When cruising to Mexico, you’ll be met with gorgeous views, world-famous food and the smiling faces of fellow cruise mates and friendly locals. You’ll also encounter some of the best shopping on the planet. This diverse land is home to many artisanal goods and food items unique to the region.
Traveling home with a few Mexican souvenirs is a great way to remember your vacation and extend the blissful feeling of being on your Mexican cruise.
Here are some suggestions for great souvenirs to bring back from your cruise to Mexico.
1. Mayan Wooden Mask
Mexico’s varied history, rich culture and vibrant beauty are perhaps best displayed through the wide variety of traditional folk art. The Mayans inhabited the Yucatán peninsula for about 1,000 years, and carved wooden masks are a beautiful and unique reflection of Mexico’s strong indigenous roots.
Masks of all sizes depict ancient deities, jungle animals and other natural symbols, and make a great piece of art or home decor.
2. Lucha Libre Mask
Lucha libre masks have become a symbol of Mexico’s native form of freestyle professional wrestling, and you can find them in souvenir stores near your port of call. As a fun-loving gift or a costume idea, these colorful masks are perfect for friends or any fan of wrestling. The fact that they are lightweight and affordable makes them an even better gift option.
3. Mexican Chocolate
Mexican chocolate is typically produced in the temperate climates of Oaxaca, Tabasco and Chiapas, but you can find it all over the country, including when you step onto the shore during your cruise.
Authentic Mexican chocolate is great for cooking or hot chocolate, and may be flavored with fresh ground cinnamon, almonds or a hint of hot chili powder. A block of chocolate is a compact gift that’s sure to please everyone on your list, including you!
4. Mexican Vanilla
Did you know that Mexico is the birthplace of vanilla? It’s true! So, to balance out your chocolate stash, be sure to get your hands on some rich and smooth Mexican vanilla extracts harvested straight from the orchid flower. Vanilla is great for baking, cocktails and coffees, and for the best flavor, you’ll want to find an all natural version rather than synthetic.
Pottery is made in many forms all over Mexico. The famous brightly painted “talavera” ceramics and the sleek polished black “barro negro” pots are just two of the styles you may encounter. In shopping centers and markets near your port of call you can find hand-fired and painted tiles, pots, wall art, dishes, and more.
6. Xtabentún Liqueur
When it comes to things to buy in Mexico, tequila is a popular choice. Without a doubt, a bottle of tequila or mezcal makes an excellent souvenir. But have you ever heard of Xtabentún liqueur? Made in the coastal Yucatán region, Xtabentún is a very special anise liqueur made with fermented honey produced from the nectar of xtabentún flowers.
Rum is added to the anise and honey mixture to create a delicate sweet spirit. For something a little bit out of the ordinary, bring home a few bottles of this liqueur originally attributed to the Mayans.
7. Taxco Silver
Taxco silver gets its name from the town in central Mexico where almost all of the country’s silver is produced. Over the years, Taxco artisans have created a distinct style that is as fashionable as it is collectible. A Taxco silver bracelet, earrings, or ring makes a great gift – but once you see it, we know you’ll want to take home a piece for yourself as well!
Taxco silver jewelry often includes semi-precious stones native to the area such as turquoise, malachite and onyx.
8. Mexican Textile Souvenirs
Why buy a touristy t-shirt when you can bring home something more authentic and just as easy to find? Mexican blankets, hammocks and hand-embroidered clothes are just a few of the high quality local textiles you can bring home as a gift or keepsake. Embroidered fabric tops for men or women are a comfortable option for any occasion.
Take your pick from brightly colored stripes, flowers or other designs. Mexican textiles make a great gift, but we won’t blame you if you want to take some home for yourself too.
9. Hot Salsa
Arguably Mexico’s most famous export, hot salsa comes in a wide variety of flavors and styles. Mexican salsas are made with simple yet delicious ingredients like fresh garlic, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, hot peppers, and often a squeeze of lime.
Take your pick of varieties, from tomatillo salsa made with tangy green tomatoes to the smoky flavor of a chipotle salsa, or a traditional red “roja” salsa or a fiery habanero sauce. Not a fan of spicy food? Don’t worry, you can find Mexican salsas in any spice level you desire.
10. Mexican Coffee Beans
Mexico is a major producer of certified organic and fair-trade coffee, with beans grown and harvested mostly in the southern states. After you’ve enjoyed a morning cup of rich Mexican coffee, you’ll be eager to take some home. The good news is it’s affordable, and easy to find and transport home.
So, what are you waiting for? Make some holiday plans and get your shopping shoes ready. Armed with this list and a great cruise itinerary, you’re sure to come back with timeless memories and some of the best souvenirs from Mexico.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.