The beautiful island of Antigua is always a favorite travel destination and a frequent port of call for anyone enjoying a Caribbean cruise. Featuring calm, blue waters that lap gently against white sand beaches, breathtaking coral reefs and the unique characteristics of island life, it’s no wonder that Antigua is a premier tourist destination.
When you get the chance to stop in Antigua, you’ll find that there’s plenty to do and see. From cruising along the shoreline to snorkeling around the coral reef to visiting historic sites, the island certainly doesn’t disappoint. Antigua is also a great place to try some local cuisine and do some shopping for souvenirs and gifts.
Shopping in Antigua is an adventure itself — in addition to the many shops selling clothing, jewelry and local goods, you’ll also come across many street vendors selling items made on the island that you probably won’t find anywhere else. If you enjoy shopping while traveling, or if you just want to find some special souvenirs and gifts for yourself and loved ones, look for the following 7 things to buy in Antigua.
1. Lavender Jade
Antigua is one of the only countries where you can find lavender-colored jade. These beautiful and unique gemstones are transformed into breathtaking pieces of jewelry — truly a special find when shopping in Antigua. Once you arrive on the island, it will be pretty easy to find and buy lavender jade jewelry and art pieces.
2. Wood-Carved Masks
Another item you’ll want to look for when shopping in Antigua is a wood-carved mask. These make great gifts or souvenirs, and add a unique touch to your home décor when displayed on a wall. The wood-carved masks feature many different styles and colors, so you are sure to find one that suits your taste. Check out the Chichicastenango Market to find many vendors selling these handcrafted items.
From beautifully woven rugs to bright and colorful pillows and cushions, not to mention clothing and other fabric items, you’ll find plenty of handcrafted and well-made quality products to bring home for yourself or as a gift for a loved one. Antiguan linens typically feature bright, bold colors and help to create a festive, cheery atmosphere. Cushions for furniture are a particularly popular item because the colors and patterns featured here are not likely to be found in the United States. Bringing home some cushions or a colorful rug will help liven up your home with a bit of Caribbean decor!
4. Local Pottery
Made with natural clay from Antigua and painted with bold, beautiful colors, Antiguan pottery is truly something to behold. You’ll find bowls of all sizes, one-of-a-kind lamps, plates, candleholders and much more. Each item is a work of art, and a great gift idea. Some of the more popular places to buy pottery in Antigua also allow you to take a tour of the studio and see how the pottery is made.
The handmade handbags in Antigua are made with traditional materials and are influenced by Mayan designs and culture. They are colorful and stylish, and available in many different sizes to suit your needs.
6. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
You may not be able to bring home any fruits and vegetables from Antigua, but you should definitely try some while you are there! There are likely to be plenty of street vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, and you may even stumble upon a farmers market as you stroll around town. Look for the Antiguan black pineapple for a real treat!
7. Caribbean Clothing
Bring home a bit of island life in the form of Caribbean-made clothing. You’ll find everything from glitzy, high-fashion dresses to T-shirts and casual clothing being sold in many of the shops close to the pier. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of premium fashion labels to be found too!
So while there’s plenty to do in Antigua, try to make some time for shopping as well. You won’t need to go far — there are plenty of small shops and local vendors to visit only a short distance from the pier. Enjoy lunch at one of the local establishments, and then explore the different shops where you’ll no doubt find a unique souvenir or gift.
Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.