Jamaica Shopping

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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Jamaica Shopping

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Harmony Hall

  • Crafts

Eight minutes east of town, a restored 19th-century minister's house now carries original works of art. On sale are late owner Annabella...

Musgrave Market

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

This traditional market, unlike those in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, is primarily aimed at locals. Although you can find some crafts here,...

Ocho Rios Crafts Market

  • Crafts

This largest market has stalls selling everything from straw hats to wooden figurines to T-shirts. Vendors can be aggressive, and haggling...

Pineapple Craft Market

  • Crafts

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

Wassi Art Handcrafted Caribbean Home Accessories

  • Crafts

You'll find ceramics and other arts and crafts, all of which are made in Jamaica. ...

Hemp Heaven

  • Crafts

Hemp Heaven sells apparel and accessories made of hemp. ...

Starfish Essentials

  • Crafts

Starfish Essentials sells Jamaican-made candles. Don't miss the Blue Mountain candle, with whole coffee beans in the wax. ...


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