Riviera Maya

Continued (page 11 of 11)

JEWELRY

Stunning silver pieces, embedded with semiprecious stones and crystals from the region and other areas of Mexico, are sold at InArt Plata Mexico (Paseo del Carmen and Plaza Playacar; inartmexico.com), which also has a permanent display of silver jewelry art. Amber from Chiapas is the star at sister stores Ambar Mexicano (between 4th and 6th Streets) and the smaller Ambar y Opalo (between 10th and 12th Streets). Because the pieces are made locally, you can create your own designs and have them executed during your stay. Nouveau-hippie couples appreciate the leather jewelry at Joe Natural (Calle Corazon), incorporating beads, feathers and other playful materials.

SPIRITS

Although tequila is not indigenous to this region—it can only be created in certain designated Mexican states, primarily Jalisco—you can get the top brands for much less than what you'd pay in the United States. At Playa's two locations of Casa Tequila (between 4th and 6th Streets and between 14th and 16th Streets), several varieties of the nominal spirit—though not all of the 450 sold—can be sampled. Xtabentun, a liqueur made with honey from a flower grown in the Yucatán, is an acquired taste (it's a bit sweet), but like most ancient spirits it's considered an aphrodisiac. We think it works best as a mixer in margaritas. You can find it in nearly every local liquor store.

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