Founded by Bob Marley in 1965, Tuff Gong includes a recording studio, mastering room, stamper room, pressing plant, cassette plant, wholesale record shop, gift shop, booking agency, as well as offices for Rita Marley Music and Ghetto Youths International.The famous Tuff Gong International studio is one of the largest Caribbean studios. Artists, musicians, producers and tourists travel from all over the world to see and use it. Some famous names include Snoop Dogg, Jimmie Cliff, Beanie Man, Ziggy Marley, Lauren Hill, Shaggy, and many others. Bob Marley recorded several hits here like "Trenchtown Rock," "Buffalo Soldier" and "Could You Be Loved."
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Part shop and part recording studio, this is a must visit for music lovers and Bob Marley fans.
Amber's expert tip: Tours are available but will set you back a startling $250.
Just a 15-minute drive from MoBay, Half Moon Shopping Village provides shoppers with the fullest array of wares they are likely to find in the city. The Village has more than 25 shops offering everything from local crafts and jewelry to designer clothes, perfumes, and beachwear. Plenty of restaurants and bars round out the selection, meaning that you can spend the whole day shopping without having to go far for refreshments. Half Moon is also home to The Bob Marley Experience which features a 68 seat theatre showing a film of the life and times of Bob Marley and gift shop.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: With a close proximity to MoBay, this easy stop offers a little of everything for shoppers.
Amber's expert tip: Check out the Royal Stocks British pub when you finish shopping and get yourself a proper pint.
Housed in a 17th-Century stone structure that once held artillery, The Old Fort Craft Park now brings together between 180 and 200 vendors to offer shoppers a diverse assortment of handicrafts. You can witness vendors making jewelery right on the spot, and can have something made to order. Most diehard shoppers will visit more than once to see if new vendors show up with a unique piece to make the perfect souvenir, but all visitors should spend a least a little time here for the historical experience. Bring your negotiating skills; you can get a great deal if you're on the ball.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Get your dose of history while supporting the local artisans.
Amber's expert tip: Take time to explore the fort and read the historical placards.
Spread over five acres along the cruise port in Ocho Rios, this shopping center has around 30 duty-free shops selling souvenirs, clothing, sunglasses, Blue Mountain coffee, sauces, books, and Bob Marley memorabilia. It's beachfront location is convenient for cruise passengers and there is also handful of restaurants and bars throughout. The center tries to replicate a Jamaican village, and concerts crop up during "cruise season" when ships are in port. Of course there is a Margaritaville and a Jamaican ice cream shop. If the port is empty, you'll have a better chance of getting deals, however many shops stay closed.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: With a funky, island vibe and beachfront locations this is a convenient stop for souvenirs.
Amber's expert tip: Bring your bargaining skills.
A massive shopping center in Ocho Rios, Taj Mahal's tagline, "We can make your dreams come true," certainly holds some validity with shoppers who don't want to overspend while on vacation. The duty-free chain of stores offers watches by Seiko, Citizen, and Swiss Army and fragrances by Calvin Klein and Chanel. The jewelry selection is just as enticing, as are the fine leather goods--all at duty-free prices, of course. You'll also find souvenir shops like Cool Runnings and Caribbean Paradise for Jamaican CDs, hats, beachwear, rum, and coffee, or check out shops like Island Craft for straw hats, wood carvings and Jamaican artwork.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: This duty-free shopping mall has a mix of name brand items and Jamaican souvenirs.
Amber's expert tip: Be aware that on Sundays, they are only open when cruise shops are in port.
The Gallery of West Indian Art is an excellent choice if you're shopping for an original piece of Haitian, Jamaican, or Cuban art. The gallery includes paintings, hand-turned pottery, tables, chairs, and a variety of hand-carved animals. The gallery was founded more than 40 years ago and now has two retail outlets. Paintings depict the environment, scenery and culture of the West Indies and make a unique addition to any home or office. All artwork is original and the shop will provide a certificate of authenticity. Shipping is also available so you won't have to carry a painting with you on a cruise or flight.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: This shop not only offers Jamaican artwork, but Haitian and Cuban artists as well.
Amber's expert tip: You may also purchase works online.
The Devon House Heritage Site is a 127-year-old mansion and a symbol of the cultural diversity. Built by Jamaica's first black millionaire, the 11-acre property provides a stress-free escape from Kingston and an enviable shopping experience. Several stores include Wassi Art, which sells functional ceramic pieces with an island theme, Cooyah Rootz Wear with a hip clothing line, and Ts and Treasures, which has a wide variety of local jewelery, craft items, and souvenirs. In addition, there are several restaurants and cafes on at the Devon House so visitors can easily spend a day here shopping, touring the grounds, and sampling delicious cuisine.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: This shopping experience in a historical mansion offers high-end clothing, local artwork, and souvenirs.
Amber's expert tip: Be sure to stop by the Brick Oven (Devon House Bakery).
With a location just four miles from Ocho Rios, this is a unique shopping experience near the cruise port. Harmony Hall celebrates Jamaican culture in the historical setting of a once massive 19th century sugar plantation. Today, visitors can stroll through craft markets or buy original Jamaican prints created by some of today's best-known artists. Wind your way through signed prints, one-of-a-kind paintings, and handcrafted wooden treasures to explore how present and past Jamaican artisans depicted a unique way of life. Call ahead to find out about special exhibitions, and make sure to bring your wallet since most of the pieces are for sale.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: More than 100 of Jamaica's finest artists and artisans are represented in this gallery.
Amber's expert tip: Harmony Hall also has cottage for vacation rentals.
Skip the magnets, ash trays, and snow globes and bring home souvenirs that your family and friends will appreciate. As the name suggests, Things Jamaican chain of stores represents all things inspired from the Jamaican culture and traditions. The items available are decorative and functional pieces that represent Jamaican heritage, with some modern works as well. It is a great place to find artwork, sculptures, peppersauces, rum, clothing, and intricate wood carvings. There are several locations including Kingston, Negril, and the Donald Sangster International airport. Pick up some Blue Mountain Coffee, hand-crafted pottery, cookbooks, clothing, paintings and other unique souvenirs.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: This growing company represents items made in Jamaica that represent the culture.
Amber's expert tip: You can also shop online.
Before (or after) touring the gardens, soak in the stunning cliff-side view with cold Red Stripe or order a perfectly-prepared homemade Jamaican dish of fresh seafood or chicken. The gardens tour is like take a friendly stroll through a friend's yard as the owners share stories of how they got started. The flora and fauna is breathtaking. Inside, the gallery hosts paintings, jewelry, and other artwork that is entirely made by the staff at Ahhh Ras Natango.There is no pressure to purchase anything, and the owners use their art to further humanitarian efforts. When visitors leave Ahhh Ras Nantango, they will have new friends and lasting memories.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: More than a place to shop for art, Ahhh Ras Nantango's garden is stunning and the staff makes visitors feel like family.
Amber's expert tip: They are usually closed on Saturdays.