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This article was written on 29 May 2010, and is filled under 4. Activities.

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Shopping in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is known to be a shopper’s paradise. In fact, it’s probably the most popular activity in the region next to lying on the beach. Whether you’re looking for jewelery, spices, high-end designer fashions, or island crafts, your bag will likely be full of treasures by the time you come home.


Grenada Grenadians are known for their entrepreneurship, and at the local gift shops and supermarkets you’ll find excellent shopping opportunities. Interesting goods include chocolate candy bars, pain-relief spray, nutmeg jam and syrup, spice-scented soaps and body oils, and fruit-and-herb-flavored wine, rum, and liqueur. Be sure to bring a few baskets of spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, bay leaves, cloves, turmeric, and ginger – back home, which are widely available for as little as $3 to $10.

Puerto Rico There is no shortage of great bargains in San Juan, the Puerto Rican capital, and items bought in Puerto Rico are duty-free for US citizens. The main shopping areas in San Juan are Calle San Francisco and Calle del Cristo, both located in the city’s Old Town, but you can also find good shopping opportunities in other tourist areas. There are plenty of interesting deals on T-shirts, books, artworks, jewellery, hats, and a variety of local handicrafts such as santos (small hand-carved religious figures), needlework, straw work, hammocks, guayaberas (fancy men’s shirts worn untucked), papier-mâché masks, and paintings and sculptures by local artists. You’ll find high-end fashions stores in Avenida Ashford, the heart of San Juan’s fashion district.

St. Barthélemy A duty-free port, St. Barths has more than 200 boutiques selling beachwear, accessories, jewellery, fashionable clothing, casual wear, and decorative items for the home, and is the definitive shopping spot in the Caribbean. The two main shopping areas are in Gustavia and St-Jean. Most stores and shops close for a long lunch from noon to 2, and many on Wednesday afternoon as well.

St. Maarten/St. Martin Sure, St. Maarten/St. Martin has plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy, but shoppers will be delighted by the island’s excellent, duty-free shops. US and Canadian citizens can save 15 % to 30 % on cameras, watches, liquor, cigars, and designer clothing. In Dutch Philipsburg, you’ll find a range of gift shops along Front Street and Back Street and their surroundings. In the much calmer French Marigot, you’ll find a wide selection of European merchandise such as French crystal, perfume, liqueur, jewellery, and fashion. While you can try your luck at smaller shops with a little bargaining, it is advised to stick to major stores that advertise in the tourist press in order to avoid fakes and replicas. Watch for idlers while shopping, as purse snatching is frequent on both sides of the island.

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands St. Thomas is known for its great shopping opportunities – free of duty. Among the most interesting items in St. Thomas are liquor, linens, china, crystal, and jewellery. Native products include shell jewelry, carved calabash bowls, straw brooms, woven baskets, dolls, spice mixes, hot sauces, and tropical jams and jellies.

For other activities, why not read our Nightlife in the Caribbean article?

By Michael Young. For more information, visit Cheap All Caribbean Vacation now.

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