One of the most popular souvenirs of Mexico is a hammock – and Mérida is one of the best places in the country to buy one. If you want something you can realistically sleep in, exercise a degree of care and never buy from street vendors or even a market stall – their products are rarely good quality. Comfort is measured by the tightness of the weave and the breadth: because you’re supposed to lie in a hammock diagonally to be relatively flat, the distance it stretches sideways is as crucial as the length (although obviously the woven portion of the hammock, excluding the strings at each end, should be at least as long as you are tall).

Cotton threads (hilos de algodón) are more comfortable and better hold their shape, but nylon is easier to wash. Sisal hammocks are generally scratchy and very poor quality – avoid them. As a guideline, a decent-size cotton hammock (doble at least) will set you back about M$300–400.

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