We went to a small supermarket on our first afternoon on Tortola and were shocked about the prices. We thought they would be cheaper in a big supermarket and went to the biggest place we could find in Road Town the next day to buy enough stuff for our time on Tortola. We were even more shocked! We had planned to cook a few evenings in order to relax on our verandah but seeing the prices we decided against it.
What to pay: When we saw prices for milk (~4$), ham (~8$), parmesan cheese (~10$) or cream cheese (~4$) we decided against it and only bought some basics that would bring us through the week (Bagels, cream cheese, jam, water, peanut butter, soft drinks, a 6pack of Red Stripe, 1 chocolate bar, toilet paper, washing powder, crisps and pasta). We paid 90$ and never set foot inside a supermarket again during our stay because we decided that eating in restaurants is cheaper!
It can be hard to find nice souvenirs on the BVI. There's tacky stuff in most of the shops near the beaches and it's hard to find a souvenir shop in Road Town other than the terribly Arts & Crafts Alive Village near the pier. Sunny Caribbee was a welcome change. They sell Caribbean spices and spicy sauces as well as perfumes, soaps etc. Their packages are decorated in a lovely style, I especially like their tins for tea and the soaps decorated with shells. Prices are quite high but worth it.
What to buy: I bought the passion fruit fire sauce and loved it. Other nice stuff: The pink soaps, the jerk seasoning and the mango tea!
What to pay: Sauces costs approx. 5-8$. Soaps around the same price.
This is just a general recommendation, but instead of wandering into Road Town, Tortola for shopping, my family found Soper's Hole to be a nice little place to pick up the obligatory t-shirt and other various souvenirs in the BVI. Soper's Hole is on the west end of the island; the major road around the island will lead you straight to it. It's actually its own peninsula (or island, we couldn't tell because the bridge was so short). Soper's Hole has the characteristic wildly painted buildings, and there's a good-sized marina through which sailboats come and go throughout the day. It's a small shopping center, but we found it much cleaner and more enjoyable than Road Town. There are also some great restaurants in the area.
I was shopping for Christmas presents and I looked around in the spice section and then saw that there was also some craft items and art. I bought this for my DIL. I bought another one for my daughter that was from Haiti. My DIL still has this one - don't know where the one I gave to my daughter is.
What to buy: Normally I like to buy items made in the place I am visiting. But I figured that Caribbean art was at least better than stuff from Taiwan or Thailand. One of the things I bought was this piece by Lydia Semaria who actually lives on Anguilla. While traveling the world as a bohemian artist, she ended up in Anguilla, trying to catch a boat to Santo Domingo, but that boat never came. So she is still there...
In addition to the spices and cooking things as in their name, they have both art (as in prints and paintings) and crafts.
What to pay: Prints and paintings go from $35 on up to $300+. Craft items are usually cheaper.
Go to Trellis Bay, just a few steps away from the Beef Island Airport, to find a craft village. There's plenty of unique gifts to purchase here. Very convenient as well, while you're waiting for your flight you can come here and do some shopping.
What to buy: local crafts
This is the greatest little shop. We bought a lot of condiments before we left. It sells it's own hebs, spices, teas, coffee, and sauces.
Most of the bottles are adorned with little straw hats, ribbons, and a paper label saying what it is used for or with.
A must see kind of place.
The shop is just wonderful, all caribbean stuff, very colourful, exotic things, I could always spend a fortune...
What to buy: - hot sauces
- teas and coffees
- beauty products
- crafts, pictures
NEVER go home without some Passion Fruit Fire or Jerk Sauce or XXX Calypso Hot
This is a food and liquor warehouse store that gives discounts on quantity purchases. I thought of it as a third world version of Costco without the membership card.
What to buy: This is the place to buy any liquor you may want while in the islands, or to bring home with you!
Also, the frozen boneless/skinless chicken breasts were very good (I think it was an 8 lb. box).
Don't buy the T-bone steaks, they were nasty!
What to pay: Prices were very good for most all liquor. Local rum was approximately $3.00 per large bottle. You have to purchase bottles in multiples of 3. The price posted is the price for all 3 bottles, not the per bottle price.
The Sea Urchin sells casual clothing such as sundresses, shorts, t-shirts, bathing suits, and cover-ups.
The building is so unusual I just had to check it out.
This is a lavish full-service resort that should satisfy most honeymooners' dreams of a romantic...more
Apple Bay, Tortola
Good for: Business
Deadmans Bay, Tortola, , Peter Island, 00801 2409, Caribbean
Good for: Business