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Destinations:

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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San Juan Shopping

San Juan is the perfect place to pick up unique handmade treasures. You won’t find many chain stores here but the quality is always the best. Visit Old Town where you will find the many shops open for business seven days a week. Pick up art, straw hats, ceramics, and their famous papier-mâché fruits and vegetables.
For the best collection of santos, or saints, head to the Capilla de Cristo in Old San Juan, the Galería Botello, Olé, or Puerto Rican Arts & Crafts. These crafts are unique to Puerto Rico and are considered their created contribution to plastic art. They are highly sought after by collectors. No two pieces are the same.

If you’re in search for a traditional mall with American-style shopping be sure to make time for a trip to Plaza Las Americas. Located in the financial district of Hato Rey, it is home to more than 200 shops and beautiful fountains. Prices are comparable to malls in the states and the building is modern and holds no resemblance to Puerto Rico’s old-world charm.
Lace is considered a work of art and a luxury in Puerto Rico. Bobbin lace making is 5 centuries old and is only done in Puerto Rico and Spain. The best place to buy lace is at the Linen House, which is a large outlet store holding all types of lace.

When Puerto Ricans go to island carnivals they typically wear caretas or grotesque masks. The best place to pick up one of these amazing works of art is at La Calle. The most popular of all their crafts, these papier-mâché masks are decorated with horns, fang teeth, big bright painted eyes and animal details. In the 17th century these masks were worn to frighten shiner and devils into returning to the church to pray. Traditional masks can be found in red, black and yellow. Today many of the colors have been toned down to pastels and neutrals.

Hailed as one of the top three coffees in the world, Alto Grande is know as the “Coffee of Popes and Kings.” Grown in the highest mountains of Lares since 1839, it is the only coffee served at high-end restaurants and hotels. Although it is sold in the United States, it is encouraged to buy it in Puerto Rico with the guarantee it is fresh from the mountains.
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