10 Best West Coast Mexico Souvenirs

While the west coast of Mexico may not have the crystal clear water and beautiful beaches of the Caribbean east coast, there is still so much to love about it. Most first time visitors opt for lively Puerto Vallarta, where nearby towns produce the best tequila in the country and surf enthusiasts will delight. More adventurous travelers, or those looking for a more authentic experience, should check out Huatulco, Mazatlan, Manzanillo and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. Whichever town you choose, I promise you will fall in love with the warm people and vibrant culture.

 

1. Tequila

Photo Credits: https://pixabay.com/en/tequila-bottle-glass-tequila-bottle-1353391/

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

The best tequila is found in…Tequila. Tequila is a small town not far from Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. Those traveling to Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara should definitely pay it a visit. Home to the largest (and first) tequila house in Mexico, José Cuervo, Tequila has been classified as a “Pueblo Magico” and is a wonderful day-trip from either town. The distillery tour, even if you are not a fan of José Cuervo, is something that cannot be missed. Other big names, like Herradura, have tasting rooms and tours and you have the chance to try some lesser-known distilleries that make smaller craft batches. The tasting room and sunset at La Cofradia should not be missed.

 

2. Leather Goods

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

Like tequila, high-quality leather goods also come from the state of Jalisco. When vacationing in Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara, be sure to visit some of the many markets to find a variety of leather goods. Cowboy boots, wallets, belts, saddles, etc. are just some of the items you will see for sale. You can find many unique pieces with hand embroidery but take into account, that these items aren’t cheap. So, if you see a really good “deal”, the item probably isn’t authentic.

 

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3. Lucha Libre Masks

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

The reason this souvenir made the list isn’t that I think every family needs one of these in their home but because the state of Jalisco is home to Lucha Libre. These Mexican fighting masks are a silly souvenir but there is no place better to purchase them than here. The perfect gift for the luchador in your family!

 

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4. Mariachi

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

One of the best souvenirs you can bring home from Jalisco isn’t physical. It is the gift of hearing a real Mariachi band play live. These songs may not mean much to you but they touch the hearts of millions of Mexicans. They are typically older songs that remind them of lost relatives or a love that got away. Not sure what song to ask for or how to ask in Spanish? Simply order a cazuela and sit back and enjoy.

 

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5. Huichol Arts

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

The Huichol people are native to a few states in Mexico, including Jalisco and Nayarit. Their handicrafts are found throughout markets in these regions and can be identified by the colorful yarn and beadwork. A very common souvenir is the gorgeous beaded bracelets that can be bought quite inexpensively. More expensive items, such as masks and yarn paintings are also found throughout the region. The patterns hold a significance, so be sure to purchase from someone who can explain your piece to you.

 

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6. Hot Sauce

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

Of course, it goes unsaid that the best hot sauces are found in the local restaurants. However, I happen to be a fan of the thick orange/red hot sauce served commonly in Guerrero, Jalisco, and Oaxaca with orders of ceviche. Named after the native people, Huichol hot sauce is a staple in all types of restaurants but pairs best with cocktails and ceviches. It isn’t a particularly spicy sauce, so no worries for those of you that don’t enjoy the burn 🙂

 

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7. Coffee

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

Oaxacan coffee is absolutely delicious. Arguably, the best in Mexico. I had tried it before I went to Oaxaca but once I made it there…wow. Insider tip for Huatulco: you will see many bags of coffee in the markets and stores. These are fine to buy but I found the most delicious coffee I tried was in a local market that I stumbled upon in Santa Cruz. Mercado Organico de Huatulco (MOH) sets up in Santa Cruz the first and third Saturday of each month. The vendor speaks a little English and the coffee is amazing. Also, be sure to grab some tamales before leaving…Oaxaca has some of the best.

 

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8. Hand-painted Tiles

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

The most beautiful hand-painted tiles come from Puebla. Puebla is at driving distance from Acapulco and Huatulco, so if you are staying in either of these beach towns, you should definitely take a day or two to visit. The tiles are Talavera pottery and are sought after throughout Mexico and beyond for their intricate designs. These tiles are often painted with deep, rich colors but blue is the most prominent. Perfect for a kitchen backsplash, many tourists bring dozens home.

 

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9. Hand-blown Glass

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

Whether you are looking for a new set of margarita glasses or some unique home décor, the west coast of Mexico has some fantastic options in their markets. The best part about hand blown glass is that no two pieces are identical, so you can easily tell a store selling fakes. The most popular pieces are clear glass rimmed in dark blue…I’m sure you’ve seen some of the margarita glasses in your local Mexican restaurant 🙂

 

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10. Alebrijes

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

Photo Credits: pixabay.com

 

The first time I received an alebrije, I was in love with it. The best place to find them is in the state of Oaxaca and Jacobo Angeles’ pieces are among the best. The representations of these creatures are handcrafted using a wood found in the state of Oaxaca. They are typically a fantastical creation of two or more animals combined and painted using a variety of bright colors. These magical creatures are an important part of Mexican history and to be honest, they don’t come cheap. Average prices in stores started around $30 USD and go way up from there.

 

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