I can’t think of anything more fabulous than relaxing on the beach, with an ice-cold margarita or cerveza. Now add to that … shopping … that literally comes to you!! I think I might be in heaven…or Puerto Peñasco, Mexico… or maybe Puerto Peñasco is heaven?!?
If you can dream it, they will sell it to you. Who am I talking about? The beach vendors of course! If you’re unfamiliar with Mexico, let me introduce you to the art of beach shopping in Rocky Point.
There are vendors that work on almost every public beach in Puerto Peñasco. They walk up and down the beaches all day selling their curios. Here is just a sample of what is available: silver jewelry – my favorite! I probably have enough to set up my own beachside shop. You can also buy designer sunglasses, of kinds of hats, colorful blankets, friendship bracelets, hemp bracelets, bags, shoes, t-shirts, painted vases and matching plates, metal sculptures, wood sculptures, ceramic sculptures, Oaxacan art, art masks, wrestling masks, toys, your name on a grain of rice, paper flowers, and henna tattoos. Or, sometimes you can even barter for something you want with something you have – I once traded a $5 Padres hat for 2 bracelets. I really loved that hat! I was carried away with the excitement of the moment and a beer buzz, so vendor got the better end of that deal.
You can also get a massage, get your hair braided, rent a jet ski, ride a banana boat, ride horses, fly in an ultra light, parasail, and book a sunset cruise.
Almost everything is negotiable, however, if there is a line to get it, you’re probably going to pay the asking price. Otherwise, negotiate away. When I first shopped in Mexico, it felt strange awkward to negotiate on price because it’s so different than in the states. However, you start to realize that the negotiation is factored into the initial asking price. Probably my favorite line is “almost free today”… and then comes the way inflated asking price … your initial low ball offer … and then you meet in the middle to pay a reasonable price. Sometimes if you want something, but think the price is too high, you have to walk away, or rather since you’re sitting, say “no gracias”. If they have room to move and still make a profit, they will generally come down in price. Keep in mind that these vendors are hard working families that depend on tourist dollars for their income. I have heard of some people that will pay the asking price, or even a little higher because of this. However, I think the art of the negotiation is fun, and the vendors will never sell below their profit margin, so everyone gains – tourists gain hard won trinkets and fun memories – and local vendors make a living.
If you frequent the same resort often, you will find some favorite vendors and build a relationship – they know what you’re willing to pay and you don’t even need much negotiation. At Las Palomas, we always buy our jewelry from Noe or one of his sons Rodrigo or Gill. They give us a great price, and we always end up buying something we don’t really need – not so different than going to the Dollar Store, lol!
Brigid’s favorite thing to get (do?) on the beach is the “henna” tattoo. I will admit, they are pretty cool and as long as you don’t get them wet until they are fully dry, they do last a week or two. Or, if you’re a teenager, or young at heart, you can keep going over them with a Sharpie marker when they start to fade.
And . . . when you get so hungry from all that shopping … you can buy authentic Mexican food like tamales, burritos, tacos, ceviche, fresh fruit in a pineapple, piña coladas in a fresh pineapple, mangos, ice cream bars (helados), and other snacks (botanas) from food vendors set up along the beach. You can eat, drink, and definitely be merry. Riley definitely recommends that you try the mango flowers on the beach! They are great plain or with the lime and chile. If the mango flower is too messy for you, you can always ask to have it sliced and put in a cup. Refreshments add to a great day on the beach, and leave fond memories of Mexico.