A Guide to Shopping for Mexican Souvenirs

Jungles, deserts, teeming cities, fiestas and fireworks — Mexico conjures a plethora of vivid images and the reality lives up to the expectation. From the southern jungles to the snow-capped volcanoes and cactus-dotted northern deserts along the coastline strung with sandy beaches,

Mexico is an endless adventure for the senses. A climate that ranges from temperate to hot makes for life spent mostly in the open air. Along with the gorgeous views, Mexico’s cuisine is like no other. Every part of the country has its own specialties, not to mention you lose count of the

many flavors on offer. Above all, you’ll be greeted by charming hospitable locals who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

For those of you who need your dose of retail therapy, you’d be pleased to know that Mexico offers some of the best shopping across the world. This beautiful country is home to a range of artisanal goods that are unique to Mexico’s culture. As a first time visitor, a feature that is sure to

grab your attention is the vibrancy and colors of the nation. You will encounter this almost everywhere you go — this may be the country’s scenic views or the fine jewelry and handicrafts available at the marketplaces. Searching for the perfect souvenirs of gifts to take back for family

and friends can sometimes be daunting. Stay tuned to our guide to finding the perfect souvenirs, there is

something for everyone!


1. Mexican Coffee

The country is a major producer of organic coffee, Typically, the coffee beans are harvested in Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Chiapas. These coffees have a distinct chocolate sweetness with a hint of caramel that compliments it well. The overall balance of flavors makes this a favorite amongst

tourists and locals alike. Feel fresh with a rich cup of Mexican coffee in the morning and take a few packets back for your family and friends. They are affordable and compact, making it easy for you to take back home.


2. Hot Salsa

When you think of Mexico, the image of hot salsa undeniably springs up! This is another major Mexican export that is transported right to your living room. Usually, these jars of goodness are available in a variety of flavors — choose from tomatillo salsa with tangy green tomatoes as the

featured ingredient, chipotle salsa, or a classic red “Roja” salsa. If your tolerance for spicy food isn’t high, don’t worry because you can pick the spice level according to your heat preferences. Pair the salsa with a bag of nachos and you’re good to go!

Salsa©/Marie Smith/Flickr

3. Mexican Liqueur

Among the various images that Mexico conjures, Tequila is a favorite! This is a popular choice of liqueur and undoubtedly makes for a wonderful souvenir. However, if you wish to cross the uncharted territory, try a bottle of Xtabentun liqueur. This liqueur hails from the Yucatan region

and is made from fermented honey produced by the Xtabentun flower. Star anise and rum are added to this mixture to create a sweet, intoxicating spirit. Originally associated with the Mayans, this bottle is sure to be appreciated by its receiver.


4. Mexican Toys

Long before remote-controlled cars or Playstations came into the picture, children across the world were occupied with handmade toys. Characteristic of Mexico’s vibrant colors, this country’s toys were manufactured in a variety of patterns, shapes, and shades. If you have young children

or know somebody who does, these toys are ideal. Choose from a selection of dolls, kitchen tools, balls, yo-yos, kites, spinning tops, etc.

Mexican Toys ©/Alberto Constante/Pinterest

5. Festive Skeletons and Sugar Skulls

Celebrated on 2nd November, one of Mexico’s most prestigious festivals is the Day of the Dead or ‘Dia De Los Muertos’. This celebration is a homage to the lives of the deceased and skeletons/skulls are a few popular images of this festival. They appear in the form of candied

sweets, parade masks, and dolls and are often portrayed in fancy clothes and entertaining situations. Pick up some dancing skeletons or decorative skulls to showcase around your home!

Sugar Skulls
Sugar Skulls ©/SlocumPhotography/Flickr

6. Alebrijes

Alebrijes are brightly colored Oaxacan Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. Alebrijes have become a sustainable livelihood for many artists residing in Oaxaca, Mexico. Learning to craft the intricate woodcarvings takes years to master and the most respected

carvers have worked tirelessly in developing their own distinct style. Each exquisite piece tells a story and can be sold for thousands of dollars. They are available in all sizes are making an excellent traditional Mexican souvenir.

7. Taxco Silver

Over the years, Taxco silver has become a fashionable and collective piece of jewelry. This unique artwork earned its name from a town in central Mexico which produces a chunk of the country’s silver. Today, you can choose from a variety of Taxco silver in the form of bracelets,

earring, and necklaces. Each piece is a reflection of skilled craftsmanship and is often composed of semi-precious stones that are native to Mexico — turquoise, malachite and onyx are a few examples.

Taxco Silver
Taxco Silver©/RubyLaneVintage/Pinterest

8. Textiles

A common souvenir to take back home are usually touristy t-shirts. An authentic alternative to this otherwise mundane buy is probably traditional Mexican textiles. You can purchase these in the form of hammocks, blankets, and hand-embroidered clothes. Like the country itself, these

textiles are vibrant and are available in an array of patterns and shades. There is a variety of options for both men and women, making it a wonderful gift for your loved ones.

9. Pottery

Mexico is also known for its pottery. The brightly painted “Talavera” ceramics and the sleek polished black “Barro negro” pots are two of many styles you are likely to come across. If you want to pick up some lovely pottery for yourself or a friend, visit your local marketplace. Each is

crafted differently — some are hand-fired while others are painted. They are a feast for the eyes and you can find them in the form of wall art, dishes, tiles, pots, etc

Talavera ©/Susan Turlington/Flickr

10. Mexican Vanilla

Fun Fact — Mexico is the birthplace if vanilla! If you love to bake, indulge in some Mexican vanilla extract for your cakes and sweet treats! These are harvested directly from the orchard flower and pair well with a variety of food items, including coffee and cocktails. They are

completely organic and very aromatic!