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SHOPPING

Shopping in Akumal is a perfect example of quality rather than quantity. Although it does not have the multitude of stores that are available in Playa del Carmen or Cancun, Akumal does have interesting and high quality art galleries and gift shops that are sure to meet your needs.

Ak Nah Galeria: You will find jewelry and original art in this gallery in Akumal that features the work of artist Richard Mazola and his wife Cami. Richard paints local scenes and underwater life, as well as creations in the Maya world. Cami creates beaded jewelry with pieces, pendants, and stones of all sorts and has a selection of both feminine and masculine designs. The hours of the gallery are 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Saturday (October through June).

Boonil Naj Gallery: Local Mayan artist Sergio Gamboa displays his work at this gallery just past the arch in Akumal near Plaza Ukana. Sergio's work includes mostly local flora and fauna, and he enjoys making his own frames as well.

MexicArte is a  unique store just inside the arch that sells genuine Mexican arts, crafts and jewelry. Purchases made at MexicArte contribute directly to Mexican artisans, strengthening their link to their homeland and their cultural heritage. Located in the pink building just past the Hotel Akumal Caribe lobby, MexicArte accepts credit cards and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.

La Buena Vida Bone Zone: Across the street from La Buena Vida on Half Moon Bay is the Bone Zone, a unique gift shop with t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers, and other fun items for sale. There are also several other gift shops along this stretch of the road that sell pottery, cigars, gift items, locally made clothing, etc.

Galeria Lamanai Caribbean Arts & Crafts: This unique and interesting gallery opened in 1999 on the beach and has continued as a gift shop and artist showcase for folk artists from Mexico, Cuba and Italy.  Featuring great art by original artists, crafts, jewelry, carvings and more, Galeria Lamanai accepts credit cards and is open 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.

Both of the grocery stores just outside the arch in Akumal, Super Chomak and El Pueblito, offer a decent selection of tourist items, sunscreen, sunglasses, liquor, small gifts, clothes, as well as basic grocery needs.

Hacienda Doña Isabel is located in the Bahia Principe Resort one mile south of South Akumal. The stores have almost everything you could imagine (pharmacy, clothing, ATM, local arts and crafts, wine, liquor, silver, souvenirs, etc.) with fairly reasonable prices.

About 10 minutes north of Akumal you will find the Puerto Aventuras Marina, which has many stores and restaurants. Puerto Aventuras itself is a resort-type community, so in addition to the bevy of tourist shop items you will also encounter stores with unusual gifts, clothes, art, and artisan items.

The city of Playa del Carmen, with all of its shopping opportunities waiting to be discovered, is only 30 minutes away! Only one block from the beach is the famous La Quinta Avenida or 5th Avenue, a cobblestone pedestrian-only shopping street that is more than 3 miles long. Along 5th Avenue you will find t-shirt stores, authentic Mexican handicrafts, pottery, luxury boutiques, tequila stores, pharmacies, upscale clothing shops, hammocks, Starbucks, and just about anything else that might interest you. There are also plenty of restaurants to squelch the hunger that will inevitably hit after you are finished haggling over prices with the vendors! On the south end of 5th Avenue where it intersects with the road to the ferry dock, is the Paseo del Carmen outdoor shopping mall.

In addition to its great selection of grocery stores, Playa del Carmen (more commonly referred to as simply "Playa") has two indoor shopping malls: Centro Maya on the south end of town at the intersection of Federal Highway 307 and the Arco Vial/115th Avenue extension, and Plaza Las Americas in the ejido, at the intersection of 115th Avenue and Calle 75. Plaza Las Americas has a fairly new Sears as an anchor store.

Another exciting new addition to the Playa del Carmen shopping scene is a Liverpool department store on the west side of the Federal Highway 307. This brand new store is located south of Hospiten and the south entrance to Playacar, and just north of the Pemex station.

Tulum, about 20 minutes south of Akumal, is another interesting shopping destination. With a more Bohemian vibe, Tulum has a good selection of art, silver jewelry with amber or onyx, traditional masks, batik beach wraps with Mayan designs, cigars made right in front of you, and handmade clothing for both men and women.