Shopping in Jamaica
Concierge.com's insider take:
Probably the most popular Jamaican product to bring home is rum, which comes in great variety. Other popular buys are preserves made with local fruits, spices and hot sauces, coconut and wicker baskets, doodads made out of coral, hand-carved wooden platters and statuettes, and straw tablemats by the gazillions. You'll find these products everywhere—and if you don't find them, they'll find you (hawking on the beaches and streets is technically illegal, but it's rampant). Two popular crafts markets are the 180-stall Old Fort Crafts Market on Fort Street in Montego Bay and the 135 stalls of the Ocho Rios Crafts Market on Main Street in Ocho Rios, naturally.
The island is amply stocked with duty-free shops. Approach with caution. Yes, there are bargains for high-end products, but you have to know your prices: Remember, something that's 20 percent less than "U.S. retail prices" is not 20 percent less than U.S. discount prices.
Jamaican paintings and sculptures are highly prized by collectors around the world, and you might snap up a minor masterpiece by a rising star at Harmony Hall Great House on Route A3, four and a half miles east of Ocho Rios; or the Gallery of West Indian Art on Fairfield Road in Montego Bay.