Wonderful Handmade Crafts in Venezuela
What to buy: On our previous stop in Venezuela during which we visited Caracas, we purchased an interesting handmade terracotta art item which I have always loved. I was hoping to find more of these wonderful local crafts & I was not disappointed. Even though we were far from the nearest town, artisans had set up a little "art" market just outside the cruise ship terminal. Some of the items for sale were excellent, hand-painted, stylized crosses from small to large ($5 to $18 US). Also a handmade domino set in its own wooden box made from local wood with brass nails for dots ($10). Terracotta tableau scenes, exceptionally priced at $10 each were a great find. The artist explained that these were scenes or settings that one would typically find in Venezuela. I also purchased 2 small paintings of typical Venezuelan sites. As you can see I certainly added to the Venezuelan economy that day!
To a person, all the artists were very proud to show you their work, and seemed to be very appreciative when you bought any of their work. I loved everything I bought, and have never seen yet any artwork like those pieces which came from Isla de Margarita, Venezuela.
What to pay: All the items I purchased were handmade. We paid in American dollars and generally did not try to bargain the artists down just to get a better deal. I feel that we got a good price for items and the artists received a good price for their work.
Charming Venezuelan Paintings
Another young artisan was selling oil paintings of scenes typical of Isla Marguerita and Venezuela. I thought they were charming. They were just unframed canvases measuring about 4" x 3" so you could probably easily make frames if you so desired. This artisan also seemed thrilled to be selling his work and was very appreciative. He signed, dated and wrote a description of the scene on the back of each painting.
Considering the times, I probably paid too much for this work being as it was unframed. But, sometimes I feel that haggling for a lower price in certain circumstances is just wrong. Just knowing how appreciative the artist was (maybe he did this to make extra money to support his family) made me feel good and I did like his work!!
What to pay: I believe we paid about $5 to $7 USD each for these little paintings!!
Sambil: Shopping mall with everything
Being used to Danish shopping centres I think this place is HUGE. In the middle of it you can have fastfood in one of the 28723 restaurants, no matter if you prefer burger, sushi or traditional Venezuelan food. I had a big plate of sushi for like no money...
What to buy: Everything, all kinds of brands from Nike to Nikon, all kinds of products from socks to computers.
What to pay: You can end up spending a lot being tempted, but you'd probably have to pay a lot more in Europe for the same things.
lovely female vendors: you might enjoy that... massage on the beach
Laying down on the beach, enjoying the sun and why not a good drink might do it for you. But if you're look for something extra, no... i'm not talking about little braids, you can have a full body massage (1hour) right there on your transat.
What to buy: Yes, you heard me. I was totally shocked when i saw young and older locals offering they massaging services. They have some oil in the kids bucket they carry around and offer their services. I couldn't comment on the quality of their massages but it seems like a lot of people were enjoying it!
What to pay: 70BF for an hour massage
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Isla Marguerita Artisans Work: Terracotta Tableau
What to buy: Here is another item I purchased from one of the artisans near the cruise ship pier. She was so nice and so delighted that we purchased some of her work. We actually bought 2 pieces from her. I think they are exceptionally unique crafts and have never seen anything similar on any of my other travels.
What to pay: I believe we paid $8 for one piece and $10 USD for the piece in this picture.
there are thousands of them: beach vendors
they sell pareos, hats, jewelry, crafts and statues.
One of them sells the 18Kgold jewelry that his wife make. They are the same price as the plastic stuff "made in china' they sell so it was worth it.
Otherwise, they sell a lot of pearls they got right off the beach!! So if you have a girlfriend/wife/mother to treat... you'll find just what you'll need
What to buy: earings/necklaces
What to pay: 40bolivares (10dollars if you change on the black market) for a gold necklace with pearls
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Sarandra Tours: Exchanging money
This is not exactly about shopping, but about how to get all the money you need for your shopping... when you go to Venezuela, there is that thing about the official and black market exchange rate. If you want to double your Bolivares and don't know where else to go to do so (in Isla Margarita), a guy called Sascha from Sarandra Tours in Playa El Agua does magic with your cash and also credit card...
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Sambil Mall: Go to Sambil Mall
You'll find a lot of the stores of Caracas Sambil Mall but with considerably lower prices ( Margarita Island is tax free). We recommend Zara (clothing) and Sigo (imported food and beverages)
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