This store is simply fantastic. It is THE place to go for locally made treasures. I always like to buy my "souveniers" from local artists and this was my haven. Tom the owner, was so sweet, friendly and helpful. He greeted us at the door, served us coffee and told us all about the shop. Candles, lotions, and soaps are made right on the premises. You can see into the kitchen where all of it is created. The front of the store is a gallery of works from local artisans. Almost everything they carry is locally made ( if you would like, as I did, Tom will tell you if it is made elsewhere)
We visted twice, once just before visiting El Yunque, and once again the next day after I didn't find anything I wanted to buy in Old San Juan.
What to buy: OK, I bought out the place, but the things you don't want to miss are the handmade soaps and lotions, made right on the premises, works by local artists, paintings, sculptures, ect...and the yummy coffee....and the jewlery.....oh, and the fabulous flip flops....OH! and the vanilla rum cake, it is SO good, we bought 3.
What to pay: Quite reasonable
Everyday we would pass countless stands while driving along RT3. We would see the hammock man and say "we need to stop for one of those". (Lou was in love with the hammock on our porch at the villa) Finally on our last day we stopped. The charming man sold us our yellow hammock for a measly $18. He asked for $20, but 18 was all the cash we had left. What a generous man to give it to us anyway! Quite a deal seeing as we saw the same ones in a store in San Juan for about $60!
Along the road you will also see kiosks with all kinds of food, meat on a stick (quite tasty) All kinds of fruit even an entire roasted pig! Give it a try. As our host at the villa told us there is no need to worry, the Purto Ricans don't do anything "funny" with food. Good stuff.
What to buy: HAMMOCKS ;)
If you are on your way to take a catamaran tour and are in need of , sunscreen, a hat, motion sickness medication, or anything of that nature, there is a shop that sells all these things, amongst other boating necessities, right before you get to the docks.
What to buy: We got Lou a pair of sunglasses, and me some seasickness meds. (I had forgotten the ones I had bought for the trip at our villa)
Plaza Las Americas is the largest shopping mall in Puerto Rico, possibly in the whole of the Caribbean. At present, there are 300 stores selling everything imaginable. I was last there in January, 1991 and I'm sure many new stores have replaced the old and quite possibly the mall has expanded.
What to buy: All I bought when I was there was 76 postcards. Up until that point, I never knew 76 people knew me, let alone were willing to admit to being my friend.
Old San Juan is just covered in factory outlet stores for all kinds of designers and brand names. I wasn't really in a shopping mood when I was there, but the deals actually looked pretty decent. And it is definitely the place to see and be seen in the evenings. Everyone is out and about with their whole family strolling, window shopping, or just regular shopping.
What to buy: It's mostly the same stuff as stateside, so nothing too surprising. But I found that a nice bottle of Don Q rum was a good souvenir to bring home. But it is definitely cheapest in the airport at the duty free shop.
Plaza de las Americas has everything. It's the largest mall in the Caribbean. Every taxi will be glad to go there, and there are many bus lines that arrive there. If you have alot of time and want to save a few dollars, take the bus.
What to buy: Whatever you want
There are tons of little vendor shops dotting the beach landscape that have amazing souvenirs for you to take home. They are mostly all hand crafter and not 'Made in China' so they will have a genuine feel.
I scored myself Peurto Rican Dominos and Mofongo Dishes.
This old man I happened to meet on one of the streets in Old San Juan. He was selling some planteens and some green fruits neatly packed in a plastic bag. Since I was tired wandering around the streets of San Juan and it was hot and humid, I stopped by his tiny corner and asked him what was the name of the fruit. He told me but for some reason, the name can't come out and it's still hiding in my brain.
I asked the old man if I can take pictures of him. And, since I spoke in Spanish, he nodded his head. He must be about 70-75 years old. Just a wild guess. But, definitely, he was a very courteous man...
He let me take several pictures and showed him right away the pictures I took. He smiled to me when I said he is "guwapo" (handsome).
Saying thank you to him after a small chat with him was kind of sad. I will definitely come back to Puerto Rico. Someday with my other girls with me...
What to buy: I bought some Puerto Rican door magnets
What to pay: I think I paid three dollars and fifty cents. Some costs four dollars.
This is the largest mall in the Caribbean.
What to buy: I prefer buying locally hand-made items. They have one shop in the mall on the second floor (shown in picture) where different artists sell their items. In addition, around the corner there are usually artisans who set up stands also. I bought some beautiful nativity scenes. I also bought some paintings.
What to pay: Average.
In this very big mall you can find everything, from a little gift to a car!!
What to buy: We live in Holland and we bought many clothes and shoes!!
What to pay: This depands if you have the wallet or your wife or girlfriend does!!!!
There are alot of the same stores as here on the mainland. They have Sam's, Walmart, Kmart. The local grocery stores are an excellant place to sample some of the wonderful tastes of Puerto Rico. Prices are cheap, or same as the Mainland
What to buy: Plaintain chips
Mango's (my favorite)
What to pay: Average if not cheaper prices as in United States Mainland
We spent a part of the day at la plaza de las americas, aka Mall of America. It was a two-story mall that had many shops. Many of the shops were much different from American shops. They had beautiful crystal stores, clothing stores, and home-made craft stores. If you're shopaholic and must go spend some money I suggest visiting here.
What to pay: The prices are about the same as American stores, but expect to pay mucho dinero in any of the crystal stores.
There are cuban cigars in Puerto Rico but they are a bit expensive. I bought a Puerto Rican cigar and it costs about $7.00 a piece.
What to buy: PUerto Rican cigar.
What to pay: Expect to pay $7.00 or more
One of the things that I noticed in Puerto Rico: a lot of the stores sell the Three Kings. Not sure why. It must be a religious thing. I also found that a lot of the residents collect the Three Kings.
What to buy: I am looking for a shop called: Made by Hand, I am not sure of the exact location. My cousin moved down there from the US, and she had a pair of pants, which she called them "diaper pants" some how they are put on like a diaper and tie in the front, and they are completly split up the side of the legs. If anyone knows of this place, could you please leave me a comment of where I can find them. I live in the US, so its kind of hard for me to find information out on the website if I dont know exactly what Im looking for. Thanks