Must-see shopping in Central America

  • Flor de Pino

    Northern Highlands

    Members of this small women's cooperative weave elegant baskets from pine needles. The products are absolutely charming, as are the women who make them…

  • Centro Comercial Novacentro


    This big new mall is the current local favorite, and it's easy to see why: as well as having high security and a great range of shops, it's very central…

  • Marigold Women's Cooperative

    Southern Belize

    In Indian Creek village, Marigold is a cooperative of local Kekchí Maya women working to preserve their culture through cooking. Traditional Maya food,…

  • Coopearsa

    Central Valley & Highlands

    In Sarchí Norte, 200m west of the soccer field, is this kitsch-filled paradise of carretas, woodwork and painted feathers. A butterfly farm (adult/child…

  • Made in Belize


    Leo handcrafts exquisite wooden sculptures from rosewood, mahogany and driftwood at his workshop on the Sidewalk and displays and sells them in his little…

  • Maya Center Women's Craft Shop

    Southern Belize

    At the junction of the Southern Hwy and the road to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, this shop stocks locally made Maya arts and crafts including…

  • Calzado Figueroa


    Get in touch with your inner cowboy with some genuine, handcrafted, Cuban-heel riding boots (from US$80 to US$100) at this high-quality leather workshop…

  • Caribbean Colors

    Caye Caulker

    This shop stocks a collection of silk-screened fabrics, jewelry and paintings by the owner, artist Lee Vanderwalker, as well as pieces by other Belizean…

  • Plaza Inter


    Adjacent to Barrio Bolonia, it’s convenient, with a cinema (with subtitled movies), lots of discount shops, Colonia supermarket, a couple of department…

  • Lola's Art

    Southern Belize

    Local painter and sculptor Lola Delgado runs this store selling some of the same paintings, handcrafted jewelry, sculpture and assorted crafts you'll find…

  • Yimba Cajc Artist Cooperative

    Southern Costa Rica & Península de Osa

    Colorful Boruca weavings and balsa masks decorated with jungle birds and animals are for sale here. Sometimes there are also cedarwood devil masks…

  • Depósito Libre

    Southern Costa Rica & Península de Osa

    Large duty-free shopping area inside the Zona Americana that's now the lifeblood of Golfito. Here you can buy manufactured goods imported from Panama with…

  • Plaza El Amate

    Guatemala City

    Less hectic than the central market, the Plaza El Amate features a satisfying jumble of everyday items, clothes, CDs and DVDs mixed in with souvenirs and…

  • Marea Surf Shop Café

    Playa Sámara

    Part cafe, part downtown surf shop, it rents gear, offers lessons, and has top-quality rash guards, board shorts and boards for the buying. Bonus: the…

  • Saul's Cigar Coffee House

    Ambergris Caye

    Catering to all of your vices with a good selection of freshly roasted coffee beans, local rum creme (available for tasting) and cigars from all over the…

  • Cedart

    Eastern El Salvador

    The community at Guatajiagua produces quality black pottery in the Lenca tradition. Cedart is a simple gallery displaying work by local artisans. They can…

  • Fábrica de Carretas Joaquín Chaverri

    Central Valley & Highlands

    Sarchí's oldest and best-known factory is 1.5km southeast of the plaza. Here you can buy souvenirs and watch artisans hand-building and painting the area…

  • Multiplaza Escazú

    San José

    Costa Rica’s most stylish and massive shopping mall has everything you need (or don’t). If you’re coming from San José, the mall can be reached by taking…

  • Ambar

    Ambergris Caye

    Beautiful handmade jewelry in interesting and diverse styles, including plenty of options from the namesake stone. Custom designs made while you wait. It…

  • Centro Comercial Los Próceres

    Guatemala City

    One of the first malls in Guatemala, this has been surpassed by many others, but is still a standby for fashion boutiques, electronic goods and other…

  • Mercado

    Veraguas Province

    Just past the entrance to town, this market sells fruits and vegetables, woven handmade bags, a wide range of hats, leather goods and many other…

  • Olé


    A clothing boutique and handicrafts store specializing in produce from local cooperatives. Expect jewelry, purses, and gifts made out of bamboo, aluminum…

  • Dangriga Central Market


    The Dangriga Central Market is a microcosm of Dangriga society with traders selling shoes, clothing, crockery and Maya crafts alongside farmers and…

  • Back to My Roots

    San Ignacio

    Offers cool handmade jewelry, including silver, amber and other semiprecious stones. The name of the place refers to the drums and other Rasta gear for…

  • Mercado Ex-Cuartel

    San Salvador

    The Mercado Ex-Cuartel is a difficult place to navigate, but be patient and you'll find handmade hammocks and embroidered fabrics from across the country.

  • Mercado Nacional de Artesanía

    San José

    A touristy open-air market that sells everything from handcrafted jewelry and Bob Marley T-shirts to elaborate woodwork and Guatemalan sarongs.

  • Artesanías La Esquina


    An artisans cooperative with an extensive inventory that blends tourist kitsch with an array of excellent pottery and sculpted wood bowls.

  • San Pedro Originals

    Ambergris Caye

    Displaying the works of nine local artists, this tiny gallery is chock-full of colorful island-inspired paintings. It arranges shipping.

  • Librería Lehmann

    San José

    Good selection of English-language books, maps and guidebooks (including Lonely Planet). There are a half-dozen branches around town.

  • Marie Sharp's Factory Store


    In an unassuming white building down a lane off the main street, this is Dangriga's outlet store for Marie Sharp's iconic hot sauces.

  • Artes de Osa

    Puerto Jiménez

    This locally run souvenir shop has interesting handmade carvings, furniture and other handicrafts, all made by Costa Rican artisans.

  • Multiplaza Mall


    This convenient shopping complex is located southwest of Colonia Palmira, with lots of shopping choice, ATMs and a cinema.

  • Tropix Surfboards

    Bocas del Toro Town

    Sells custom-made surfboards and a few used ones as well. Also has a large selection of swimwear and other island apparel.

  • Escazú farmers markets

    San José

    On Saturday, head down to the farmers market that's held along Avenida 2, just south of the park in Escazú Centro.

  • Uniplaza Mall

    La Ceiba

    Centrally located and full of restaurants, and with several secure ATMs, this mall is a useful place for travelers.

  • Mercado de Artesanías Coclé

    Coclé Province

    This market stocks both everyday and high-quality hats from Panama as well as other locally produced handicrafts.

  • Mercado San Juan


    A workaday marketplace located on the northeast edge of León's downtown; cheap place to buy fresh fruit and veg.

  • Mercado Central

    San Salvador

    Salvadoran city life at full throttle, the Mercado Central is the local favorite for clothes and electronics.

  • Plaza Santa Fé

    Central & Eastern Guatemala

    Next to the basilica, this shopping market has all sorts of trinkets, souvenirs, clothes, textiles and more.

  • Tuesday Market


    A weekly market at the local theater features arts and crafts, jewelry, organic produce and prepared foods.

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