Jamaica

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. Craft Market by Beach Park

    Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

    This market on the beach side of the bridge at Negril's town center roundabout sells arts and crafts aplenty. ...Read More

  • 2. Kingston Crafts Market

    Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

    A large assortment of Jamaican handicrafts, including paintings, sculptures, and inexpensive jewelry, can be found in the market's stalls. Although...Read More

  • 3. 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, look...Read More

  • 4. Rutland Point

    Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

    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...Read More

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