Jamaica is one of those places that will be on your mind long after you leave, and you will always remember the stunning waterfalls or beautiful beaches. But sometimes the memory isn’t enough, and you want something physical to remind you of the awesome times you had in Jamaica.
Key chains, t-shirts, shot glasses and fridge magnets are cool and all, but wouldn’t you want to take home something that is truly amazing and unique to Jamaica? If so, here are our top six Jamaican souvenirs to take home with you.
What Jamaican Souvenirs to Take Home With You
Jamaica is home to many talented and ingenious artisans, so it’s no wonder the most popular Jamaican souvenirs are wood carvings made from the island’s native cedar and mahogany trees. The carvings can range from cute and funny to downright naughty, not to mention they come in all shapes and sizes.
Not that you need a reason to bring rum home, but here is one anyway. Contrary to the popular belief that alcohol is the cause of many illnesses, rum actually has medicinal health benefits, like lowering the risk of cancer, keeping diabetes at bay and so much more. But it’s like I said, you don’t need a reason to bring home sweet and smooth tasting Jamaican rum. The most popular Jamaican rum brand is Appleton Estate Rum!
Blue Mountain Coffee
Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee is one of the most expensive and sought after coffees in the world, and for good reason. This naturally sweet coffee is grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica at an elevation of 3,000 feet or higher. Due to this, the coffee bean is denser making for a richer, smoother, and sweeter cup of coffee. Blue Mountain Coffee is the perfect souvenir to take home if you enjoy good coffee.
Insider Tip: When you are shopping around for Blue Mountain coffee be sure to get an authentic, unblended version, as the mixed ones don’t taste as good. Retail price is $35+ for a pound.
Once you have dug your teeth into some real authentic Jamaican jerk, not only are you going to fall in love, you are going to want to eat it as often as possible when you are at home! So what better way to satisfy your cravings and recreate your favorite Jamaican dish, than by purchasing some Jerk Spices!
Jamaican Root Tonic
Root tonics is a type of drink made from medicinal plants, herbs, roots and tree bark; and is an important part of Jamaica’s ethnomedical heritage. This decoction is said to not only improve one’s health, build strength and vitality, but also increase sex drive! As the Jamaicans say, one Root tonic a day keeps the doctor away!
So if you are looking for a real, and truly authentic Jamaican souvenir, we recommend getting a few bottles of Root Tonic as it will not only remind you of Jamaica, but also stimulate and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.
Laid back, worry-free way of life
Though this isn’t really a physical souvenir, I still think you should keep this mentality going and not drop it the second you step off the plane. Life wasn’t meant to be lived like we are on ecstasy everyday! Just sayin’.
What Jamaican Souvenir Not to Bring Home With You
Please don’t try to bring back weed as a souvenir from Jamaica. You aren’t slick, the cops will find it and you will go to jail! Not worth the 50 cents you paid for it!
Tips for Shopping for Jamaican Souvenirs
1.) Made in China
Make sure the souvenir you are trying to buy is really from Jamaica and not from China or elsewhere. Read tags and ask questions to avoid being fooled.
2.) Shop around
Don’t purchase the first thing that catches your eye. You always want to see what your options are before buying. Shop around, see the going rate for an item you like, or check to see if you like something else. If you don’t find anything else, you can always double back and get your first choice.
Vendors expect shoppers to bargain. So don’t be shy, bargain with the vendor and reach a price that is fair.
4.) Stop the hassle with a few words
Many vendors tend to sell the same things, which means a lot of vendors will hassle you to come to their shop for your souvenir shopping. Be prepared for that. However, a simple “no thank you” or “I am just looking” should put an end to it.
See also: 10 Travel Tips for Jamaica
Best Places to Shop for Souvenirs in Jamaica
Here are a few places where you can find some of the best souvenirs from Jamaica.
1.) Port Antonio Craft Market
Take a stroll through this small and vibrant market to experience a real Jamaican market and get an array of locally made souvenirs.
2.) Montego Bay Craft Market
If you are searching for authentic goods, head to this conveniently located market in the middle of city for some of the best bargains you will find in Montego Bay.
3.) Ocho Rios Craft Market
The Ocho Rios Craft Market is the largest market in Ocho Rios, housing over a hundred vendors. Come here if you want a wide variety of Jamaican souvenirs to pick from.
4.) Negril Craft Market
Skip the small shops along the 7 mile beach and head over to Negril Craft Market, just off Norman Manley Blvd, for locally hand-made crafts such as wood carvings, baskets, jewelry and more.
Happy hunting and if you are still in the planning stages of your trip make sure to check out our detailed travel guide on Jamaica :)
Dana Baugh says
I would like to add, authentic ceramic products from Jamaica are some of the best in the World, which you will not ‘typically’ find at Craft Markets, you will have to travel off the beaten path to find local brands like mine, BAUGHaus Design Studio, that makes authentic handmade souvenir items, but do not sell in craft markets.
A tip to identify if a craft vendor is selling items from another country, there is no evidence of them making the item on site, or cannot answer questions about what inspired them or not being able to answer about how they make the items [not details but just basic – no one wants to give away their secrets to strangers after all].
Jhunelle J says
Haha @ weed, though true.