Shopping in San juan

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When it comes to shopping, the city of San Juan is quite a cultural experience. Many American tourists travel to San Juan to buy goods. American citizens are not required to pay duty charges on items purchased in San Juan and brought back to the mainland. 

The area that has the most shopping opportunities in the old city is on Calle San Francisco and Calle del Cristo. Many stores are closed on Sunday, but you will find some that are open; it just depends on the store. You can expect most shops to be open from 9 am to 6 pm. 

Crafts

Crafts are abundant. They can be purchased from native street vendors or small shops. Crafts include ceramics, hammocks, paper-mache objects, and artwork.  The popular “santos”, or carved wooden depictions of saints, are sold in wood, clay, and plastic varieties. Find a large selection of them at the shop called Ole from $5 to $200.

Arts

An old art, finding new life these days, is the art of making lace. Pieces of tatted lace can be found from individual artists on the street or go to Linen House to find larger quantities. Another local craft that makes a popular souvenir from San Juan is the caretas. These are paper mache masks worn at carnivals and some of them are rather frightening. Many have horns or fangs and are half animal half human.  They are worn during carnival by vegigantes that roam the streets scaring people. They look good hanging on the wall and are definitely a conversation piece. Find them at the store called La Calle and many other shops all year round. One will cost you around $40.

Fashion

Fashion is found in many stores in San Juan as several designers have shops where you can purchase their clothing. Nono Maldonado is one designer having a shop in San Juan on Ashford Boulevard, also called the Rodeo Drive of Puerto Rico. Cappalli is another shop that sells fashion from several local designers and is located in Old San Juan on O’Donnell Street.

"Bovida"

Other interesting shops include Bovida specializing in fine antiques, jewelry, and crafts from Puerto Rico and Butterfly People Gallery where they offer unique gifts of preserved butterflies in acrylic cases. 

"Plaza Las Americas"

San Juan has a shopping mall called Plaza Las Amercias in Hato Rey district. You can find anything you would find in a regular mall in the United States as this mall has more than 200 shops along with a bowling alley, theater, and food stores. 

Bargain Shopping

In the small shops and shops on the street you can bargain with the shop owners, but don't try to do that in the larger stores. You can find bargains all over the city and bring them home duty free to America.

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