colorful textiles in mexico

What to Buy in Merida: 15 Best Mexico Souvenirs in Merida


Looking for some Merida souvenirs in the Yucatan Peninsula?

You’re in luck, I live in Merida, and I’m going to highlight the best souvenirs from the Yucatan Peninsula Mexico! If you’re wondering what to buy in Merida Mexico — stick around, I’m going to show you the 15 most unique Merida souvenirs to buy on your trip.

Merida is located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and for its visitors, there are so many amazing souvenirs, gifts and keepsakes you’ll want to bring home! From artisanally-crafted food and drink products, to authentic Yucatan clothing that the locals wear, to handmade arts!

There are three states that make up the Yucatan Peninsula: Quintana Roo State, Campeche State and Yucatán State. Merida is the capital and largest city in Yucatán State. It is also considered the Culture Capital of Yucatan, so finding authentic Merida souvenirs is easy.

Ready to discover what to buy in Merida Mexico? Let’s get to this list with the Top 10 Yucatan Peninsula souvenirs to buy in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.

What to Buy in Merida: Food & Drink

Habanero Pepper Salsa

three bottles of habanero salsa | what to buy in merida mexico

The local chili pepper grown in the Yucatan Peninsula is the habanero pepper (a cousin to the spicy Scotch bonnet pepper). Habaneros are very hot, so you’ll want to use your Yucatan salsa sparingly — but this pepper is a central ingredient in traditional Yucatan food.

When eating at all the best restaurants in the Merida, you’ll usually get habanero salsa brought to your table without even asking for it. All the locals use some; the key is finding your perfect amount that adds flavor, without burning your mouth on your tacos!

🌶 Where to buy habanero salsa in Merida: Mercado Lucas de Galvez (📍Map), the largest local market in Merida — where all the locals shop, so you know you’ll get a god price!

What to Buy in Merida

Local Mayan Honey

bottle of local mayan honey in merida yucatan mexico | what to buy in merida souvenirs

For those wanting no spice whatsoever in their food, swap out your Merida food souvenir from habanero salsa to Mayan honey. This sweet treat was not only consumed by the Maya, but also used for medicinal treatments for everything from cuts to glaucoma!

🐝 For a unique experience, take the Stingless Bee Honey Tasting in Merida, to sample different kinds of local Mayan honey.

There are several species of bees local to the Yucatan Peninsula, including the stingless Melipona bee. These endemic bees produce a unique-tasting honey that’s unlike anything you’ll find in your local grocery store today.

🍯 Where to buy honey in Merida: Miel Nativa (📍Map), a Mexico nonprofit working with local producers to keep their honey fair trade. They are located in the Carmesí building.

What to Buy in Merida

Xtabentun (Mayan Honey Liqueur) 

bottle of xtabentun mayan honey liquor | what to buy in merida souvenirs
Xtabentun Mayan honey liquor, which isn’t seen much outside of the Yucatan Peninsula. (Photo: Manuel Cózar via Flickr)

Xtabentun (pronounced shtab-en-tune) is an ancient Mayan liquor that’s been made for thousands of years. According to Wiki, “Xtabentún may have its origin in balché, a ceremonial liquor produced by the Maya.” While balché is near-impossible to find, you can buy bottled xtabentun in Merida.

It is made with anise seed, and fermented honey produced by honey bees from the nectar of xtabentún flowers — a very rare plant to find in the wild. Rum is added to the anise and honey mixture, and it’s all left to ferment, creating the smooth, sweet xtabentun liquor.

To drink, many locals have it straight up or over ice; some even add in an extra spoonful of honey. Some will add it to their coffee, or make a Mayan Coffee, which is coffee mixed with a shot of tequila and a shot of xtabentun.

🐝 Where to buy xtabentun liquor in Merida: Mercado Santa Ana (📍Map), in the stores surrounding the outside of the market on Calle 47 (47th Street).

What to Buy in Merida

Mayan Chocolate

making mayan chocolate by hand | what to buy in merida souvenirs
Grinding cacao by hand to make chocolate, the way the Maya have done for centuries.

Mexico Fun Fact: The Maya were the first to cultivate the cacao tree — from which we get chocolate! While visiting the Yucatan Peninsula, take home a Mayan chocolate souvenir, which can be found in products from hand soap to chocolate that you eat and drink.

The chocolate you eat will have a nice grainy texture, as its hand-ground and made the old fashioned way. In fact, some companies selling to mostly United States and Canada clientele have embraced this textured chocolate, like Taza, famed for its stone ground chocolate.

🍫 Where to buy Mayan chocolate in Merida: Ki’Xocolatl (📍Map), a local chocolate shop located in Parque Santa Lucia — where you’ll also find the famous big Merida chairs. Ki’Xocolatl is located in the back corner of the plaza.

What to Buy in Merida

Molinillo (Wood Whisk)

wooden whisk in mexico | what to buy in merida souvenirs

If you’ll be buying a large amount of Mayan chocolate (you should!), don’t forget your molinillo — which are both beautiful and practical. In fact, they have been used by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans for thousands of years.

A molinillo (pronounced moe-lee-knee-oh) is a wooden whisk, used to make both hot and cold Mexican drinks. To make a proper Mexican hot chocolate, you will need a molinillo whisk which will add air into your drink, giving it a nice foamy top.

☕️ Where to buy a molinillo whisk in Merida: Mercado Santa Ana (📍Map), in the stores surrounding the outside of the market on Calle 47 (47th Street).

What to Buy in Merida

Pox (Mayan Liquor)

small cup of red colored liquor called pox from mexico | what to buy in merida souvenirs
A cup of pox liquor, which can come in a variety of colors. (Photo: Amaya Juan via Flickr)

Pox (pronounced posh) is a Mexican drink commonly associated with Chiapas State, located south of Yucatan State. Like xtabentun, pox is a Mayan liquor as well, and both Chiapas and Yucatan States have large Mayan populations. 

A home-brewed liquor, there’s not one way to make pox, though its main ingredients are corn, wheat and sugarcane. Pox has a strong corn flavor, but also sweeter notes from the sugarcane. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, but you can try for yourself and see how you like it.

🍾 Where to buy pox liquor in Merida: Posheria Mérida (📍Map), located on Paseo de Montejo.

What to Buy in Merida: Art & Handicrafts

Yucatan Hammocks

colorful hammocks in mexico's yucatan peninsula | what to buy in merida souvenirs

Hammocks are one of the most popular handmade Yucatan Peninsula souvenirs. Beloved by visitors and locals alike, many who live in Merida even sleep in hammocks rather than traditional beds.

While you may not want to fully swap out your bed for a hammock, they do make a great place to nap. Artisans in Yucatan are known to craft some of the most beautiful, colorful and sturdy hammocks in Mexico.

😴 Where to buy hammocks in Merida: You’ll usually find hammock vendors in and right around Parque Hidalgo, or you can head to Cielo Hamacas Montejo (📍Map), on Paseo de Montejo.

What to Buy in Merida

Hummingbird Art

wooden hummingbird figures, pained in bright colors | what to buy in merida souvenirs

The hummingbird is sacred to the Maya, who believed these small birds carry one person’s good thoughts to another. Since they move so fast, and are near impossible to catch, the colibri (hummingbird) is a revered animal throughout Mexico.

As with all important symbols, you can find the hummingbird on pieces of art made by local Mayan artisans. One of the nicest of all are the carved wooden hummingbirds that hang from strings. Note: I even made this website’s logo a hummingbird!

🦜 Where to buy hummingbird art and local art souvenirs in Merida: Artesanaria (📍Map), in Centro Historico.

What to Buy in Merida

Mayan Textiles

colorful mayan textile with a rose pattern | what to buy in merida mexico

Mayan textiles are beautiful and colorful, often having large flowers, animals sacred to the Maya and elaborate lines and geometric patterns on them.

All the imagery on any Mayan textile has deep symbolism and tells a lot about who’s wearing it. Different patterns can signify status in society, a person’s family lineage, religious hierarchy, and more. When you buy a Mayan textile, see if you can find out the symbolism!

🧶 Where to buy Mayan textiles in Merida: Casa Maya Mérida (📍Map), in Centro Historico.

What to Buy in Merida

Mayan God Chaac Figure

statue of the mayan rain god, chaac, at chichen itza mayan ruins in mexico
Mayan rain god Chaac at Chichen Itza Ruins near Merida. (Photo: Maria Grazia Schiapparelli via Flickr)

Among the most important gods in the Mayan religion is Chaac. This is a rain god, said to control the entire sky’s clouds, lightning and of course, rainfall. Merida Travel Tips: To see another version of Chaac, head to the Monumento a la Patria monument on Paseo de Montejo.

The Maya god Chaac is often depicted in a reclined position. This important figure was always ready to accept offerings — and the Maya were happy to give because they wanted to keep Chaac happy, so it would rain and their crops would grow.

🗿 Where to buy Chaac figurines and local art souvenirs in Merida: Casa Maya Mérida (📍Map), in Centro Historico.

What to Buy in Merida

Mexican Folk Art from Other States

colorful mexican pottery called talavera | what to buy in merida souvenirs
Talavera pottery from Puebla, Mexico.
colorful pom pom garland at a market in merida yucatan mexico
Tzotzil pom poms from Chiapas, Mexico.

These items aren’t specific to the Yucatan Peninsula per se, but they do make great souvenirs from Mexico. Colorful Mexican folk art is different in different parts of the country, but in many shops throughout the Yucatan, you can find unique art from various Mexican states.

While souvenir shopping, be on the lookout for tzotzil pom poms and carved jaguar figurines from Chiapas State, Lele Dolls from Queretaro State, Talavera pottery from Puebla State, and black pottery from Oaxaca State — to name a few of Mexico folk art souvenirs in Yucatan.

🇲🇽 Where to buy authentic folk art souvenirs in Merida: Posheria Mérida (📍Map), on Paseo Montejo.

What to Buy in Merida: Clothing

Huipil Tunic-Style Dress

A woman dancing in a traditional Mayan huipil in Plaza Grande during a festival.

The Yucatan Peninsula is home to the largest Mayan population in Mexico. When visiting, you may see Maya women wearing the traditional, embroidered huipil (pronounced wee-peel). This is a long tunic style dress, with colorful floral embroidery and white lace.

Huipiles are both beautiful in look, and they will keep you cool in Merida’s tropical climate. You can find the huipil in its traditional tunic style, but as Yucatan and Merida fashion has evolved, you can also buy a huipil blouse, or even a cute crop top.

💃 Where to buy huipiles in Merida: You can find them from local Mayan women selling them in or near Plaza Grande, or Esencia Maya Paseo Montejo (📍Map), on Paseo Montejo.

What to Buy in Merida

Guayabera Shirts

guayabera men's dress shirts | what to buy in merida souvenirs
Merida has plenty of guayabera shirts to choose from. (Photo: J. Alberto Granados Sosa via Flickr

For men, the guayabera (pronounced why-uh-bear-uh) is the most traditional article of clothing from Yucatan. (A Panama hat is another great Merida souvenir for men!)

You’ll find guayaberas in shops all over town, and many guys will want to swap out whatever shirt they have on for a guayabera instantly — as guayabera shirts are designed to keep you cool. They are also stylish enough to be used as a casual-dressy nighttime shirt.

👕 Where to buy guayabera shirts in Merida: G. Candila Guayaberas (📍Map), in Centro Historico.

What to Buy in Merida

Huarache Shoes

leather huarache sandals | what to buy in merida souvenirs
Mexican huarache sandals, which are named after the huarache, a popular Mexican food.

These popular, stylish shoes are popular throughout Mexico. In Yucatan, where it’s hot all year, the slits in huarache shoes keep your feet cool while you walk around town. Traditionally made with leather, you can find huaraches in neutral tan colors, but also bright colors.

👡 Where to buy huarache shoes in Merida: Kukul Boutique (📍Map), in Centro Historico.

What to Buy in Merida

Best Shopping in Merida

While this list covers all the souvenirs, for those who just want to shop all the great boutiques in Merida, here’s a quick rundown of the best places to shop in Merida for clothes from local designers, cool accessories and more.

Casa Tho Concept House

casa tho merida shopping
Casa Tho is one of the most beautiful and best places to shop in Merida Mexico. (Photo: Casa Tho via Facebook)

One of the most beautiful places to shop in Merida. Casa Tho is a renovated mansion, with boutiques from local designers surrounding a courtyard with a cute cafe. You can find clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, perfumes, and more — then enjoy a cocktail post-shopping!

Casa T´HŌ Concept House (📍Map), is located on Paseo Montejo.

Taller Maya Santa Ana

Taller Maya, just across the street from Parroquia Santa Ana, is the best place to shop in Merida for home goods and art. Some things might be too big to bring home in your suitcase, but they have a lot of smaller art pieces and home-wares as well.

Taller Maya Santa Ana (📍Map), is located in Centro Historico.

Merida L’Epicerie at Coqui Coqui

coqui coqui perfume store | what to buy in merida
Inside the beautiful L’Epicerie Coqui Coqui Merida perfume shop. (Photo: Coqui Coqui)

Coqui Coqui is one of the best boutique hotels in Merida. It only has one room, so it’s not easy to book, but there’s also a spa and perfume shop where you can make custom scents. Merida Travel Tips: Reservations required to enter; get more info here.

Coqui Coqui Merida (📍Map), is located in Centro Historico.

Happening Mérida

Fun Merida boutique where you can buy everything from graphic tees from local and Mexican artists, to funky jewelry and unique home goods. Happening also has locations in Mexico City and Guadalajara, so this Mexican chain is known to curate great products.

 Happening Merida (📍Map), is located on Paseo Montejo.

Tags Alpargatas

huarache shoes | what to buy in merida souvenirs
At Tags Merida shoe store, you never know what pattern you’ll get. (Photo: Tags Alpargatas via Facebook)

Really cool shoe store in Merida that has patterns made by local Yucatan and Mayan artisans. You can get semi-custom shoes made right in the store, with your choice of pattern. This local Merida company specializes in comfy, slipper-style shoes for both men and women.

Tags Alpargatas (📍Map), is located in Centro Historico.

Best Merida Malls

If you need one of the more traditional shopping malls in Merida Mexico, here are the best options: La Isla Merida, The Harbor Merida, the two nicest and most modern of all Merida malls, Plaza Altabrisa Merida, Galerias Merida and Gran Plaza Merida.

Final Thoughts: What to Buy in Merida Mexico

While this is a big list, there are many other great souvenirs from Yucatan you’ll love. Though a souvenir can be anything that reminds you of your trip, this list contains items unique to Mexico’s Yucatan region, so you can bring an authentic souvenir from Merida home with you.

Merida Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance? 100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

💧Can you drink the water in Merida? No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Merida? Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

📲 Will my phone work in Merida? Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Merida accommodation? For Mexico hotels and hostels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb! (Read more)

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights? For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Mexico? Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.

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