6 Must Stop Souvenir Shops in Jamaica
From local hand-made crafts to gourmet coffee, exotic liqueurs and batik fabrics shopping in Jamaica is an experience in and of itself. It would be a shame to leave the island after visiting without something special to remember the trip, for yourselves or even those back home. The island’s stores and vendors peddle all kinds of wares, sometimes too much to even know where to begin your quest for the perfect souvenir. It is for this very reason that Island Buzz now brings you our list of 6 must stop souvenir shops for the returning traveler.
Negril’s Craft Market
Exclusive to Jamaica are high-quality woven and wooden crafts created by local artists. These make amazing unique gifts that will surely spice up any home. Though you will find a number of smaller merchants strung along the beach in the popular resort town of Negril you may seek a one-stop spot for purchasing and you will find it at the Negril Craft Market. Located just off Norman Manley Boulevard, as you head south into Negril Village, the market features a collection of shacks and is the largest center for crafts in the area. Woodcarvings, baskets, jewelry, and other items fill the market. This is the place to practice the skill of bargaining. Oftentimes a vendor will quote a price that the buyer may deem a little too high, not to worry, there is still a way to get what you want. Begin by complementing the artist and expressing your interest in the object, then after hearing the price act disappointed before offering half the price you’re quoted and slowly walking away, this tactic is almost guaranteed to work.
The Shoppes at Rose Hall
Conveniently located in the Rose Hall area near major hotels and only a short drive from the international airport The Shoppes at Rose Hall is one of the best spots for duty free shopping on the West Coast and a “must stop” for luxury shoppers. This means visitors can save 15 to 40 percent on popular items (once those items are purchased using foreign currency). The comfortable and beautifully designed mall offers a wide variety of duty-free jewelry, watches, gems, perfumes, high-end clothing stores, and eclectic souvenir shops. An international bistro, a coffee shop, and a gourmet restaurant round out the variety of products that can be found at the Shoppes.
Island Village, Ocho Rios
Looking for a place to do some shopping and enjoy the island’s white sand beaches at the same time? Look no further than Island Village in Ocho Rios. This place is not only excellent for shopping but also for entertainment as well. Providing a vast array of themes and things to do including restaurants, art and craft shops, duty free shops, and music centers. Great deals on jewlery and t-shirts, an Ice cream shop, a liquor/coffee store and even a Margaritaville complete with a 100ft water slide as well as the beach. While there shoppers can also choose to take a trip through Jamaica’s musical history by visiting Reggae Xplosion – an interactive music museum, a cinema and a massive 40ft high stage overlooking a green that can hold up to 3,000 people.
Montego Bay’s Craft Market
Everything from hand woven baskets to purses carved out of Calabash, and other finely handcrafted items can be found in Montego Bay’s craft market. Conveniently located in the middle of “the second city” the market is easy to find and its vast items which includes a selection of T-shirts, hats, dolls and other novelties are available in a wide variety of colours, but the most commonly found will be the three Rastafarian colors, red, green, and yellow, that speaks to its Jamaican authenticity. Each brightly coloured little wooden shop is stocked with Jamaican craft items where guests can purchase a wide range of straw and wooden souvenirs. This is also one of those places where haggling is expected, so come prepared.
Shops at Devon House
Devon House stands a proud symbol of Jamaica’s compelling history. In the late 19th century, its location on the corner of Trafalgar and Hope Roads in Kingston was known as Millionaire’s Corner. Adjacent to the historic Devon House is a tiny courtyard filled with shopping treasures. Arts and crafts, trinkets and souvenirs can be found at the numerous shops and boutiques. Choose from a wide selection of handcrafted pieces of art and sculptures by local artisans or an array of local cooking sauces, pottery and hand-made dolls. Some shops found here are Things Jamaica, Wassi Art, Rum Roast and Royals, Reve Jewellery, Norma’s on the Terrace restaurant, the Grogge Shoppe, Bin 26 wine bar, Chocolate Dreams and Cooyah Rootz Wear. No trip to Devon House would be complete without sampling the delectable Devon House I-Scream, this is where the kids will thank you for taking them shopping with you.
Located in the Idyllic resort town of Ocho Rios, Jamaica Wassi Art has been described as “an unexpected treasure chest of unusual pottery that absolutely delights collectors and visitors”. Guests are invited to watch as young, talented Jamaican artists mold clay into creations that are unique, beautiful and inherently cultural. Items available for purchase include plates, jars, vases, candle holders, tumblers and sculptures to name a few. Each creation is an experience of human spirit poured into fire and earth to create a cherished island treasure worth taking home to your living room.
Be aware however that this list is not set in stone, there are shops and even supermarkets all over Jamaica that sell items and little trinkets that would make the perfect souvenir/gift. Here is a list of other popular and uniquely Jamaican items to shop for; Blue Mountain Coffee, Rum (including the famous Appleton Rum), Liqueurs (such as Tia Maria), Paintings, Batik fabrics, Jamaican cigars, Pick-a-Peppa Sauce, Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce, Jerk seasonings, Jamaican jams and chutneys. Happy hunting!
From Island Buzz Jamaica.