Once a sleepy little Caribbean Island, Cozumel has become a bustling cruise port with over three million visitors per year. There are three piers on the island of Cozumel that often host up to eight cruise ships per day. As a result, this bustling Caribbean area hosts countless activities and shops that cater to tourists.
With so much to see, we’ve put together a guide to shopping in Cozumel cruise port.
Cozumel is considered one of the best shopping destinations in the Caribbean. All three ports feature extensive shopping areas that cater to almost any shopper’s whims. Besides the tourist-targeted shopping near the ports, you can find a more authentic Cozumel experience in the nearby town. Read on for helpful tips for shopping in Cozumel cruise port, including what to buy and where to find the perfect memento of your trip.
Shopping In Cozumel Cruise Port
Two large open-air shopping malls are located directly adjacent to the three cruise ship ports on the island of Cozumel. These will naturally be great choices for shopping in Cozumel cruise port, and you will surely find most items that tourists would seek.
However, there are also various shopping destinations close to the ports that will also give you a more authentic experience, and the opportunity to explore the island and everything it offers.
Best Items To Buy In Cozumel
Cozumel is one of the best shopping destinations in the Caribbean, and there are numerous items for which the area is renowned when it comes to shopping. Whether you are shopping for yourself, friends, or family, there is no shortage of wonderful souvenirs and gifts.
You will find branded souvenirs, locally handcrafted items, and everything in between.
Some of the most popular items to purchase in Cozumel are hammocks, blankets, throws, ceramics, vanilla, tequila, leather goods, jewelry, and chocolate. It’s important to shop around when purchasing any of the above items. Only shopping in popular tourist areas may result in higher prices and a somewhat less authentic experience.
On the other hand, there is naturally a higher degree of regulation in tourist-oriented areas that will ensure you are purchasing genuine products.
Where To Shop In Cozumel?
You may want to remain close to the cruise port for lack of time, or concerns over getting lost. In that case, you will not be short of shopping options at either of the two open-air malls located at the cruise ship ports. Here you will find an endless array of popular brands, local merchandise, and various restaurants and bars.
Punta Langosta is located directly across from the main cruise ship dock, as is the Royal Village Shopping center.
For the more adventurous traveler, head towards San Miguel to find an exciting assortment of authentic stores. There are various markets, such as the Plaza Confetti.
Avenida Rafael Melgar is a lengthy coastal avenue with countless shops and restaurants. The Plaza Del Sol is a vibrant town square offering an authentic experience. The Quinta Avenida is located just off the town square with its incredible collection of stores.
While in downtown San Miguel, visit Pama, a large duty-free store where you can find many items at great prices.
Best Places For Souvenirs In Cozumel
If your shopping in Cozumel cruise port will focus on commercially branded souvenirs, you should find everything you are looking for in either of the open-air shopping malls adjacent to the cruise ship ports. Here you will find many well-known brands such as Señor Frog’s, Pirana Joe, Diamonds International, and Margaritaville.
If you are searching for a larger variety of authentic, locally made souvenirs at good prices, you will need to venture out of the cruise ship ports and into other areas. For example, the Mercado Municipal is a fantastic local shopping area situated about 10 minutes away from downtown San Miguel. (Catch a taxi at the end of the pier.) It’s a local market frequented by regular folks. You can find authentic Mexican food, as well as small stalls selling clothing items and housewares.
Los Cincos Soles is another store situated on Rafael Melgar Avenue, where you will find an array of local souvenirs and anything that is locally made.
The Gallery Azul is another popular location where you will find an incredible collection of handmade, unique art pieces. Whether you’re looking for artwork, hand-blown glass, vases, sculptures, or home décor, you will surely find something unique and beautiful at the Gallery Azul in downtown San Miguel.
Tips For Bargaining/Haggling In Cozumel
When shopping around in a market in Cozumel, you may notice a trend amongst other shoppers to bargain with stall owners. This is part and parcel of the shopping experience in Cozumel, especially in the markets.
Stall owners expect a certain degree of bargaining from shoppers regarding their prices. Most stall owners will intentionally name a higher price while expecting that the shopper will try to bargain them down.
If bargaining is done politely and within reason, most stall owners will be happy to oblige to let you purchase their products for a fair price.
Cozumel Shopping Tips & Dos/Don’ts
It’s important to note that many goods available from local shops in Cozumel might be subject to certain restrictions once you attempt to enter your next destination. With this in mind, it will be best to avoid any restricted goods to ensure that you don’t get into trouble at any point during your holiday.
For example, many pharmaceuticals traditionally requiring a prescription in the US will be available in Cozumel over the counter. This is common at small pharmacies and larger outlets. While you may purchase a certain amount of these pharmaceuticals legally to take home, there are restrictions as to the amounts.
Items, such as sea life, are sold at many locations throughout Cozumel, especially coral. While some coral items are permitted, certain types of coral and other sea life, such as starfish, may not be brought back. Black coral, in particular, is an endangered species that will be confiscated, and you should avoid purchasing this altogether.
Cozumel provides a unique and vibrant shopping experience for visitors. Whether you’re looking for a t-shirt, Christmas ornament, or handcrafted local wares, shopping in Cozumel cruise port and markets will make for a rewarding excursion.