The difference is that this store in Viejo Vallarta is actually owned by a Huichol Indian family.

Huichol art has always been cloaked in a veil of mysticism -- probably one of the reasons serious collectors seek out this form of artesanía. Colorful, symbolic yarn "paintings," inspired by visions experienced during spiritual ceremonies, characterize Huichol art. In the ceremonies, artists ingest peyote, a hallucinogenic, which induces brightly colored visions; these are considered messages from their ancestors. The visions' symbolic and mythological imagery influences the art, which encompasses not only yarn paintings but also fascinating masks and bowls decorated with tiny colored beads.

 

The Huichol might be geographically isolated, but they are savvy businesspeople and have adapted their art to meet consumer demand. Original Huichol art, therefore, is not necessarily traditional. Iguanas, jaguars, sea turtles, frogs, eclipses, and eggs appear in response to consumer demand. For more traditional works, look for pieces that depict deer, scorpions, wolves, or snakes.

 

Notable: There are several shops selling this amazing art along Lazaro Cardenas between Vallarta and Constitucion Streets, including Artesanias Flores; just a couple doors away is Milagros de Mexico which also has a nice collection of Oaxacan figurines and black clay. Niuweme is a nice small store (which is actually owned by a Huichol family) at Carranza #377, just a couple blocks from the aforementioned.

 

You wouldn’t guess it from the vibrant designs and bright colors in their artwork and clothing, but the Huichol are generally a very shy and timid culture. It will be tempting to take pictures of these beautiful people in their colorful native dress, but always ask permission before taking photographs, and don’t take offense if you are declined…this will be for their personal spiritual reasons.


THE FLEA MARKET
Puerto Vallarta's Municipal Market (the “Flea Market”) is just north of the Río Cuale, where Libertad, Insurgentes, and A. Rodríguez all meet. The ‘mercado’ is packed with hundreds of individual stores and stalls that sell clothes, jewelry, serapes, shawls, leather accessories and suitcases, papier-mâché parrots, stuffed frogs and armadillos, and, of course, T-shirts. Be sure to comparison-shop, and definitely bargain before buying. The market is open daily from 9am to 7pm.

 

Upstairs, a food market serves inexpensive Mexican meals -- for more adventurous diners, it's probably the best value and most authentic dining experience in Vallarta. Notable: For the less-adventurous diner, check out Cafe Roma, just a half block west along the river. Good pizza and cheap cold beer available at reasonable prices for the weary shopper.

 

Another smaller “Flea Market” market is at the corner of Vallarta and Rodriguez, just a couple blocks away. An outdoor market is on Río Cuale Island, between the two bridges. Stalls sell crafts, gifts, folk art, and clothing. Both are worth a look, and will take you closer towards Viejo Vallarta. Click HERE for more on the Puerto Vallarta 'Flea Market':

 

Galleria Dante: The largest gallery and sculpture garden in Vallarta is in Viejo Vallarta. Galleria Dante specializes in original works by contemporary artists as well as recasts of well-known bronze statues. The majority of the artists we represent are Mexican, but we do exhibit works by sculptors from as far away as Pietrasanta, Italy.

ART GALLERIES

Puerto Vallarta has one of the strongest art communities in all of Latin America, and therefore boasts an impressive collection of fine galleries featuring original work from artists throughout the Americas. Most of the larger galleries host an evening “art walk” every week between November and April.

Notable among the galleries are all in Viejo Vallarta: Galleria Dante, which hosts a beautiful large sculpture garden (Basilio Badillo between Constitucion and Vallarta); Galería Mata Ortiz is a small elegant gallery who exhibit and sell the Exquisite Mata Ortiz Pottery (Cardenas #268); and the Javier Nino Gallery, upstairs at Cardenas #322…a whimsical artist who “transforms dreams and fantasy into reality”. Click HERE for a review of Puerto Vallarta art galleries.

 

CLOTHING, LEATHER, SANDALS
Puerto Vallarta will offer you a wide variety of clothing options for sale. Of course there are lots of silly T-shirts available nearly everywhere, but higher forms of fashion are appreciated here too. Notable: Very popular is ‘manta’, a light and airy cotton fabric that makes perfect warm-climate clothing. D’Paola is a popular store with a wide range of women’s styles (on Basilio Badillo just East of Vallarta Street). A few doors down is Serafina, a purse and handbag heaven.

 

Mexico is famous for hand-worked leather goods, and Puerto Vallarta is no exception. You’ll find leather belts, bags, sandals, and clothing from jackets to pants to hats to dresses everywhere, especially in the Viejo Vallarta part of town. Click HERE for more information on Leather in Puerto Vallarta.

 

Mundo de Azulejos, the "World of Tile", is Puerto Vallarta's ONLY talavera factory, producing beautiful tiles, accents, sinks, pottery, and more. Located in the heart of Viejo Vallarta ('old town'). Always happy to produce custom orders.

TALAVERA POTTERY
The beautiful multi-colored pottery you may know as ‘Mexican style’ is actually called Talavera, and Puerto Vallarta has plenty of it. From flower pots to dinnerware, vases to platters, figurines, and even sinks and toilets…you’ll see it all over town. Look for pieces marked ‘lead-free’ on the back of bottom to insure that’s what you’re getting. Talavera is pretty sturdy stuff…still, you want to pack it carefully to get it home in one piece, and wash it carefully once you arrive.

 

Much of the Talavera in Puerto Vallarta comes from Guadalajara or the little town of Delores Hidalgo. Notable: Vallarta boasts its own Talavera factory at the corner of Basilio Badillo and Insurgentes at the south edge of town. They have a huge selection of Talavera pieces, offer excellent packing and shipping, and you can commission custom pieces or tiles here to have a truly one-of-a-kind piece of art in your home.

 

CIGARS and TEQUILA
Cuba is a friend of Mexico, so you can buy Cuban cigars here. Tequila is of course a product of Mexican joy, so it’s here too. But while you can smoke one and drink the other, you can only take Cuban cigars back with you if you are flying direct to Canada.

 

 

Cigars: While you can enjoy genuine Cuban cigars here, don’t discount those that originate in here! Mexico has fine tabacco producing regions as well, and you can find fine cigars hand-rolled to your specifications here. Several shops in Viejo Vallarta along Vallarta Street just south of the Cuale River will make a custom box of cigars to your desires. You’ll find Cuban cigars as well, but if you’re a resident of the USA (or changing planes in the USA on your way back home), these are forbidden by outdated regulations, and will be confiscated by U.S. customs, and possibly incur you a hefty fine if found in your luggage. Canadian and citizens of other countries have little to worry about as long as their flight plans do not include a stop on U.S. soil. Click HERE for more on Cigars.

 

Tequila: Tequila is Mexico’s gift to the world of the distilled-spirits drinker, and Puerto Vallarta lies at the edge of the country’s Tequila production region. (For the full story on Tequila, see “Tequila!” on VallartaSource.com) Puerto Vallarta hosts a tequila festival in the town square every year, but you can sample the best of this magical liquor all year long at a variety of stores around town. Try La Casa de Tequila at Morelos #589…just a couple blocks back from the malecòn, they have a large variety of quality tequila for your sampling enjoyment, as well as a very nice traditional restaurant. Click HERE for more about Tequila.


Pee-Wee: Beautiful hand-blown glassware Glasses, stemware, vases, goblets, dishes...and of course: lots of colorfull shot glasses, singles or in sets! Plus much much more, in Viejo Vallarta just 1-1/2 blocks from the beach.

HOME DECORATIONS
Puerto Vallarta is a dream for those looking for unique home furnishings, art, and accents. Viejo Vallarta (the ‘old town’ section of town) has a particularly eclectic selection of shops holding all sorts of interesting art and handicrafts with which to decorate your home and remind you of your vacation in Vallarta. Notable: Serendipity, Vallarta # 28(between Madero and Caranza Streets) has a wonderful collection of native artwork. MarAzul is around the corner on Madero just a few steps east of Vallarta Street, and is a veritable emporium of Mexican handicrafts.

 

Glassware
Everybody loves the fabulous blue-rimmed glassware famous in Mexico, but how do you get it home? Not to worry, the vendors of this beautiful Mexican art are also experts at packing so you’ll get it home all in one piece. One of the best selections of hand-made Mexican glassware is at an unassuming little store called Pee-Wee on Lazaro Cardeñas, between Pino Suarez and Vallarta Streets in Viejo Vallarta. Another good shop is also in Viejo Vallarta: La Rosa de Cristal, Insurgentes 272, across from the big Guadalajara Pharmacy.

 


THE MERCHANDISE COMES TO YOU ON THE BEACH!

When you’re on the beach, all manner of merchandise will come to you in the form of the Vallarta beach vendor. These wandering salesmen will offer you wood carvings, jewelry, blankets, shirts and wraps, lace, temporary tattoos, wind chimes, hair braiding, and more. It’s a great way to do business!: You with your cold drink in your hand, and the vendor doing his best to convince you why you need the particular item in question. Thus begins the bargaining game!

 

Here’s how it works: You start admiring an object, and the vendor asks you if you like it. You ask how much it costs, and he replies that it is 200 pesos. At this point you tell him that this is far too much money, and he replies by explaining about the fine quality of the item, how many days it took the craftsman to create this piece of art, and then asks how much you want to pay. You suggest that you might like to take it home with you if it were 75 pesos. He chuckles and tells you that this is simply not possible, as he has a wife and children to feed, but allows that he could bring his price down to 180 pesos. You in turn offer to pay 100 pesos, and on and on.

 

This can, if you like, go on for quite some time, until you reach a price at which you can both agree. Or, you can simply put the item back in his hands at any time and say that it’s just more than you can afford. Be aware that the vendor may agree finally to sell it to you at your last-offered price (which you are now rather obligated to accept), but to “please don’t tell anybody else”. This can be a way for both of you to save face and complete the transaction. This is the way business is and has been done in Mexico for years and years, and how friends are made as well!

 

Bartering should never be insulting. For the Mexican it is part of life and business; if it is not fun for you, stick to the stores with price tags on their merchandise. To insult someone's merchandise is down-right rude, and will only make you, and your fellow countrymen, look bad.

 

When you are not in the mood to do business, simply waggle your finger or shake your head at passing vendors when they ask for your interest…they will politely nod and move on.

Vallarta's Best Shops A - Z
Artesanias Flores: We have a large selection of the finest art offerings of the Huichol people for your enjoyment. Each piece is absolutely original, there can never be two exactly alike.

Galerìa Piràmide: The House of the Beaded Iguanas. The best Hichol and Nahua Indian artists. Fine Pre-Columbian reproductions. Ceremonial and Contemporary Masks. Paintings, postcards, special gifts, and more. Daily sacred beaded art demonstrations. In Viejo Vallarta, the beautiful 'old town'.

 

gavan: Simplicty and Elegance, Designed and Handcrafted in Viejo Vallarta.
Huarache: WE'VE GOT SANDALS! Beach sandals, sports sandals, casual sandals, dress sandals. Just one block from Los Muertos Beach!
Corner of Piño Suarez and Lazaro Cardeñas
In Beautiful Viejo Vallarta ('Old Town').
INDIGO: Incredible hand-ebroidered fabrics, textiles, pillow covers, and beautiful women's clothing as well...all in Viejo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta's Beautiful Old Town
LA ROSA DE CRISTAL: Here you will find a large selection of beautiful glassware in vivid colors that you will be proud to use for years after your vacation. Pitchers and jugs, glassware, stemware, margarita glasses, and complete sets. On Insurgentes in Viejo Vallarta ('Old Town')
LA ROSA ROSA: You can't go on vacation without buying a few T-Shirts to take home to your friends. We've got THOUSANDS of 'em in Viejo Vallarta ('Old Town').
LANS: What did you forget to pack? Puerto Vallarta's most complete department store, with two locations: Downtown and Plaza Caracol
The LEATHER STORE: Less than a block from the beach, in Viejo Vallarta (Puerto Vallarta's Beautiful 'Old Town'), you'll find a store that has nearly EVERYTHING you could think of in Leather, and few you didn't think of. If you like LEATHER, this is a must-stop for you!
Lucy's Cucu Cabaña in Viejo Vallarta has a superb selection of painted wood Oaxacan animals and quality wool rugs, the LARGEST variety of hand-crafted cats in the world, Day of the Dead miniatures, and fine jewelry. Hand-picked from over 200 Mexican artisans, and all at great prices!
MAR AZUL: Beautiful Art in All it's Mexican Forms! Crosses, figurines, pottery, wordwork, jewelry...a huge store of beautiful art and handicrafts in Viejo Vallarta ('old town'), on Madero Street just East of Ignacio Vallarta.
MARSAR: Hand-hammered copper and other metals come together here at Marsar to beautify your home. You'll find all array of vases, decorations, sinks and wash basins in our large store in Viejo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta's beautiful 'Old Town'.
MILAGROS de MEXICO: Romeo Diaz has one of the finest collections of native Mexican arts in his Viejo Vallarta ('old town') gallery and store, including a selection of original hand-made Oaxacan black clay from San Bartolo, Coyotepec.
Miss Aly offers a beautiful selection of women's wear in her store just one block from Los Muertos Beach in Viejo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta's Beautiful 'Old Town'.

Mixico Mistico has a wide and ever-changing selection of fine oil paintings; stained glass windows - inserts and hangers; lighted wall sconces, and hand-blown glass art. Just 1/2 block from Los Muertos Beach, in Viejo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta's beautiful 'Old Town'.

Mundo de Azulejos, the "World of Tile", is Puerto Vallarta's ONLY talavera factory, producing beautiful tiles, accents, sinks, pottery, and more. Located in the heart of Viejo Vallarta ('old town'), we're glad to produce custom orders.
Mundo de Piel is a world of leather sandals, belts, purses, bags, and more. We're easy to find in Viejo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta's Beautiful 'Old Town'...at 359-A Carranza, just a few steps East of Insurgentes.
NINGUN PECADO: Swim and Beach Wear designed and made right here in Viejo Vallarta. Designs you won't find anyplace else!
NIUWEME: This small but quaint Huichol Indian art store that is a lot different than the rest of the stores in Vallarta. The difference is that this store in Viejo Vallarta is actually owned by a Huichol Indian family.
No Name Boutique: Beautiful clothes of traditonal 'manta' (100% cotton) for women, men, and children: Casual to wedding dresses, and swimwear too, and of course beautiful accessories.
THE OLD ONIX FACTORY: Hundreds of pieces of hand-crafted art in beautiful and lasting Onix. Masks, figurines, tableware, and more in Viejo Vallarta. CHESS PLAYERS: WE ARE YOUR SOURCE FOR AN AMAZING SELECTION OF ONIX CHESS SETS, LARGE AND SMALL!
d'Paola: Paola welcomes you to her store in beautiful Viejo Vallarta. Wonderful hand-made dresses and casual clothes, plus jewelery and accessories, and beautiful things for your home, too!
PATTI GALLARDO ECLECTIC ART: You will find here not only unique handpainted clothes and accessories, but home art in a variety of mediums. Everything from whimsical rugs and cushions to duvet covers, handpainted dollas, wooden figurineds and unusual handcarved painted tables and chairs. In Viejo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta's Beautiful 'Old Town'.
Pee-Wee: Beautiful hand-blown glassware Glasses, stemware, vases, goblets, dishes...and of course: lots of colorfull shot glasses, singles or in sets! Plus much much more, in Viejo Vallarta just 1-1/2 blocks from the beach.
Serafina: Beautiful Handbags, shopping bags, fabrics, clothing, and accessories for you home! In Viejo Vallarta, Vallarta's beautiful 'old town'.
Serendipity: Featuring the beautiful creativity of Mexico in paintings, Huichol art, wood carvings , glass, clay, pottery, metals, and more! Come visit and browse in air-conditioned comfort! On Ignacio Vallarta Street, In the heart of beautiful Veijo Vallarta ('Old Town')
SIRENAS: A wonderful and eclectic collection of art and fashion accessories for you AND your home in Puerto Vallarta's 'Old Town'! Beaded jewelry and framed art prints. Mirrors, table lamps, and dresses. Handbags, belts, scarves, and more!

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