The best things to buy in Haiti are the local handicrafts, such as seed jewelry, straw hats and wooden carvings. Many of these can be found in the Iron Market in Port-au-Prince, the largest market in Haiti where you can barter. A particularly precious item you could take home with you is a knife painting, an oil painting created using a palette knife, giving an interesting texture that a typical brush would not allow. Most of these are recently created, but reflect images depicting Haiti’s past culture as an enslaved nation.
If you are in the city of Cap-Haitien, there’s an Artisan’s Market near the beach. Aside from the handcrafted artwork, you can buy local produce, such as Rhum Barbancourt, which is made in a nearby factory. This unique rum is made from sugarcane juice instead of molasses, giving it a distinctive sweet flavor.
A good place to buy artwork is Ateliers Calalou (Port-au-Prince), which has paintings and sculptures from local designers. Galerie Monnin in Port-au-Prince, a private gallery is another great place to go for paintings. Galerie Issa (Port-au-Prince) also has artwork on sale, including metal design from Croix des Bouquets. Comite Artisanat Haitien is a craft cooperative that was established in 1972 to offer stone sculptures, painted boxes and miniature models of the colorful local buses. If you are in Jacmel visit Moro, famous for producing Haiti’s papier-mâché carnival masks which are created months before the annual festival.
Spas in Haiti
Most Haitian hotel resorts and villas have a swimming pool and offer standard spa treatments such as massages. All provide an excellent service, with all needs catered for within the complex. If you visit Rwustik Candles in Petionville (Port-au-Prince), you can buy scented candles, essential oil blends, organic lotions, skincare products, and handcrafted diffusers. All are manufactured locally, with a rustic, natural feel emanating from the tropical plant ingredients.