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 souvenirs consider visiting Ritz Cafe Gift Shop, which is located in the vicinity of Montego Bay. Deck out your home in your favorite decor items found at the Ritz Carlton. Whether you found the bedding particularly comforting, you especially love the smell of the soaps, or there was something delicious you ate in the restaurant, you can buy all the products to enjoy these same things at home in the Ritz Carlton gift shop. Customers can contact them at (876) 953-8834.
Another possibility is Casa de Oro Time Square, which is located mi. ( km) to the of Ritz Cafe Gift Shop. In operation since 1932, Casa's is one of the oldest and best established duty free shopping conglomerates in Jamaica. With locations throughout the island, such as this one in Montego Bay, you'll have multiple chances to shop. If you have questions, call them at (876) 957-3631.
A third option is Bijoux Duty Free at the Airport. At this airport location they are open before the first flight departs until after the last flight leaves. You can reach them at (876) 952-6718.
Many gift and souvenir shops in Jamaica are summarized in the following chart.
|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 area's more popular specialty retailers is Sun Divers. They're found in Negril, in western Jamaica. A top watersports destination in the area, Sun Divers offers PADI certification training, daily open water dives as well as boat rides, jet skiing, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, parasailing, and the best sunset cruises in Jamaica. If you have questions and want to call in advance, you can do so at (876) 957-4503.
Another good option is Harmony Hall, which is found a very long distance to the east of Sun Divers. Harmony Hall is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can reach them at (876) 975-4222.
Wassi Art Pottery Works: Wassi Art Pottery Works is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They are located at 16 Main Street .
Several specialty shops located in Jamaica are summarized in the table 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|
|Dive Shop||(876) 957-4425||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|
|The Tobacco Store||Tobacconist and Cigar Shop||(876) 979-1070||Montego Bay, Northwestern part of Jamaica|
|Wassi Art Pottery Works||Art Gallery||(876) 974-5044||Downtown Ocho Rios|
|Art Gallery||--||0.5 mi. North of Central Negril|
Looking for some clothing? Consider dropping by Things Jamaican -- it's situated 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. They're at 26 Hope Road.
A second option is Maxie Department Store Mandeville -- which is located 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're at 14 Ward Avenue.
Another clothing shop you might enjoy is Little Ones Boutique. Little Ones is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you have questions and want to call ahead, do so at (876) 955-9533.
Lots of apparel shops located in Jamaica are shown here:
|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|
Looking for some food? Mandeville Liquor Store is located in Mandeville. Stock up on all manner of wine, beer, and spirits for your stay in town at Mandeville Liquot, where their expert staff can help you pick just the right drink for you. You can find them at 4 Villa Road.
Another place to consider is Linstead Market, which is found 32 miles (51 and a half kilometers) to the east of Mandeville Liquor Store. Jamaica's leader in processing exotic Jamaican foodstuffs, Linstead Market products can be found in markets around the world. This means that regardless of what's in season, you'll be able to enjoy Jamaican produce. If you are looking for something specific and want to call before making reservations, you can do so at (876) 982-4318.
Purity Bakery: Purity specializing in creating baked goods made fresh from quality ingredients that are both tasty and healthy for you. The property can be found at 2F Valentine Drive.
Take a moment to read the table just below for more information.
|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.
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