Retail Therapy and Shopping Guide to Latin America


The shopping in Latin America ranges from markets and cooperatives to luxury shops and shopping malls.

In general, shops have fixed prices and on average a higher quality product.

Markets provide an opportunity to haggle over prices, hunt out the best quality and negotiate a better price and find typical products and souvenirs for the country you are visiting.

Markets, Malls & More


Almost every town will have a market at least one day per week and in some more remote towns, you may find proper native pieces, sold to you by indigenous people dressed in traditional attire.

Some markets sell pieces aimed at tourists, whereas others, such as the La Paz witches market in Bolivia, is quite unique to the country, selling trinkets and herbs and having people offer to tell your fortune from coca leaves.

The cities are where you find modern shopping centres, of which many include large food courts and cinemas and on occasion hotels and leisure areas incorporated within the centre, all perfect for some retail therapy. Mexico city's Centro Santa Fe is the largest in the country and one of Latin America's largest shopping centres with over 300 different shops.

When shopping in Latin America, be careful when purchasing food and certain animal and plant products if you plan to bring them home, as you may need to check your customs allowances and list of prohibited items.

In Cuba, certain products require certificates in order to get them through customs.