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Jamaica Travel Guide

Jamaica — Shopping and Leisure

Shopping is one of the great pleasures of a trip to Jamaica, with a vast range of local goods to pick up at reasonable prices and a slew of markets and malls near the beaches. Handicrafts, jewelry, fashion, and rum are all good buys.

There’s no need to head to the capital, Kingston, as you’ll find decent shopping in all the resort areas, including Montego Bay and Negril. Ocho Rios tends to have the pick of the litter on account of the frequent cruise liners docking here. Vendors can be pushy and bit persistent, but the experience is generally casual and malls and markets can be reached on foot.

The Montego Bay Shopping Center is also good for trying Jamaican food. You’ll find plenty of souvenirs here, although prices are better in the small shops and markets. For bustle, Kingston’s Coronation Market can’t be beaten, although it is all produce, while Harmony Hall near Ocho Rios is great for handicrafts. The woodcarvings and weavings are particularly notable, while to the southeast at Highgate Village is a fascinating shop for wickerwork.

Jamaica is big into duty-free, too, especially in Ocho Rios. “In-bond” shops allow you to buy tax-free goods that are then sealed until you get home. Jamaican rum is cheap any time. Tourists are supposed to use Jamaican dollars, although this is a lax law and many places accept US dollars. Shopping hours are typically similar to office hours Monday through Friday and half-day Saturdays, but often close early on Thursdays.

Spas in Jamaica

All-inclusive hotel resorts usually have extensive spa facilities. There are also mineral baths dotted around with waters pumped from the ground. Milk River Spa in Kingston is one of the most famous and has been easing guests’ aches and pains for generations.

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