About Erin D
Lives in San Pedro, Belize
Since Sep 2008
35-49 year old female
Full time traveler and digital nomad - visited over 60 countries on 5 continents to date. Three-time expat -- Taiwan, Netherlands, and Belize. I'm a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and I'm an annual passholder to all Disney Parks worldwide, visiting each of the international resorts 2-3 times per year. I work as a travel and food writer and blogger. I write for publications like Viator and Roam Right Travel Insurance. I am AFAR Magazine's Belize expert and authored the Official AFAR Guide to Belize. In 2013, I authored the majority of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize, and had the honor to work as the English language editor for a renowned international chef's second published cookbook.
Gift & Specialty Shops
Gift & Specialty Shops, Shopping Malls
Flea & Street Markets
Flea & Street Markets
Located at km 12.5 in the Hotel Zone, most agree La Isla is the prettiest and best mall in Cancun. It is home to over 150 national and international stores, cementing it as the most important commercial center in the area. The open-air architecture complements the natural beauty of Mexico, while the canopies and beautiful canal help make this shopping mall a rather scenic adventure. Don't miss the interactive aquarium, where you can feed the sharks; and if you want to catch a movie, La Isla has you covered.
Plaza Las Americas is located in downtown Cancun on Tulum Avenue, and a lot of locals do their shopping here. You'll find everything from department stores to a supermarket, as well as fast food outlets, movie theaters, a bookstore, video arcade, and more. Look for brands like Sears, Zara, Sunglass Island, Hang Ten, and Benetton. You should also check out Malecon Americas — connected to Plaza Las Americas — for California Pizza Kitchen, a large Mexican department store, and Starbucks.
Kukulcan Plaza is a quieter shopping area in comparison to some of the more popular malls, and is considered to be one of the most exclusive for its location adjacent to the high-end Luxury Avenue. Kukulcan has a number of renowned boutiques, jewelry and designer stores, and brands such as Hugo Boss, Oakley, Sunglass Island, Sergio Bustamante, and many others. Well-known brands like Harley Davidson and Señor Frogs have outlets here too.
Luxury Avenue Cancun is located next to Kukulcan Plaza and is Cancun's answer to Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive. You'll find all the upscale brands here, such as Swarovski, Cartier, Fendi, Mont Blanc, and more. Take a break from shopping and sip on champagne or hire a personal shopper to help you out. Be sure to check out the Concept Store where you can see collections and unique designs by Mexican and international designers — the ever-changing space offers a great opportunity to learn about new designers and snap up some great buys that you aren't likely to find elsewhere.
Forum by the Sea is one of the most iconic, and certainly one of the busiest, malls in Cancun. It's home to the Coco Bongo nightclub, Hard Rock, and other iconic brands. Located on the oceanfront, there's a constant crowd as the mix of shopping and entertainment here make it one of the most popular places to visit in all of Cancun. There are some stores featuring traditional Mexican items as well, but the huge food court and well-known restaurants and nightclubs remain the biggest draw. You'll find Cambalache, the famous Argentine steakhouse, here as well.
Located in downtown Cancun, Mercado 28 is the place to go if you want to experience an authentic Mexican flea market. The maze of vendors is a great place to explore, but be prepared for some aggressive salespeople. If you've visited markets in places like Turkey or Thailand, this is likely to be right up your alley. Do a thorough walk-through and you can find deals on silver jewelry, tee shirts, Mexican pottery and handicrafts, and traditional clothing. Head to the center to find the food stalls where you can try cheap Mexican eats too.
If you're interested in checking out a traditional Mexican food market, head to Mercado 23. It's said to be the first market in Cancun and you'll find many locals do their shopping here. While the market is mainly targeted at locals, you can still find good souvenirs and keepsakes here, such as pottery, hammocks, and small pieces of jewelry. Be sure to look out for the amazing candy stores — which sell products designed to fill the pinatas — plus, fresh fruit and vegetables, and dried and cured herbs. Haggling is still the norm here, but it's not as aggressive or pronounced as you'll find at other more touristy markets.
Plaza Caracol is one of the oldest shopping areas in Cancun. It's located across from Hotel Riu Cancun at km 8.5 in the Hotel Zone, and has become a quieter place to shop as the newer and fancier malls continue to catch the eye of tourists in town. With over 150 stores, you can find everything from souvenirs to fine jewelry here, and you're more likely to see Cancun locals hanging out in this plaza versus some of the more upscale malls in Cancun.