#1: Buy Pretty ThingsPuerto Vallarta has some great little galleries tucked away in the Old Town, and even in downtown, which is otherwise dominated by flea market stuff. The galleries range from higher end fine art to galleries featuring traditional folk art. Every Wednesday evening, the fine art galleries host an art walk from 6 - 10 pm, which can be fun with free snacks and drinks, and good people watching.
When I'm in Mexico, I love shopping for things Mexican. For a pasty boy of Scandinavian descent, I'm unusually drawn to Mexican folk art, particularly images associated with Dia de los Muertos. There are tons of folk art shops, but you need to shop around to find the quality of work that tickles your fancy. I was thrilled to find these three lovely Catrinas by local artist Tadeo Cruz. (Actually, the Frida representation wouldn't technically be a Catrina, but we won't get into that here.) They are delicate little clay beauties, standing only about six inches tall. Clearly they love to have their photos taken, even though my photography doesn't do them justice.
One shop we always visit is The Puerco Azul (The Blue Pig), owned by Nancy & Lee Chapman. Nancy writes children's books and Lee illustrates them. Their shop is filled with very lighthearted, endearing prints, books, objects and general curiosities. It is in Old Town just off of the great restaurant street, Basilio Badillo (more on that later).