The Spanish word, recuerdo, translates to “I remember” — what a souvenir ought to be. The best souvenirs are those specific to the place you visit and, ideally, made by the local people.
Here are some of our favorite souvenirs that we think you’ll still love when you get it back on home soil, as you did when it called to you in the market:
Tequila: Mexico’s signature spirit originates just a few hours from the shores of Banderas Bay. While a trip up to the town of Tequila might not be in your plans, walking into any of the local tequila shops will afford you a unique brand and often, an artisan bottle, or stop at one of the big box stores for your favourite poison at mere pesos on the dollar
Coffee: Mexico is the world’s largest producer of certified organic coffee and a leader in fair-trade coffee. Oaxaca, Chiapas and the Coatepec region of Veracruz are the prime growing areas, but in the hills of Nayarit and Jalisco there are a number of local growers – Look for El Fortin coffee from San Sebastian del Oeste and Capula from the San Blas area.
Glass: Colourful margarita glasses, juice jugs and hand blown hearts of many colours are made in the towns outside of Guadalajara. For a wonderful selection visit Mundo de Cristal in Old Town or check out the smaller vendors at the Mercado along the Rio Cuale.
Huichol people live in the mountains above Vallarta and create unique art based on their shamanic culture. While you can find vendors in the plaza, a trip to Peyote People in Vallarta or Galleria Tanana in Sayulita will ensure your dollars are buying the finest quality.
Pottery: Artisans around Mexico create hundreds of different styles depending where they live. Talavera from Puebla and brown clay dishes from Michoacán are the most popular and easily found in the markets (knock-offs) and fine galleries. Note: Ceramics must be packed in your checked luggage – take care.