By Terra Liddil
Shops stocked with beautiful handicrafts made by local artists line the main streets of Tulum Mexico. You can spend hours wandering through tiendas (shops) searching for that unique gift item to take home. There are also plenty of synthetic, artificial, and machine-made look-alikes. If you don’t know what to look for, you may end up with a collection of imitations made from cheap materials.
These delightful shops will indulge your quest for authentic Mexican-made creations.
Step inside Kaahal Home Tulum and bask in the rich and colorful spirit of handcrafted Mexican art for the home. Savor an exceptional collection of colorful table runners, striped pillow covers, and soft cotton bedspreads. Fine woven basketry, earthy ceramics, and brilliant glassware, each piece a unique work of art.
Italian owner Giulia Cordara moved to Tulum from NYC, where she was a well-known producer of art exhibits in the US and Europe. With an eye for fine craftwork, she has filled her boutique with unique creative finds from all over Mexico. Her personal service will assist you in choosing the perfect tresore (treasure) to take home.
Fanciful painted animals and creatures
Next to Kaahal Home, a small shop called Artesanimas will enchant you with contemporary Mexican art in the form of animals and creatures. Whimsical painted figures fill shelves to overflowing. Brightly painted skulls share wall space with local paintings. Muertos (Day of the Dead skeleton figurines) dance and sing beneath spectacular hand-beaded masks.
Beaded sculptures are unique and colorful, with each bead mounted individually by hand into a wax matrix. My daughter purchased a striking beaded mask, then worried about how to get it home. The shop owner carefully fashioned a sturdy box for this delicate wax sculpture. It arrived home safe and sound, even in her over-stuffed luggage.
Italy meets Mexico
Across the street you’ll find Amorelatino, featuring women’s clothing. Garments and accessories carry the liveliness, and colorful spirit of Mexico combined with the sophisticated flair of Italian styling. A perfect place to find a trendy bathing suit, cover-up, or a new handbag to carry your Mexican pesos. You’ll receive friendly service and advice.
Wrap your feet in colorful soft leather
Don’t leave Tulum without a pair of huaraches (Mexican sandals) from AVF Artesanos. My husband claims they’re the most comfortable sandals he’s ever had. This handmade leather footwear gently stretches to fit any foot with perfection.
Every sandal is expertly hand-stitched from locally tanned leather. You’ll enjoy comfort and style with every step, and your feet will love you. Did I mention color? Bright pink, green, red, orange, and endless combinations.
Feel the Mexican vibe
You can’t miss the neon pink home of Mixik (mee-SHEEK). The happy vibe of this fun-filled boutique beams through its windows. You’ll feel like a kid in a candy store as you admire the brilliant colors and shapes of hand-selected folk art claiming every space from floor to ceiling.
Paintings and hangings cover the walls in a mosaic of hues and forms. Tables and shelves overflow with bright colored hand-embroidered clothing, intricate painted ceramic vases, and bowls, shimmering blown glass pitchers in bright green and orange, miniature Muertos playing music and dancing. This busy boutique is the perfect place for souvenir shopping.
Put on your walking huaraches and stroll the tiendas of Tulum to find your dazzling Mexican tresore.
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