Ian Wright lounges in a Hammock in Brazil
Where: Found throughout Central and South America, especially Mexico
Bag a Bargain: Buy from a big shop not a little street vendor, cotton with nylon threads is the most comfortable snooze
Use it for: Sling it to tree or palapa hut for a swinging cool snooze on the beach
The chances of a tourist visiting the Yucatán capital of Merida in Mexico and not buying a famous Merida Hammock are slim-to-none if the persistent Mexican salesmen have any say in the matter. Unlike neighbouring Cancun, Merida is a more sedate town and the commercial and cultural centre of the Yucatán. Also, Merida is said to have the Yucatáns best shopping, with hammocks being the gift to buy in the area.
How Hammocks are Made
Hammocks are very labour intensive with one hammock taking anywhere from a week to ten days to produce. Hammocks have traditionally been made from cotton, but many hammock makers are now starting to use nylon for their hammocks, which is cheaper for them, but may not be as comfortable for the hammock snoozer. However, a popular combination sees cotton being used for the body of the hammock and nylon threads being used on the hammock ends for strength and durability.
Bag a Bargain
When purchasing a hammock from a local Mexican, a good degree of scepticism should be combined with a dose of bargaining skills in order to get the best deal. The first price that the salesman will usually throw at you will be a ‘gringo rate‘ which means that it is marked up as high as the sales man thinks he can get away with.
You will have no trouble finding places to buy hammocks in Mexico, but the better hammocks will be sold in shops that look like they produce a high volume of hammocks and know their business. Hammocks bought from street vendors selling the odd hammock amongst their wares probably won’t stand the test of time.
Hammock Hang Up
Around the Yucatán peninsula you should have no trouble finding places to put your hammock to use. Most campgrounds are ‘hammock friendly’ and provide posts, trees or even an open palm roofed hut (palapa) to hang your hammock under and escape the searing Mexican heat for a nice snooze like a locals.