Sue Bucerias Corner
Hola Best of Banderas Bay fans! It is exciting to be a part of the second edition of this fabulous magazine and the opportunity to share with you shopping adventures here in the Bay.
Things have drastically changed around the bay over the years. As I look back when I arrived in the late 90´s which was my first recollection of shopping here, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Galleria Mall, Isla had not been built yet, so it was local small mom and pop stores selling groceries, trinkets and souvenirs, the larger big box stores did not arrive until well into early 2000´s.
Back then we had to travel 4 hours, all the way to Guadalajara to find what we would call civilized shopping and to find a large, big box style store or a mall. Puerto Vallarta and especially surrounding towns were all very small fishing villages with a simple way of life and very minimal shopping.
I can remember back in early 2000 when ground broke on the first major chain store, Sam’s Club and how excited we all were. Today you can find almost anything you want throughout the entire Banderas Bay and what you cannot find, we now have moved into the digital age here with Amazon or Mercado Libre who will deliver it to your front door which in the past was unheard of!
Banderas Bay shopping has come a long way over the last 20 years and now you can find big box stores everywhere in the bay and you will find an Oxxo on almost every corner which saddens me because of the loss of many smaller merchants and stores. My focus in this article is on the North Bay of Banderas which stretches from Nuevo Vallarta to Punta Mita to include my hometown of Bucerias
First, we have Paradise Plaza Shopping Center and Mall located in Nuevo Vallarta by the beach and next to Paradise Village resort and marina. This is a modern air-conditioned shopping experience that offers numerous Mexican-inspired shops featuring Huitchol native Indian art and other galleries, comfortable cotton clothing, swimwear, lots of shoes not to mention a fast-food court and restaurants serving delicious Mexican Cuisine. There is also a grocery store where one can find many imported food items not available in the local markets. This Mall is not for the bargain shopper but very nice including a Starbucks.
Next, we have Plaza Lago Real, off the main highway 10 minutes south of Bucerias. This is a modern mall featuring a variety of over 70 retail stores with Walmart being the anchor. This mall has a little bit of everything including office supplies, furniture, art, medical and more. You even will find the main Telcel office as well as several other cellular companies. Great mall to get literally everything you could need all in one place.
Lastly with shopping centers, the third mall in Bucerias also off the main highway 200 is the Mega Shopping Center which features Soriana Market and many other stores and right across the street is the La Comer Grocery Center which is an upscale grocery shopping experience.
Just down the road there is also the Chedraui Market which is a Walmart style super store with groceries, liquor, electronics, and all types of other merchandise. As you can see the North Bay has come a long way from the small little corner stores and markets which I still love to shop at but as far a convenience we now can get whatever we need without having to drive an hour.
Finally, there are the markets!!!! Starting the beginning of November through April you will find a fun variety of markets with local artisans, crafts, homemade baked goods and delicacies, fresh fruits, and vegetables and much more! The local markets are throughout Nayarit at many locations and days.
On Sundays you have the La Cruz marina market. It has a variety of colorful handcrafted items and treats plus live entertainment and delicious artisan foods.
On Wednesdays you will find a smaller market at Chedraui in Bucerias that is also fun to explore before or after you grab your weekly groceries.
Nuevo Vallarta has a local farmers market on Tuesdays with fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood in a pleasant outdoor setting with live music, located in Centro Empresarial just one block from Paradise Plaza shopping center.
Finally, we have the local Bucerias market every Sunday all year round with bargains galore and fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood and much more!
Every day in Centro you will find an artesian market featuring Mexican blankets, beautiful hand-woven hammocks, ceramic ware, souvenirs, and trinkets and just about anything you could need.
The shopping experience has really changed but one thing that has always remained the same is if you don’t feel like leaving your beach chair, just sit on the beach sipping on a frosty margarita and wait for the vendors to come to you. A polite “No Gracias” will usually send them away if you are not interested.
So, whether you are a resident or on a short vacation, get out and “shop till you drop”! Till next time and I hope to see you in Bucerias soon.