From souvenirs to collectible furnishings, you can find a little of everything along the streets of San José. And unlike in Cabo San Lucas, shopping in in San José del Cabo means you can browse at a leisurely pace without worrying about aggressive shop owners encouraging you to make a purchase.
Arts, Crafts, and Souvenirs
A handicraft market has opened on Boulevard Mijares near Plaza La Misión. About a dozen vendors sell reasonably priced arts and crafts, including hammocks, handmade toys for children, T-shirts, ceramics, sombreros, and more. Another handful of vendors sell inexpensive arts and crafts along the north side of Boulevard Mijares, between Calles Coronado and Juárez. These stands are open 11am–9pm daily. For better selection and quality, at higher prices, check out the shops that are closer to Plaza Mijares and the art district.
Antigua Los Cabos (Mijares 5, tel. 624/146-9933, firstname.lastname@example.org) has some antiques as well as handmade rugs, folk art, ceramics, and tequilas. Sol Dorado (Mijares 33, across from the Tropicana, tel. 624/142-1950) is a multilevel store filled with ceramics, glassware, ironworks, mirrors, and furnishings. For large or fragile items, the store ships via DHL (fully insured). It will also deliver purchases to your hotel for US$10–85, depending on the location. The smaller Mejicanisimo (Zaragoza 8, tel. 624/142-3090, 9am–10pm Mon.–Fri., till 9:30pm Sat.,10am-8pm Sun.), next to the plaza, has much of the same.
Cinthya Castro stocks El Armario (corner of Morelos and Obregón, tel. 624/105-2989, email@example.com, 8am–8pm Mon.–Sat.) with an artistic mix of ceramics, paintings, locally made Baja Desert soaps, and other crafts made in Mexico.
Several stores sell high-quality Mexican fire opals and other gemstones. Ask to see the opals in natural light—the more “fire,” the higher the price. If you don’t see what you want, ask to see individual stones. Most stores offer 24-hour turnaround for custom settings, but don’t plan your pickup time to the minute or you may be late to catch your flight home.
Martha Rodriguez at El Rincón del Ópalo jewelry factory (Mijares 6, tel. 624/142-2566, firstname.lastname@example.org, 9am–9pm Mon.–Sat., till 10am–2pm Sun.) can help you choose a stone and setting in a pleasant gallery off the main plaza. Jewelry Factory (Mijares 5, tel. 624/142-6394, 9am–8pm daily), on the plaza next to Antigua Los Cabos, has some of the highest-quality jewels in town, and service to match. La Mina (Mijares 33, tel. 624/143-3747, 9am–8pm daily) displays costume jewelry on the porous walls of a small cave and has a second location in Cabo San Lucas.
San José has a thriving art district that is home to about 20 galleries, many of them first-rate. Galleries tend to be run by expats, but the artists are a fairly even mix of Mexicans and foreigners. Run by a graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York City and a full-time Los Cabos resident, the three-story Galería de Ida Victoria (Guerrero 1128, tel. 624/142-5772, 10am-7pm Mon-Fri.) shows original paintings, photography, sculpture, and other works of art in a three-level gallery. State-of-the-art lighting and hanging systems were custom designed for the space.
Galería Arenas (Obregón 10, tel. 624/142-4969, email@example.com, 10am-2pm and 4pm-8pm Mon.-Sat.) has original Mexican pottery.
Amber Gallery (Obregón 18, tel. 624/105-2332, 10am-2pm and 6pm-8pm daily) features the work of artist Ronsai, who travels to Chiapas, where amber is mined by hand, to select raw stones to make jewelry, sculptures, and perfume bottles. The most unusual part of his collection features perfectly preserved fossils of various flowers and insects such as cockroaches, crickets, spiders, and termites.
Muvezi Gallery (Obregón 20, tel. 624/157-2428, 10am-2pm and 4pm-8pm Mon.-Tues., 10am-9pm Wed.-Fri., 11am-8pm Sat.-Sun.) specializes in fine African sculpture, with a focus on the art of Shona sculptors in Zimbabwe. The gallery supports 200 Shona sculptors with income and materials in exchange for the opportunity to share their art globally.
In 2011, Ivan Guaderrama Art Gallery (Obregón 20, tel. 624/189-1144) opened its doors. Twenty-eight-year-old artist and owner Ivan Guaderrama shares his spiritual art and sculpture in the labyrinthine gallery that contains his studio and brims with color, emphasizing the soul, spirit, and mind.
If you are looking for contemporary Mexican folk art, a visit to Paquime Gallery (Obregón 17, tel. 624/105-6360, 10am-2pm and 5pm-9pm daily) is in order. The gallery specializes in sculpture and pottery from the Mata Ortiz village, the Huichol art of Francisco Bautista, and contemporary paintings from Mexican artists.
Second-home owners looking to furnish their new condos and villas with authentic Mexican design elements will find just about everything they need in San José. For a rustic look, head to Galería Los Cabos (Hidalgo north of Obregón, tel. 624/142-0044, 9am-8pm Mon.-Fri.), which has some antiques as well as rattan pieces and barrel-back chairs made by local crafters. Casa Paulina (Morelos at the corner of Comonfort, tel. 624/142-5555, 11am-7:30pm Mon.-Fri., 11am-3pm Sat.), across from El Encanto Suites, is a beautiful store to browse, even if you aren’t in the market to buy. It has wood and upholstered pieces as well as ceramics and other decorative items displayed on two levels. Adobe Design (Plaza San José, Carr. Transpeninsular km 32, tel. 624/114-4976) carries furniture and interior design materials for both antique and modern home styles.
Deportiva Piscis (Castro, tel. 624/142- 0332, 8am-7pm daily), on the south side of Calle Castro near the Mercado Municipal, has fishing tackle, bait, and fishing-related books and gear.
Excerpted from the Ninth Edition of Moon Los Cabos.