Shopping in Jamaica is an experience in and of itself. The island's vendors peddle wares of all kinds, from local hand-made crafts to imported designer watches and perfumes, all at prices that can seem like a steal.
...Bargaining in the markets of Jamaica is a local tradition...
The key to shopping in Jamaica is to be prepared to bargain. If you are uncomfortable with this idea, stick to duty-free stores, large retailers, and international chains, were prices are fixed and no haggling is allowed. Prices may be slightly higher than marketplace rates, but this policy saves the hassle of bargaining with vendors, and you will likely still end up saving a few bucks.
It is important to note that, as a visitor, you will almost inevitably be approached by local drug dealers offering "something special." The use of marijuana is widespread but strictly forbidden by Jamaican law. A fun Caribbean vacation certainly shouldn't include a visit to local prisons. A firm, "No, thank you," with a stern look should be enough send a drug peddler away.
If you choose to do so, be sure not to approach a vendor regarding an item unless you intend to buy that item. Ask the price, and then act disappointed and begin to walk away. If the vendor wants to lower the price of the item, he may offer a discount as a special treat for you as a visitor to his country. At this time, determine how much you would like to pay for the item and suggest a price lower than that. Eventually, you and your salesperson will compromise somewhere in the middle. Just remember not to give up!
There are definitely items available in Jamaica worth seeking out. Local artists create amazing crafts; from paintings of local scenery to wood relief carvings of local people and sights, local art is unique and will spice up any home.
Exclusive to Jamaica are high-quality woven crafts, available in Montego Bay's Craft Market, or along the street from smaller merchants. Baskets, purses, hats, and other finely handcrafted items are available in a wide variety of colors, but the most commonly found will be the three bright Rastafarian colors, yellow, green, and red, that just shout "Jamaica." One favored souvenir is a hand carved figurine made from lignum vitae wood, which means "tree of life" and is the national tree of Jamaica. It takes a well-trained carver to handle this blonde colored wood, and you can find dolphins, people, and flowers carved into the wood.
Another worthwhile shopping opportunity is the Blue Mountain Coffee for which Jamaica is famous. Locally grown and harvested, this coffee sells in the United States for more than twice its local price. Duty free shops at international airports will sell the coffee in small burlap gift bags for approximately $1(USD) per ounce, but for an even lower price, seek out coffee stands in local markets. Just be wary of street-side coffee vendors; sometimes you'll get coffee that isn't really what you are looking for. Speaking of coffee, Tia Maria, a Jamaican-made coffee liquore can make for a great gift as well.
If you enjoy shopping for gifts or souvenirs consider visiting Ritz Cafe Gift Shop, which is situated in the vicinity of Montego Bay. Ritz Cafe Gift Shop allows you to recreate your stay with the Ritz Carlton in your own home, so you can revel in the experience long after you've gone home. If you are looking for something specific and want to call in advance, you can do so at (876) 953-8834.
Another option is Casa de Oro Time Square, which is located to the of Ritz Cafe Gift Shop. Best known for their line of time pieces, Casa's Duty Free Shop also offers a wide selection of fragrances, jewelry, eye wear, leather products, and more, all of which are name brand. If you have questions, call them at (876) 957-3631.
A third shop you might enjoy is Bijoux Duty Free at the Airport. Located upstairs after security in the newly expanded shopping area at the Sangster International Airport, Bijoux Duty Free allows tourists to take advantage of duty free shopping one last time before returning home. Visitors can call them at (876) 952-6718.
You can look through this table if you want more information.
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 957-4629||0.5 mi. Northwest of Central Negril|
|Bijoux Duty Free Historic Falmouth||Duty Free Store||(876) 953-9530||Falmouth, Northwestern part of Jamaica|
|Bijoux Duty Free Kingston||Duty Free Store||(876) 953-9530||Kingston|
|Bijoux Duty Free Tajmahal||Duty Free Store||(876) 953-9530||Downtown Ocho Rios|
|Bijoux Duty Free at the Airport||Duty Free Store||(876) 952-6718||The vicinity of Montego Bay|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 953-3946||The vicinity of Montego Bay|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 926-4065||Kingston, Eastern part of Jamaica|
|Casa de Oro Time Square||Duty Free Store||(876) 957-3631||2.0 mi. South of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 957-4916||0.5 mi. Northwest of Central Negril|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 734-4311||Morant Bay, Eastern part of Jamaica|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 974-6744||Downtown Ocho Rios|
|Jamaican Style Gift Shop||Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 957-3060||Negril Beach Hotel Zone, Western part of Jamaica|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 974-0209||St. Ann's Bay, Northern part of Jamaica|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 957-3958||2.0 mi. South of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 957-4534||0.5 mi. Northwest of Central Negril|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 963-5801||Whitehouse, Western part of Jamaica|
|Ritz Cafe Gift Shop||Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 953-8834||The vicinity of Montego Bay|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 975-2432||Browns Town, Northern part of Jamaica|
|Duty Free Store||(876) 957-3151||0.4 mi. North of Central Negril|
|Gift and Souvenir Shops||(876) 957-3684||0.5 mi. Northwest of Central Negril|
One of the more popular specialty retailers in the area is Sun Divers. They're located within Negril, in western Jamaica. Whether you've never dived before in your life, or you've been doing it for years, Sun Divers has a training program and an open water dive to meet your level of knowledge. If you want to be sure they're open , call them at (876) 957-4503.
Another option is Harmony Hall, which is located 86.8 mi. (139.7 km) from Sun Divers. Their wide range of merchandise includes fine art, self-taught artists, prints, books, unusual handicraft, ceramics, and more. Their best selling item is the hand-made cedar "Annabella" boxes depicting Jamaican scenes. If you have questions, call them at (876) 975-4222.
Studio174: In addition to teaching classes in various mediums of art, the center offers other education such as English classes. The artwork created by students here is on display for anyone who cares to stop by and see it. They're located at 174 Harbour Street.
Lots of the specialty shops in Jamaica are shown in the chart below.
|Bolivar Gallery & Antiques||Art Gallery||(876) 926-8799||Kingston, Eastern part of Jamaica|
|Clonmel Potters Gallery||Art Gallery||(876) 992-4495||2.7 mi. East-Southeast of Central Gayle|
|Colombian Emeralds Ocho Rios||Jewelry Store||(876) 795-0315||Ocho Rios|
|Frame Centre Gallery||Art Gallery||(876) 926-4644||Kingston, Eastern part of Jamaica|
|Art Gallery||(876) 954-0048||Rio Bueno, Northern part of Jamaica|
|Gallery of West Indian Art||Art Gallery||(876) 952-4547||1.9 mi. South-Southeast of Central Montego Bay|
|Gem Palace||Jewelry Store||(876) 974-2735||Ocho Rios|
|Harmony Hall||Art Gallery||(876) 975-4222||0.3 mi. South of Central Tower Isle|
|House Of Diamonds||Jewelry Store||(876) 795-2921||Downtown Ocho Rios|
|Art Gallery||(876) 957-4560||0.6 mi. South of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone|
|Art Gallery||(876) 882-7732||0.5 mi. West of Central Port Antonio|
|Reve Jewellery & Accessories||Jewelry Store||(876) 908-2498||Portmore|
|Studio174||Art Gallery||(718) 218-7735||Downtown Kingston|
|Sun Divers||Dive Shop||(876) 957-4503||Negril, Western part of Jamaica|
|Jewelry Store||(876) 922-8050||Downtown Kingston|
|Tajmahal's Jewel In Paradise||Jewelry Store||(876) 974-6929||Downtown Ocho Rios|
|Tropicana Jewelers Falmouth||Jewelry Store||(876) 533-6100||12.3 mi. East of Central Rose Hall|
|Tropicana Jewelers Montego||Jewelry Store||(876) 953-2242||1.0 mi. East of Central Rose Hall|
|Jewelry Store||(876) 957-9530||2.0 mi. South of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone|
|Art Gallery||--||0.5 mi. North of Central Negril|
Enjoy looking for interesting clothing? You might want to try Things Jamaican -- it's located in Kingston, Jamaica. The diversity of the products avalale at Things Jamaican is immense, from wood carvings, ceramics, and jewelry, to a wealth of homemade food products and local rums. Visitors will be able to find them at 26 Hope Road.
Another shop to consider is Maxie Department Store Mandeville -- which is found 47.5 mi. (76.4 km) from Things Jamaican. Every day wear, sports wear, swim wear, business attire, undergarments, accessories, and shoes are all available and easily accessible at Maxie Department Store. They are situated at 14 Ward Avenue.
A third clothing shop to consider is Little Ones Boutique. If you're in the market for some clothing for the younger set, you won't want to pass up Little Ones Boutique, which sells everything you need to clothe babies, toddlers, and young children. You can contact them at (876) 955-9533.
Take a minute to read the table below for more information about your options.
|Boutique||--||0.5 mi. North of Central Negril|
|Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store||(876) 371-1649||Kingston, Eastern part of Jamaica|
|Conrad's Unique Fashions||Men's Clothing Store||(876) 918-3305||Westmoreland Parish, Western part of Jamaica|
|Da Core Unisex Clothing||Clothing Store||(876) 962-3108||Mandeville, Central Jamaica|
|Dunrich Fashion||Clothing Store||(876) 966-2638||Santa Cruz, Western part of Jamaica|
|Eagle Wing Sports & Things||Men's Clothing Store||(876) 965-8201||Portmore, Eastern part of Jamaica|
|Fancy Feet||Shoe Store||(876) 974-0529||Ocho Rios|
|GlamKollectionz||Women's Clothing and Accessories Store||(876) 398-9011||0.9 mi. South of Central Savanna La Mar|
|Boutique||(876) 957-4551||0.5 mi. Northwest of Central Negril|
|Little Ones Boutique||Boutique||(876) 955-9533||1.0 mi. West-Northwest of Central Johnson Town|
|Maxie Department Store Mandeville||Department Store||(876) 625-0525||Mandeville, Central Jamaica|
|Boutique||(876) 966-9543||Santa Cruz, Western part of Jamaica|
|Boutique||(876) 953-3429||4.5 mi. West-Northwest of Central Spot Valley|
|Pablo Palair Fashion||Clothing Store||(876) 979-1255||Downtown Montego Bay|
|Boutique||(876) 939-6534||Portmore, Eastern part of Jamaica|
|Puma Store||Shoe Store||(876) 754-5000||Kingston, Eastern part of Jamaica|
|Sammy's Shoe Store||Shoe Store||(876) 934-1683||Portmore|
|Boutique||(876) 929-8636||Kingston, Eastern part of Jamaica|
|Things Jamaican||Boutique||(876) 928-5161||0.6 mi. Northeast of Central Kingston|
|Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store||(876) 957-9581||0.4 mi. North of Central Negril|
Hungry? Mandeville Liquor Store is located in Mandeville. In addition to drinks, Mandeville Liquor also sells snacks, cigarettes, and phone cards. They're located at 4 Villa Road.
A second possibility is Linstead Market, which is located 31.8 mi. (51.3 km) to the east of Mandeville Liquor Store. Canned and jarred at the peak of freshness, Linstead Market specializes in Ackee, Callaloo, jams, jellies, spices, sauces, peas, and soups. The jams and jellies come in flavors like guava pineapple and mango chutney, while soups are local favorites: pepperpot soup, gungus pea soup, and red peas soup. If you're looking for something specific, try calling them at (876) 982-4318.
Purity Bakery: For over 50 years, this company has been baking breads and buns in a variety of flavors using timeless, fresh ingredients. They keep the island's stores stocked with breads that everyone can agree on. They're located at 2F Valentine Drive.
Review the table below for more information about your options.
|Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store||(876) 756-1876||Portmore|
|Book & Nutrition Center||Nutrition and Body Care Store||(876) 924-5227||Ocho Rios|
|Bakery||--||Downtown Montego Bay|
|Bakery||(876) 986-2183||May Pen|
|Bakery||(876) 971-4694||The vicinity of Montego Bay|
|Hammonds Bakery||Bakery||(876) 957-4734||Negril Beach Hotel Zone|
|Linstead Market||Fruit and Vegetable Market||(876) 982-4318||Linstead, Central Jamaica|
|Mandeville Liquor Store||Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store||(876) 625-6900||Mandeville|
|Purity Bakery||Bakery||(876) 924-1151||Kingston|
|Coffee and Tea Store||(876) 953-6031||The vicinity of Montego Bay|
|Bakery||(876) 952-2579||Downtown Montego Bay|
|Bakery||(876) 972-6212||4.4 mi. South West of Central Priory|
|Stop & Shop Supermarket||Grocery Store||(876) 973-7168||Runaway Bay|
|Grocery Store||634-3914-5||Black River, Western part of Jamaica|
|Grocery Store||(876) 940-4969||Downtown Montego Bay|
Items available at duty-free savings are in abundance in the duty-free shops in Jamaica. U.S. visitors can save 25 to 30 percent on popular items such as brand name crystal and china, brand name watches and perfumes, and brand name leather products such as Fendi and Liz Claiborne.
Another important thing to remember is that in order for shopping items to be considered "duty-free," they must be paid for in foreign currency. American dollars will be accepted almost everywhere, and many locations accept major credit cards.
Certain items, such as coral and turtle products, are illegal under current Jamaican law, given the damage to the environment caused by their popularity. Although these items may still be found, purchasing and carrying them through the airport could cause unnecessary difficulty in going through customs, both in Jamaica and the United States. Additionally, Cuban cigars, though also readily available, will be confiscated during any U.S. customs inspections.
Although shopping is not one of the main reasons tourists visit Jamaica, there are some great deals to be had if you know where to look. Duty free shopping means you may be able to snag a few designer goods on the cheap, and you certainly won't want to miss a chance to bring home a few locally made souvenirs.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.