Shopping is not really one of Jamaica's high points, though you will certainly find things to buy. Good choices include Jamaican crafts, which range from artwork to batik fabrics to baskets. Wood carvings are a top purchase; the finest are made from the Jamaican national tree, lignum vitae, or tree of life, a dense, blond wood that requires a talented carver to transform it into dolphins, heads, or fish. Bargaining is expected with crafts vendors. Naturally, Jamaican rum is another top souvenir, as is Tia Maria, the Jamaican-made coffee liqueur. Coffee (both Blue Mountain and the less expensive High Mountain) is sold at nearly every gift shop, but the cheapest prices are often found at local grocery stores, where you can buy coffee beans or ground coffee.

Unless you have an extremely early flight, you'll find plenty of shopping at the Sangster International Airport, which has a large shopping mall. Fine handmade cigars are available there and at the island's many cigar stores. You can buy Cuban cigars almost anywhere, though they can't be taken back legally into the United States. As a rule, only rum distilleries, such as Appleton's and Sangster's, have better deals than the airport stores. Best of all, if you buy your rum at the airport, you don't have to tote all those heavy, breakable bottles. (Note that if you purchase rum—or other liquids, such as duty-free perfumes—outside the airport, you'll need to place them in your checked luggage when returning home. If you purchase liquids inside the secured area of the airport, you may board with them, but, after clearing U.S. Customs on landing, you will need to place them in your checked bag if continuing on another flight.)

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  • 1. Carriacou Gallery


    The work of Hotel Mockingbird Hill owner Barbara Walker and other local artists is showcased. Art classes are also offered.

    Hotel Mockingbird Hill, off Rte. A4, 6 miles (9½ km) east of Port Antonio, Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica
  • 2. Gallery of West Indian Art


    This is the place to find Jamaican, Cuban, and Haitian paintings. A corner of the gallery is devoted to beautifully carved and painted birds and animals.

    11 Fairfield Rd., Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica
  • 3. Half Moon Shopping Village

    The multicolored buildings at the Half Moon hotel contain some of the finest and most expensive wares money can buy, as well as more affordable boutiques, a post office, bank, a medical center, and restaurants. 

    North Coast Hwy., Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica
  • 4. Harmony Hall


    Eight minutes east of town, a restored 19th-century minister's house now carries original works of art. On sale are late owner Annabella Proudlock's wooden boxes, their covers decorated with reproductions of Jamaican paintings; magnificently displayed larger reproductions of paintings, lithographs, and signed prints of Jamaican scenes; and hand-carved wooden combs. Harmony Hall is also well known for its shows of local artists. It's closed Mondays.

    Rte. A3, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica
  • 5. Holiday Shopping Centre

    Shopping Centers/Malls

    Directly across the street from the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, this casual shopping area has jewelry, clothing, and crafts stores.

    Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, North Coast Hwy., 10 miles (16 km) east of Montego Bay, Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica
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  • 6. Kingston Crafts Market

    A large assortment of Jamaican handicrafts, including paintings, sculptures, and inexpensive jewelry, can be found in the market's stalls. Although pickpockets have been a problem in the past, it's much safer now. Some bargaining is tolerated, but don't expect many concessions.

    174 Harbour St., Kingston, Jamaica
  • 7. Musgrave Market

    This traditional market, unlike those in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, is primarily aimed at locals. The most popular section of the market is the Port Antonio Craft Market, which offers a wide variety of handmade crafts, clothing, wood carvings, oil paintings, and more.

    West St., Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica
  • 8. Negril Craft Market

    This market on the beach side of the bridge at Negril's town center roundabout sells arts and crafts aplenty. Be sure to bargain with sellers for the best values.

    Norman Manley Blvd., Negril, Westmoreland, Jamaica
  • 9. Ocho Rios Crafts Market

    Ocho Rios's largest market has stalls selling everything from straw hats to wooden figurines to T-shirts. Vendors can be aggressive, and haggling is expected. Your best chance of getting a good price is to come on a day when there's no cruise ship in port.

    Main St., Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica
  • 10. Pineapple Craft Market

    This small, casual market on the outskirts of Ocho Rios has everything from carved figurines to coffee-bean necklaces.

    Pineapple St., Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica
  • 11. Royal Mall Shopping Village

    In the heart of Port Antonio, this colonial-style mall is home to numerous shops and businesses. From clothing stores to souvenir shops and restaurants; there's even a barber and hairstylist. On the third floor, there's a bar, arcade, and a gym.

    Fort George St., Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica
  • 12. Rutland Point Craft Market

    With Negril's laid-back atmosphere, it's no surprise that most shopping involves straw hats, woven baskets, and T-shirts, all plentiful at this crafts market on the northern edge of town. The atmosphere is less aggressive here than at similar establishments in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

    Norman Manley Blvd., Negril, Westmoreland, Jamaica
  • 13. Shops at Devon House

    This cluster of mostly upscale shops sells clothing, crafts, and other items. The location, at the historic Devon House, makes it a pleasant spot to spend a morning or afternoon. Don't miss the famous Devon House ice cream and popular Devon House patties at the bakery.

    26 Hope Rd., Kingston, Jamaica
  • 14. Sovereign Centre

    This shopping mall is one of the most popular in eastern Jamaica. There are a large variety of stores and restaurants, a supermarket, and a food court. The movie theater makes it a popular spot among young adults.

    106 Hope Rd., Kingston, Jamaica
  • 15. Starfish Oils


    Find aromatherapy products, such as fragrant oils, scented candles, and soaps here. Lemongrass, which grows locally, goes in one of the most popular oils, and Blue Mountain coffee is a favorite ingredient in both soap and candles. Another Starfish Oils shop is in Manor Park Plaza, and its products are sold in shops throughout the island.

    Devon House, Kingston, Kingston, Jamaica
  • 16. The Boardwalk Village

    Set right on the beach in Negril, this is a nice place to spend half a day perusing souvenir stores, the gaming lounge, and clothing boutiques, and perhaps also having lunch at any of the restaurants. 

    Norman Manley Blvd., Negril, Westmoreland, Jamaica
  • 17. The Shoppes at Rose Hall

    Shopping Centers/Malls

    This upscale, open-air shopping center was designed to resemble an old-fashioned main street. Five minutes from the Hilton Rose Hall, it sells jewelry, cosmetics, and designer clothing. Some hotels offer shuttles.

    Rose Hall, North Coast Hwy., 7 miles (11 km) east of Montego Bay, St. James, St. James, Jamaica
  • 18. The Village, Port Antonio

    The Village is Port Antonio's most popular shopping center. The stalls are filled with local artists selling fine art and furniture, gift shops with clothes and all kinds of Jamaica memorabilia, and restaurants, including a juice bar.

    3 Allan Ave., Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica
  • 19. Time Square Shopping Mall

    The mall is known for its luxury goods and souvenirs, including cigars and jewelry, but there are a few duty free shops and a café as well.

    Norman Manley Blvd., Negril, Westmoreland, Jamaica
  • 20. Tuff Gong Record Shop

    Housed in a studio that's part of the Bob Marley group of companies, this shop carries an impressive collection featuring the legend himself and other reggae greats. Marley and Tuff Gong merchandise is also on sale. The building itself is a tourist attraction, since the studio's international clients include Maxi Priest, Steele Pulse, and Sinéad O'Connor.

    220 Marcus Garvey Dr., Kingston, Jamaica

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