Insider Secrets to Shopping on Jamaica’s North Coast – between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay
5 Spots for Serious Retail Therapy on Jamaica’s North Coast
So, where do you go if you decide you want to go shopping in Ocho Rios?
Island Village, Soni’s Plaza and Taj Mahal Shopping centers are the top three places for duty-free shopping in Ocho Rios.
As is predictable, these stores are crowded on cruise ship days.
Most of the stores have your typical souvenirs. Vendors are less pushy than at the craft market. Don’t expect unique finds. You can find some nice pieces of jewelry. The prices for jewelry are negotiable so some haggling is expected.
Island Village has Margaritaville, which is always a draw with its beach, pool, slide, and bar. There is a movie theatre. There is also Reggae Explosion, which, with its exhibits of Jamaican music, is great for music lovers. Some stores do not open when cruise ships are not in port so consider that as you plan your visit.
Ocho Rios Craft Market … This experience can be hit or miss.
So what’s the deal? If you love to haggle, you will be in heaven. You will likely enjoy the back and forth that goes into a price. If you don’t like to haggle, make sure you understand what to expect; otherwise, this experience might be a miss for you. On the other hand, you could miss some great bargains. If you care about helping the local economy, you should visit. There are multiple craft markets in Ocho Rios. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post to help you figure out how to navigate the craft market.
If you choose to go to the craft market, realize that there are several. There is a big one on Main Street. There is one near the entrance of Dunns River. There is another near Pineapple Place, sort of going east out of Ocho Rios. There are also craft vendors on the road in Fern Gully.
Check out the blog post entitled, “How to Survive the Craft Market in Jamaica“.
If you want to go a little further afield, try the Shoppes at Rose Hall in Montego Bay.
The stores here carry upmarket brands like Chanel, Cartier, and Dior with prices to match. Fine jewelry and watches are here too; and, of course, the shopping is duty-free. This mall caters primarily to some of the upscale hotels ad villas in Montego Bay and so the prices do reflect that market. The image they project is that you can’t bargain but they do somewhat.
Top secret … T-shirts and the like can be obtained for much less money elsewhere … but that is why some people shop at Saks 5th Avenue and some shop at Walmart. Ultimately, it is about what type of shopping experience you enjoy.
This is not a big shopping mall. Don’t expect to spend hours there “wandering the stores”.
There are sometimes a few locals outside the shops making handmade items. Do try to patronize them. That is as close to helping the local economy that you will get at the Shoppes or any of the stores mentioned earlier.
I would not make a special trip to the Shoppes. Rather, I would stop there on the way to or from some other activity to make the most of the experience.
So there you have it. The top shopping places in Ocho Rios Jamaica are Island Village, Soni’s Plaza, Taj Mahal. and the Craft Market. If you don’t mind the drive and want a little more upscale setting, try the Shoppes in Montego Bay.
If you are going shopping in Jamaica, here is another article fro our blog that you should read – 10 Things to Know Before Going Shopping in Jamaica.
‘Til next time.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Sherry, Darrell and Darrian
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