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US External Territories Travel Guide

US External Territories — Shopping and Leisure

Shopping in the US External Territories is similar to shopping in the US, with many of the same products offered from the same stores. The exception is American Samoa, where large retailers are yet to make their mark and where you can find many locally-run shops where true treasures of the Pacific islands can be had. When in American Samoa, you may consider purchasing some locally handmade goods, such as traditional wooden weapons or indigenous Samoan clothing. You can also purchase traditional Chamorro goods from the night market in Guam.

In Puerto Rico, you could purchase some rum to take home with you. It is made locally and considered to be among the finest rums in the world. There are several rums to choose from, including Ron de Barrilito and Bacardi rum, which originates from Puerto Rico. Cuban style luxury, hand-rolled cigars can be bought in the old town of San Juan.

Also in the old town of San Juan, you will find a many local arts and crafts stores. They are best viewed by taking a walk around the area. See the different wares on sale, such as artwork, clothing, and home décor. You can also see other types of artisanal products on sale around Puerto Rico, such as lace, ceramics, and woven baskets.

There are boutique stores in the Condado part of town, such as Cartier, Dior, and Gucci. Or, you can head to factory outlet stores for Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren at the Barcelonata Mall. Otherwise, Plaza des Americas is the largest mall in the Caribbean and houses a multitude of fashion retailers as well as a great food court and a multi-screen movie theater.

If you are seeking a novelty gift, you could purchase some Don Q rum direct from the Serralles distillery. You can combine your visit with a tour of the premises, where they show you the distillation process and let you taste the different varieties at the end. The gift shop here also has some wonderful souvenir of Puerto Rico. In the main tourist drags of San Juan and at the popular beaches, you will also encounter many souvenir shops that offer t-shirts and other items that can make good gifts for friends and family.

Some islands, such as the US Virgin Islands and Guam, are duty free and therefore make great spots to pick up tax-free perfume, cosmetics, tobacco, and alcohol.

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