There are so many different places to shop here in Playa del Carmen. There’s the grocery stores that are more like department stores. There’s the high end shops on La Quinta. There’s the corner abarottes (convenience stores). ┬áThere’s the mall. And of course there’s Wal Mart. But one of our new favorite places is the Mercado (Market) that’s held every Sunday. The Mercado is an open air market that ‘pops up’ if you will on Sunday morning and is dismantled by the evening. This is a tradition in many Latin American cities, some have a bit more fixed structure, the one here in Playa is a series of stalls and carts connected with tarps.

We’re lucky enough that the Playa del Carmen one sits just a few blocks from our house on Calle 54 between Avenida 10th and 30th and we’ve strolled it multiple times.

Playa del Carmen Mercado
The entire family often shops the Mercado because there is literally something for everyone.

We’ve seen everything from dishes to kid’s toys to auto parts to furniture for sale. This was one of the few stalls where they had stained the wood of the furniture.

Furniture at the Mercado
If we needed to buy furniture I’d head to the Mercado first. There was some beautiful choices.

There were lots of tents set up offering music and movies, I have no idea if these are legit or bootleg copies, but I have a guess.

DVDs at the Mercado
I’m not sure if they have Iron Man 3, but there is just about any other movie you could want.

Lots of places had clothes and shoes for kids and adults for really cheap prices. Jason was eyeing one shirt that was 40 pesos (about $3.50) and I think there was room for negotiation. But with no place to try things on and I’m pretty sure no return policy it can be a gamble.

Clothes at the Mercado
One day soon we’re going to have to pick up some Mexico futbol jerseys here.
Shoes at the Playa del Carmen Mercado
Shoes, shoes everywhere, and not a size 10 in sight. Have I mentioned that the Mayans are a small people? It physically pains me to not be able to buy.

There were also loads of food options. You can buy fruits and vegetables, fresh squeezed juices, ice cream, chicharones, and a lot of other things that I couldn’t identify. This stall was grilling and selling corn or shrimp on a stick.

Corn or shrimp on a stick? Why not.
I tried the corn, it was rubbed with chili and lime and was quite tasty.

But neither of us were willing to go here.

Cooking at the Mercado
Yeah, not quite brave enough to try what he was fixing. But there was a line so whatever is in there is apparently quite good.

The Mercado is primarily about shopping, but this guy was trying hard to bring the entertainment.

Musician at the Mercado
The very definition of a one man band. We counted at least four different instruments this guy was playing.

The Mercado is definitely a cheap, fun place to spend a Sunday afternoon. We’re anxious to visit some other cities in Mexico on a Sunday to see if they have something similar. Have any of you ever shopped one?