Puerto Rico's visitors from the United States will feel right at home when they go out for shopping trips on the island. Not only is the shopping experience similar, and prices nearly the same, but a sales tax that rivals most states in the U.S. is in full effect.
Shopping in Puerto Rico is not unlike shopping in the United States. There are super markets, malls, shopping centers, flea markets, open air markets, and stand-alone shops at different locations all throughout the country. Where you are staying, your ability to travel, and the type of items you are looking for will be the biggest factors in the locations at which you shop.
The Old San Juan area has everything you could ask for in a shopping center: book stores, art galleries, clothing boutiques, and jewelry shops. Along Calle Cristo is where you will find the outlet shopping center, while over in Condado and Avenida Ashford is where you will find fashion and luxury items. There are also two craft markets, Plaza de la Darsena (open during the week) and Paseo de la Princesa (open during the weekends).
San Juan is the retail center of Puerto Rico, and home to the largest shopping mall in Puerto Rico, which is Plaza Las Americas. The building holds over 200 shops, restaurants, a bowling alley, and a movie theater.
The area has clothing boutiques and jewelry shops, while Roosevelt Avenue is lined with trendy boutiques.
Over on the east side of the island is the Outlet at Canóvanas; La Plaza de Colòn, Mayaguez Mall are on the west side of the island; and El Muelle Shopping Center and Nueva Plaza Del Mercado can be found on the south side of the island.
If you are planning to visit the small island of Vieques you will find a few small gift shops in the tourist area of Esperanza, as well as a Farmer's Market on Saturdays.
When you shop for souvenirs in Puerto Rico, native handicrafts should be at the top of your list. Purchasing items such as ceramics, cigars, coffee, hammocks, lace work, papier-mâché items, visual arts, wood carvings (especially of religious figures called santos) and woven straw items will not only be an authentic reminder of your trip, but support local artisans.
Made of papier-mâché and worn primarily during Carnival season, grotesque masks serve as both costumes and wall decorations. The masks are half-animal, half-demon faces, with fangs, horns, and bulging eyes. The origin of these masks is still debated, with some believing it dates back to Spain, and others say the tradition is an African one.
For awhile, it seemed as though the art of lacework in Puerto Rico would die out, but thanks to a recent revival, handmade lade is back in demand once again. Lace making in Puerto Rico dates back to fifth century Spain, and to this day produces a type of lace available only in Puerto Rico and Spain.
Another age-old craft in Puerto Rico is the production of santos, which are hand-carved wooden figurines of religious idols. This craft dates back to the 16th century, and nearly every home in Puerto Rico has a santo that they pray with regularly.
Outside of local goods, a good bit of digging might procure descent sales on foreign goods such as china, clothes, crystal, and jewelry.
If you're hoping to find some souvenirs you might want to check out SabaiTao, which is situated in Rincón, in western Puerto Rico. The first and only shop in town which focuses entirely on the sale of flip-flops, this shop is great for picking up footwear for walking on the beach. You'll be able to find them at 8 Norte Calle Sol.
Another place to consider is El Galpon, which is found 74.8 mi. (120.4 km) from SabaiTao. El Galpon sell an variety of souvenirs, though their most popular are their panama hats and local cigars. Hand carved Santos, masks, and photographs of Old San Juan are also available. They're located at 154 Calle Cristo.
A third option is Mi Pequeno San Juan. Bring a San Juan home into your home. Mi Pequeno sells hand made miniature versions of famous buildings and structures in San Juan. You'll be able to find them at 107 Calle Cristo.
Many of the gift and souvenir shops in Puerto Rico are shown directly below.
|Build-A-Bear||(787) 766-0048||Hato Rey, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|(787) 284-5318||1.0 mi. South West of Central Ponce|
|(787) 296-2639||Hato Rey, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|(787) 868-6960||Aguada, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|El Galpon||(787) 725-9345||Old San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|(787) 864-2214||Guayama, Southeastern part of Puerto Rico|
|--||Old San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Mi Pequeno San Juan||(787) 977-1636||Old San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|(787) 872-4177||Isabela, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Parrotphernalia Gift Shop||(787) 823-5654||1.9 mi. North of Central Rincón|
|Pepon Souvenirs||(787) 823-1881||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|(787) 899-2291||Lajas, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|(787) 257-2332||1.1 mi. West of Central Carolina|
|SabaiTao||(787) 452-3275||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|--||0.4 mi. West of Central Viejo San Juan|
|(787) 881-0099||2.4 mi. West-Northwest of Central Arecibo|
|Spicy Caribbee||(787) 725-4690||Old San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|The Red Door Boutique & Gift Shop||(720) 289-5079||Rincón|
|(787) 877-0744||Moca, Western part of Puerto Rico|
One of the area's interesting speciality shops is The Butterfly People. This shopping venue is found in Old San Juan, in eastern Puerto Rico. Established in 1970, the Butterfly People is one of the more unique art concepts in Puerto Rico. Located in Old San Juan, the Butterfly People invites guests in to view a collection of artwork prepared using the remains of butterflies. You'll be able to find them at 152 Fortaleza.
A second option is Taino Divers, which is located 75 and a half miles (121 and a half kilometers) to the west of The Butterfly People. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Taino Divers offers daily snorkeling and dive trips as well as Discover Scuba Diving courses. Try calling them at (787) 823-6429.
Paradise Scuba Puerto Rico: The name of the game at Paradise is diving, whether it be in the form of scuba or snorkeling. Paradise Scuba will take you on board one of their four boats out to the best spots in Puerto Rico. They are located on Route 304.
The table below has more details on the specialty shops located in Puerto Rico.
|Biaggi & Faure||Art Gallery||(787) 277-2783||3.0 mi. West of Central San Juan|
|Blue Water Scuba||Dive Shop||(787) 288-0707||Bayamon|
|Coral Scuba Shop||Dive Shop||(787) 817-3716||Arecibo, Northwestern part of Puerto Rico|
|Exodo Art Gallery||Art Gallery||(787) 671-4159||Old San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Noryleen Crafts N More||Art Gallery||(787) 393-6907||Dorado|
|OBRA Galeria Alegria||Art Gallery||(787) 723-3206||Ocean Park|
|Ocean Sports||Dive Shop||(787) 268-2329||Carolina, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Oceano Sea Glass||Art Gallery||(787) 560-2474||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Pamil Fine Art||Art Gallery||(787) 756-6831||Ocean Park|
|Paradise Scuba Puerto Rico||Dive Shop||(787) 899-7611||La Parguera, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Playa Oesta Gallery||Art Gallery||(787) 823-4424||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Scuba Dogs Gardenville||Dive Shop||(787) 783-6377||Guaynabo|
|Scuba Dogs San Juan||Dive Shop||(787) 977-0000||Viejo San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Sea Ventures Fajardo Dive Center||Dive Shop||(800) 739-3483||Central Fajardo, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Sea Ventures Palmas Dive Center||Dive Shop||(800) 739-3483||Palmas Del Mar, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Siena Art Gallery||Art Gallery||(787) 724-7223||Ocean Park|
|Taino Divers||Dive Shop||(787) 823-6429||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|The Butterfly People||Art Gallery||(787) 723-2432||Old San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|The Dive Shop||Dive Shop||(787) 833-6455||Mayagüez|
|Walter Otero Contemporary Art||Art Gallery||(787) 627-5797||1.5 mi. East of Central Old San Juan|
Want to shop for some clothing? You might want to visit Veronica Boutique -- it's situated in Manati, in northern Puerto Rico. Veronica Boutique wants to dress you for your special event, be is prom, quinceañera, gala, or ball. Describing the garments offered here would be an understatement, because high end gowns are what this shop is all about. If you'd like to call ahead of time, do so at (787) 854-7281.
A second option is Ana's Boutique -- which is found within driving distance to the west of Veronica Boutique. Whatever your size, whatever function you need to be fitted for, Ana's Boutique has what you need, and offers discreet service for those moments when you need what you're wearing to be a surprise. Try calling them at (787) 898-5479.
Another clothing shop you might enjoy is Looks Boutique. Looks Boutique offers clothing and accessories for every event, whether it be every day wear, an office function, or a night on the town. You can accessorize here, as well. If you'd like to call before you go, you can do so at (787) 731-6484.
Check out this table for more information about apparel shops that you'll find in this area.
|Amazonas Brazil||(787) 800-4559||Puerto Rico|
|Ana's Boutique||(787) 898-5479||2.1 mi. West of Central Hatillo|
|Chik Fit||(787) 781-9112||Guaynabo|
|Cigar House||(787) 723-5223||Old San Juan|
|Concalma||(787) 421-4212||Old San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|E'Leonor||(787) 725-3201||Condado District|
|Looks Boutique||(787) 731-6484||Guaynabo|
|Marshmallow Women & Girls Fashion||(787) 246-1131||Caguas|
|Passo Boutique||(787) 744-7668||Caguas|
|Perla Negron Boutique||(787) 843-5155||Ponce|
|Piccolina||(787) 993-5678||Hato Rey|
|Pirana Joe San Juan||--||Old San Juan, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Protokolo PR||(787) 312-1106||Ocean Park|
|Raquel Cohen||(787) 789-1303||Guaynabo|
|Sassy Girl||(787) 725-2486||Ocean Park|
|Stella Nolasco Boutique Atttier||(787) 723-2897||Old San Juan|
|The Shoe Closet||(787) 708-3399||Guaynabo|
|The/Uncharted/Studio||(939) 697-8177||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Valija Gitana Aguadilla||(787) 891-8943||Aguadilla|
|Veronica Boutique||(787) 854-7281||Manati, Northern part of Puerto Rico|
Hungry? Kasalta Bakery, Inc. is located in Ocean Park, in eastern Puerto Rico. Elegant and classy, Kasalta Bakery is a favorite spot for a relaxed lunch or dinner in a sleek, clean restaurant. Customers can contact them at (787) 727-6593.
Another place to consider is Freshmart, which is located 71.7 mi. (115.5 km) from Kasalta Bakery, Inc.. Everything sold here is organic and hormone free, plus they also have vitamins and natural supplements. New to the lifestyle? If you are looking for something specific and want to call before booking a room, do so at (787) 882-2656.
Los Cidrines: The leader in bread making on the island, this company produces and distributes over 300,000 pounds of pastry item every week. You'll find them in every major grocery story around Puerto Rico, and many resorts and hotels use their products as well. They're at 304-305 Marginal La Rambla.
Look through this table for more information.
|Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store||(787) 823-3504||Rincón, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Creaciones De La Cuesta||Bakery||(787) 891-3705||Aguadilla|
|Freshmart||Grocery Store||(787) 882-2656||Aguadilla, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|GNC Aguadilla||Nutrition and Body Care Store||(787) 891-0980||Aguadilla|
|J J Cake & Pastries||Bakery||(787) 703-2853||Caguas|
|Kasalta Bakery, Inc.||Bakery||(787) 727-6593||Ocean Park, Eastern part of Puerto Rico|
|Los Cidrines||Bakery||(787) 843-1616||Ponce|
|Mi Pan Asociados||Bakery||(787) 784-6604||Dorado|
|Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store||(787) 273-6099||Guaynabo|
|Old San Juan Farmers Market||Fruit and Vegetable Market||--||Old San Juan|
|Panaderia La Ceiba||Bakery||(787) 706-8470||Guaynabo|
|Panificadora Pepan Inc||Bakery||(787) 767-4222||Rio Piedras|
|Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store||(787) 826-1994||Anasco, Western part of Puerto Rico|
|Vita Natura||Nutrition and Body Care Store||(787) 793-8855||Guaynabo|
|Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store||(787) 884-3431||Manati, Northern part of Puerto Rico|
Because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, vacationers from the U.S. are exempt from duty fees, however taxes are still applied. There is a 7 percent sales tax applied to most items. Prices for most items in Puerto Rico are comparable to those in the United States, so if there is something you plan to purchase while in Puerto Rico, check out the prices in your hometown first. This way you will know when you have found a good deal.
Despite being referred to as a peso, the official currency of Puerto Rico is the United States Dollar (USD).
Compared to the rest of the Caribbean, store hours are much more similar to those in the United States. You can expect shops to remain open from 9 a.m. to at least 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Click here to read more about business hours of operation.
There is nothing tricky about shopping in Puerto Rico. Shopping hours, prices, taxes, and currency are all similar to what American visitors will experience – the only difference is the unique locally made items that are produced. Pick up a few of these souvenirs before you head home as a symbol of the time you spent on the island.
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