SHOPPING IN LOS CABOS - JEWELRY SHOPS, ART GALLERIES, SOUVENIRS AND MOREIf shopping is your thing, you've come to the right place. The Los Cabos region has many shopping options, from large commercial shopping malls like the Puerto Paraiso Mall in Cabo San Lucas to small shops scattered throughout the streets of San Jose del Cabo. Truly the best way to shop here is to plan on spending the day strolling the streets popping into shops that spur your interest. Although few products offered for sale here are actually created in Baja Sur, the area markets items from many regions of mainland Mexico. Pottery from Guanajuato and San Bartolo Coyotepec, woven and embroidered goods from Oaxaca, Chiapas and the Yucatan, beaded crafts by Huichol Indians from Nayarit and silver from Taxco are a few of the things you'll find.
Most businesses gladly accept credit cards and purchases can be made with both US dollars and pesos. Using pesos usually results in a better deal. Most shops open at 10:00 in the morning. Bargaining is almost expected and that's part of the fun in shopping here. The best way we've found to find great deals is to take a day and browse to see what the average price is, then go back and negotiate. Beware of fakes, especially when it comes to jewelry. Some street vendors often claim silver gold plated jewelry is solid or pure. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Deal with established stores, use common sense and you'll do just fine.
SHOPPING IN LOS CABOSIn Cabo San Lucas, you’ll find that the majority of the shopping borders the marina. There you’ll find Puerto Paraiso mall, the Golden Zone and Luxury Avenue – which specializes in upscale shopping for designer brands like Gucci, Hugo Boss, Cartier and Burberry to name a few. Inside the Puerto Paraiso Mall you'll find stores typical of what you'd find in any major shopping mall, but you'll also find Mexican-centric shops that sell a wide variety of products like leather goods, artisan crafts and logo wear. The Golden Zone has the Tequila Museum – definitely worth a visit to learn about the Tequila making process as well as to take part in their Tequila tastings.
While shopping in the mall can be fun, the real heart and soul of shopping here can be found along the side streets, whether in Cabo or San Jose. Part of that fun is meeting some of the people who create the items for sale. They're very friendly and are more than willing to show you there wares plus you're supporting the local population who often struggle to compete with the big shopping centers. We've met all people of all backgrounds while walking along those streets... Huichol Indians, Mayans, and Aztec descendants that continue ages-old traditions of crafting amazing artisan works that keep those art forms alive and well.
If you’re looking for custom designed jewelry, many shops in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo can design just about anything you’d like and have it ready in a day or two. Mexican Fire Opals are a great choice to add to any design and the selection in Los Cabos is very good. Stop in, discuss your design, return the next day and wear it out to dinner that evening. Not a bad way to enjoy your new purchase.
Just up the road from Cabo San Lucas, a visit to the Blown Glass Factory gives shoppers the opportunity to see glass blowers at work creating the colorful wares that line the shelves inside the store. More than 400 works a day are turned out by 35 artisans who utilize a method relatively unchanged since its inception in Asia almost 4,000 years ago. Mixtures of different metals are added to the liquefied glass to create the deep, rich tones of the figures produced by these artists.
FROM CABO SAN LUCAS TO TODOS SANTOS
A drive north from Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific side of the cape makes for a great day of sightseeing and shopping. Travel out of downtown Cabo on the main drag and just follow the signs pointing you toward Todos Santos.
At KM 69 on HWY 19, you’ll come across two small businesses on your left that you should stop in at. The first is the Blanket Factory. The family owned, generations old shop produces some terrific hand-loomed rugs, blankets, clothing and hammocks. Walk through to the back of the shop and you’ll see the loom where these items are all created. Have a custom design? The family who runs the show will have it ready for you, usually in two days or less.
Just north is where you’ll find Art and Beer, an art gallery and restaurant owned and operated by Lourdes Campos and her partner, Alfredo Ruiz. The two are both artists and have become somewhat of an institution in their own right. Art and beer are not the only things to be found here. Enjoy some chocolate clams or a wonderful lunch on the shaded patio or atop the sun drenched rooftop of the main building.
Once you’ve reached the sleepy town of Todos Santos you’ve arrived in a handicraft shopper’s paradise. Many little shops can be found such as Artesanias Zahuapan where you can purchase silver, onyx and quartz products as well as handmade blankets. For bronze sculptures, try Fenix de Todos Santos, who also carries cotton resort wear and Baja styled beach clothing. Agua Y Sol is a good choice for wood and iron sculptures, jewelry and hand painted pottery.
Several galleries tempt the art lover to pop in and browse. Todos Santos is home of many internationally recognized artists and the colony offers up a wide variety of items sure to please just about everyone’s tastes. Spending time strolling the galleries and shops will no doubt build an appetite, luckily there are several excellent restaurants in town.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO ARTWALK & ART GALLERIESEvery Thursday from November to June a wonderful walking tour of historic San Jose del Cabo's Art District takes place and it makes for a great way to spend an evening. More than a dozen art galleries take part staying open until 9:00pm plus a host of restaurants also put out samples and drinks for participants in the art walk to try out. It's quickly become one of the top tourist activities in Los Cabos and it's one we urge you to try.
The Art Walk map above gives you an idea of where you'll be during the tour and lists the galleries currently participating as well as those restaurants that add a bit of flavor to the event. Many galleries that are not listed take part as well so expect that you'll probably visit 20 or so on your walk.
FAVORITE LOS CABOS ART GALLERIESIN CABO SAN LUCAS:
ARTE DE ORIGEN
Arte de Origen is a company that produces and designs unique pieces inspired by images from different Mexican and Latin- American cultures. They use a variety of mediums including paper, fabrics, metal, paints, patinas and lacquer finished with wax and pigments. Influences come from the Maya, Incan, Mapuchan and Coyo cultures of Mexico and Latin America.
GOLDEN CACTUS GALLERY
They've closed their retail store in downtown Cabo and moved to a warehouse location just outside of town. You'll need to set up an appointment to get an opportunity to see all the works housed there, but the owner will arrange to pick you up from your hotel at no charge. Over twenty artists display with Golden Cactus and they are all top-notch talents with impressive collections.
IN SAN JOSE DEL CABO:
Alvaro Obregon 15 - San Jose del Cabo Art District
Founded in 2002, this gallery features the work of more than 30 distinguished artists including paintings and sculptures.
IVAN GUADERRAMA GALLERY
Alvaro Obergon 20 - San Jose del Cabo Art District
Features the work of the Chihuahua born artist whose works include paintings and scupltures and the innovative use of oil and acrylic paints combined with marble powder. In 2010, the artist Guaderrama introduced a new technique – Glass Expression – involving the fusion of resins to create truly dynamic colors and effects in glass sculpture.
LA SACRISTIA ART& HISTORY
Hidalgo 9 - San Jose del Cabo Art District
The reason this one makes our list is their collection of Mata Ortiz pottery although they also have paintings, Huichol Indian art, jewelry and blown glass.
LOS CABOS AMBER GALLERY
Calle Obregon 18B - San Jose del Cabo Art District
A truly unique shop that creates stunning jewelry and sculptures made from 22-25 million year old Chiapas amber. Artist Ron Sanford, known professionally as Ronsai, works with a family of Mayan descedants in Simojovel to mine these prehistoric pieces then shapes and polishes them in his shop in San Jose.
PATRICIA MENDOZA ART GALLERY
Alvaro Obregon and Hidalgo - San Jose del Cabo Art District
A contemporary art gallery that showcases Mexican national artists from young to old. Artists represented here include sculptors Carlos Marín and Claudia Rodríguez.
PEZ GORDO GALLERY
Located at the Shoppes at Palmilla, KM 7.5 Main Hwy.
A diverse collection of paintings, collage and photography in this gallery that's been in Los Cabos for over a decade.
SHONA AFRICAN SCULPTURES
Alvaro Obregon 15 - San Jose del Cabo Art District
Yep, that's right, African art in Mexico. We had to add this gallery to the mix simply because the work is so unique, so inspiring that even though it's not Mexican art it's something that any art lover or collector will appreciate.
SHOPPING IN SAN JOSE DEL CABO
Start out at Plaza Mijares in the center of historic colonial San Jose and fan out in all directions to explore dozens of small, mostly owner-operated shops. Scattered amongst the shops are many restaurants serving both regional and international foods.
For those in search of jewelry, I’d suggest a visit to Amethyst where silver, gold and semi-precious stones take center stage. A small shop, Copal, just up the street brings animals to life in sculptures carved from mesquite wood. For a great selection of Oaxacan artisan works, Galeria Veryka on Blvd. Mijares brings embroidered clothing, silver and hand-molded black and green pottery from the mainland much to the delight of both local and tourist shoppers. A stop in at the Los Cabos Amber Gallery is also a treat. These unique pieces of history can be more than 20 million years old and contain perfectly preserved insects.
If Tequila is on your list, a visit to Los Barrilles de Cuervo is in order. Rare tequilas housed in imaginative and often collectible decanters make it easy to browse but difficult to decide. Which one is the right one? Well, why not take two, or three? Cigar lovers are well advised to make a stop at Amigos Smokeshop & Cigar Bar. Make a selection and sit back and enjoy a snifter of fine tequila and keep you’re eyes open for the occasional celebrities that make this one of their favorite out-of-the-way stops while in Los Cabos.
LOS CABOS SHOPPING DIRECTORYPUERTO PARAISO MALL
Located on the marina in Cabo San Lucas the mall rivals major US malls but it also includes some distinctly Mexican stores in the mix. Jewelry, clothing, artisan crafted works and Cuban cigars can be found here in addition to what you'd normally find at a major shopping mall.
GOLDEN ZONE AND LUXURY AVENUE
This area has high-end shops like Cartier and Gucci but it also has the Tequila Museum and several smaller Mexican arts & crafts shops, jewelry and collectibles. Located next to the Puerto Paraiso Mall.
THE SHOPPES AT PALMILLA
High end boutique shops for clothing, jewelry and Mexican art along with a few restaurants. Located just off the main highway exit for Palmilla.
FACES OF MEXICO
One of the area's oldest folk-art shops. They sell all kinds of masks from Oaxaca and Guerrerom Mexico that are authentic and intricately detailed. Located on Calle Lazaro Cárdenas beside the Mar de Cortés hotel in downtown Cabo.
More an art gallery than a store, Necri has a nice mix of Mexican artworks including pewter, Talavera ceramics and jewelry, Mayolica pottery and much, much more. They've been in business in San Jose del Cabo since 1988 so you know they are reputable and worth doing business with.
J & J HABANOS
A little bit of Havana in downtown Cabo San Lucas. You'll recognize it by all the photos of Ché Guavara hanging in the windows. You can find them on Fransisco I. Madero Blvd. just a couple blocks up from the main drag (Marina blvd.).
BLOWN GLASS FACTORY
Watch glass blowers at work up until about 2pm daily. They can fashion custom pieces for you and have them ready in a day or two. Worth visiting just to see the artists at work. Located on the main highway going towards Cabo San Lucas.
REAL McCOY JEWELRY
Silver is their predominant product but they also offer other types of jewelry, sculpture and artworks. Friendly folks that welcome browsers and don't pressure. The silver panther at the very top of this page is an example of the quality of work they have in their inventory. They're on Marina Blvd. in downtown Cabo San Lucas just south of Francisco I. Madero.
THE HAPPY DONKEY
If leather is your thing, then a trip to the Happy Donkey should be on your list of places to shop in Cabo. Not only do they sell boots, shoes, sandals, belts and purses, they can custom make just about anything you want out of leather. It's worth stepping in just to get a whiff of all the hide! Find them on Lazaro Cardenas between Matamoros and Guerrero near the Mar de Cortez Hotel.