A trip to the Caribbean just isn’t complete without a stop at a traditional market. Visit one of these four spots to find authentic souvenirs and one-of-a-kind treasures such as wooden sculptures, fresh spices, hand-sewn crafts and flavoured rum.
Nassau Straw Market, Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau Straw Market is located among the high-end luxury shops on Bay Street in downtown Nassau. Walk up and down the colourful, packed aisles and try your luck at negotiating for everything from beautiful straw hats and original handmade dolls to tie-died shirts and surfboards. Talented artists carve wood into sculptures shaped like fish and lions right before your eyes and are happy to answer questions about their products. You will have a hard time leaving with only one souvenir.
The Castries Market, Castries, Saint Lucia
Bring your appetite and a huge shopping bag to the largest open-air market in Castries. Fresh produce abounds including bananas, mangos, pineapples, and melons. For a real treat, try the cashews that are harvested from the rainforest and roasted. Fresh spices in coconut shells line the crowded aisles, straw purses hang from shelves and delicious smelling natural soaps are prepared with island ingredients. Vendors are happy to negotiate so work your magic for a good bargain.
Hastings Farmers Market, Barbados
Shop under the sunshine and browse locally-made souvenirs including hand-carved sculptures, wooden jewelry boxes, metal artwork, and sewn crafts. After shopping, enjoy a lunch of Trinidadian and Bajan dishes, crepes, and freshly squeezed juice from local produce. Before you leave, get your hair braided and go home in island style. Hastings is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ArtSplash Centre.
Marigot Market, Saint Martin
This lively market is known for its local charm, spiced fresh scents and a rainbow of colourful crafts and food. Mondays through Saturdays, there are about 100 craft stands run by artists and vendors selling everything from clothing and hats to artwork and jewelry. There are also dozens of bins packed to the brim with herbs and spices. Before you leave try a flavoured rum sample such as “Shrub” with fresh crushed orange peel.
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