Mexico has to be one of the top countries in the world for tattooing. At the upper end the quality standards are very high, the studios professional, and the price of being tattooed is fair, but on the lower end dubious quality tattoos
Tattoos in Mexico
Mexico has to be one of the top countries in the world for tattooing. At the upper end the quality standards are very high, the studios professional, and the price of being tattooed is fair, but on the lower end dubious quality tattoos are done on the beach for gringo prices. So when looking for a tattoo in Mexico shopping around for the best artist in the best circumstances for the best price will ultimately leave you with a better art and experience in the end. As always, when looking for a tattoo in Mexico, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, be prepared to fully communicate to the artist what is is that you want, and don’t be afraid to walk away if something does not look right. All for all, Mexico is a world class location for being tattooed, and I highly recommend the services of many of the artists there.
Where to be tattooed in Mexico
Tattoo studios span the countries, but I have only had direct experience with the ones in San Cristobal de las Casas and the Coyoacan district of Mexico City.
In San Cristobal, I received a massive piece from Maza of Rana Roja tattoo, which is pictured below.
This tattoo of a cockfight with a Japanese style background was done over four sessions and totaled over twenty hours of work. It was done at Rana Roja Tattoo in San Cristobal de las Casas. Rana Roja Tattoo Myspace.
The other studio that I was tattooed at in Mexico is called Garage Ink, and it is located on Avenida Universidad in the Coyoacan district of Mexico City. I had a traditional sailor design of some sparrows and a banner that reads “Nomad” done over my neck there. The work was decent. Garage Ink Myspace.
What has came to be called the Oaxacan Riviera is an epi-center of global tattoo art. With the nude beach town of Zipolite as its heart, tattoos are everywhere. This is a good place to go to check out the work of many of the top tattoo artists in Mexico. Keep in mind that although there are a few tattoo studios in this region there are also tattooers working on the beach. In my experience of traveling the world and being tattooed over 100 times in varying circumstances, I cannot recommend getting tattooed on a beach.
The above two photos are of me being tattooed by a friend in a hotel room in Zipolite, Mexico. While I would not completely recommend this setting for tattooing, I checked out the situation and deemed it acceptable. The tattooer in the above photo is named Nao and he was formally trained in Japan and was traveling through Central America and Mexico plying his trade. Read Traveling tattoo artist in Mexico.
Tattooing on the beach is a common practice in Zipolite. In my opinion, fresh tattoos and sand are not a good mix, although the practice of tattooing in this setting seems to have been very well established in this location.
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