San Juan Shopping
Shopping in San Juan is an exotic and often cost-effective
venture, with the streets of Old Town (especially Calle San
Francisco and Calle del Cristo) being the most popular
destinations. Most stores can be reached via the Old Town Trolley
and are generally open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm, while
some in Old San Juan are also open on Sundays. Malls in San Juan
are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 9pm, and Sunday from 11am
to 5pm. Only U.S. citizens don''t pay duty (5.5%) on goods purchased
in Puerto Rico.
The best shopping mall is Plaza Las Américas, in Hato Rey, which
boasts over 200 upmarket shops. Local handicrafts include
needlework, ceramics, hammocks and papier-mâché arts, while
paintings and sculptures also make good souvenirs; wooden carvings
(saints) are also popular. These goods are available
from Galería Botello, Olé or Puerto Rican Arts and Crafts.
Sought-after antique lace products, such as
(tatted fabrics) and
(beggar''s lace), as well as
(lace bands), can be found at Linen House.
One of the best coffees in the world, Puerto Rico''s Alto Grande
is available from speciality stores such as Spicy Caribbee. An
ancient building in Old Town serves as both a laundromat and art
gallery, with paintings, etchings and photographs displayed (and
for sale) above the coin-operated laundry machines. Art exhibitions
are also hosted here. C
(papier-mâché masks) worn at local carnivals make a
great souvenir for those with a morbid fascination, and can be
purchased from La Calle.