If you’re looking for the finest cigars, renowned rum, and beautiful arts and crafts, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you go shopping in Cuba. Depending on where you’re heading, there are all kinds of exciting shopping experiences to be hand, and all kinds of local goods to discover. Let’s take a closer look at places to shop in Cuba.
Shopping in Varadero
Varadero is home to lots of shopping spots, both on the beach and dotted around the town, so it’s well worth exploring those little lanes and cobbled streets for a real bargain. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to pick up classic souvenirs like Cuban cigars and coffee. You can also expect to find colourful crafts created by local artists, too, for something that really captures the spirit of this vibrant, bold destination.
Beach vendors showcase their wares in their own special way. Many peddle the length of the beach on bicycles with specially-designed shelves attached; a little precarious but so ‘Cuba’! They offer everything from sarongs and hats to shell jewellery and carved wood items (including bongo drums and statues), and these vendors are ready for you to haggle with them.
Romeo Y Juliettas Cigar Shop is the place to go if you want to buy cigars. You’ll find it over in downtown Varadero, and they stock a superb selection of cigars. Just bear in mind that you may not be permitted to take some home with you, so check first before you buy, just to be sure.
Varadero Craft Market is also located in downtown Varadero, and this is where you’ll find stalls run by local artists. They come here to sell their products, including art and crafts such as statues, wood carved jewellery, and paperweights. If you’re looking for a keepsake to remember your trip to Cuba, this could be the perfect place to look.
Shopping in Guardalavaca
If you’re heading to Guardalavaca, your trip won’t be complete without a trip to Guardalavaca flea market. Take a leisurely wander up from the nearby beach and you’ll discover a cluster of stalls featuring all kinds of goods. Take your pick from a whole host of trinkets, touristy souvenirs, clothes, and leather goods. There’s also plenty of locally-made art and wooden carvings, as well as musical instruments and Cuban cigars.
It’s worth checking out the market a couple of times while you’re here too, because different sellers run the stalls every time. You’ll find that many market sellers speak English and are open to haggling, so why not give it a try? Even if you don’t fancy shopping, it’s worth visiting to soak up the atmosphere. Once you’ve finished having a look around, you could always grab a cold drink from one of the local bars.
If you’re looking for a less traditional shopping destination, you’ll find the Centro Commercial fronting the beach near Guardalavaca’s western end.
Shopping in Cayo Coco
Even though Cayo Coco isn’t one of Cuba’s prime shopping areas, there are still a few opportunities to shop. You’ll find small gift shops inside most hotels, where you can pick up souvenirs, hats, cigars and more. But if you want a more generous selection of goods, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Plaza Los Flamencos is a modern shopping plaza, and it couldn’t be easier to find outside the Meliá Jardines del Rey New. This place is brimming with souvenir and clothes shops galore. There’s also a bowling alley and a spa, so you can easily while away a whole day here.
Morón is the nearest town to Cayo Coco (60km away), and it’s well worth a daytrip if you fancy a change of scenery from the resort. This is the place to go to sample a slice of day-to-day Cuban life at this laid-back residential area, and browse the local, more traditional shops. You can either book an organised excursion or take local buses.