SHOP 'TILL YOU DROP!
The phrase "cheap shopping" is probably an oxymoron. Nonetheless, there are still bargains to be found. We have also included stores that are offering coupon discounts. You can't go to Mexico without bringing home at least a few souvenirs!
Where do you get the best deals on EVERYTHING? Manzanillo!
IF you know where to look and how to bargain. Places with 4 walls do not bargain, but there are several businesses listed in the coupon section that are offering discounts. Be sure and check them out!
Open air markets, or tianguis are in several locations. That's where you buy your T-shirts, ceramics, macramé bracelets and necklaces, blankets, and other tourist take-homes. Here's where they are:
Every Saturday, on the main street (Blvd. Miguel de la Madrid), across from the Jardin, there's an open air market that stretches for more than 2 blocks. This is actually a local market, with fruits, vegetables, clothes, shoes, kitchen items, etc., but with the advent of tourism, the vendors have branched out to touristy trinkets, such as silver, T-shirts, arts and craft items, blankets, leather goods and more. Each week it's a little different, with vendors coming and going. It gets going about 10 a.m. and lasts until about 3 p.m. (It moves to Salagua behind the Jardin on Sunday.)
Miramar Beach, near the Club Maeva, has several market stalls that run from the main road (once again, Blvd. Miguel de la Madrid, or Hwy. 200) to the beach. You can bargain here, but it's getting more difficult. It used to be that you started at slightly below half of the asking price, and ended up getting the items for about half of the asking price.
Because tourists don't know they can bargain, and much of the time end up paying the full asking price, it is getting harder to get a good deal. The vendors know there is always another uninformed tourist on his (or usually her) way, so they now hold out for the beginning asking price.
Mexicans, however, never pay full price, so if you'd like to learn what an item is really worth, watch a Mexican do the bargaining, then tell the vendor, you'll take one for the same price! Above all, have a good time getting a good deal. That's what Mexico is all about. Mexicans always like to bargain--it is part of their nature. Learn something about the people and the culture! While here in Manzanillo, enjoy the bargaining process. Good luck!
Playa de la Audiencia, where the Hotel Tesoro is located, has more reasonably priced items than at Miramar. The vendors seem to be more friendly and try harder.
It is also the best place to get your hair braided at a reasonable price--100 pesos less than at Miramar or La Boquita, and the quality of the braiding is better.
An older lady, Amparo, and her daughter, do the best job. In fact, they do such a good job, that people have begun to ask for them by name, so other women have begun impersonating Amparo, but the quality just isn't there. If you want your hair braided like Bo Derek in the movie "10," make sure you see the I.D. of the real Amparo!
La Boquita, a great place for lunch, swimming and just hanging out, has numerous vendors who will stop by your beach umbrella or table. The restaurant of choice is Marildo's, and Jose, a waiter speaks English and will take good care of you!
Oddly, in most circumstances, male vendors give you better bargains than female vendors. (Perhaps they have to answer to their husbands.) A favorite vendor is Lupita, who sells her items for about half of what the others charge. If you don't see what you want, follow her back to her booth--she has lots more than what she carries around, and she's always smiling!
SALAGUA: The tianguis market from Santiago moves to the south 1 km., to the town of Salagua, on Sundays. It is located a couple of blocks behind the Jardin, and goes on for about 15 blocks.
DOWNTOWN MANZANILLO: Av. Mexico is the main street where most of the shops are. There are also vendors displaying everything from hats to hammocks on the street.
The downtown area has been totally remodeled, and there are many types of shops to choose from.
The main mercado is called Cinco de Mayo, and is on the street by that name. The area of San Pedrito also has numerous small shops with tourist items.
BUSINESSES OFFERING DISCOUNTS: Click here for the coupons, and print the page out to take with you to Manzanillo.
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