Shopping in Cartagena: Boutiques, Souvenirs and More
As in all of the world's main port cities, you can find just about anything in Cartagena's commercial and tourism hotspots. Here, you'll come across imported goods, jewelry, antiques, and internationally recognized brand-name clothing. This warm and sunny beach destination also has hundreds of shops and stores all along the modern hotel zone, where you can buy necessities like sunglasses, bathing suits, wide-brimmed hats, comfortable sandals and a wide variety of beach accessories. In order to fully take advantage of your vacation, make sure to combine your souvenir shopping with your tours. The best place for simultaneous touring and shopping is inside the walled city, Cartagena's historic area. Walk along its streets as you take in the friendly atmosphere, stopping by the dozens of artisanal shops that you'll stumble upon along the way. Compare prices as you look over the merchandise, and choose the gifts that best resemble the style of your friends and family.
Fun Shopping on a Small Budget
Enjoy the challenging task of picking out travel souvenirs to take home to your family, close friends, and work colleagues (without forgetting to include your boss and your mother-in-law on the list). Don't forget that souvenirs help to show how much you care. For some, however, the true purpose of this common courtesy is so that everyone will know that they just returned from an enviable trip on the beautiful Colombian coast. What truly stands out to visitors in Cartagena are the stunning emeralds and colorful traditional artisanry from Colombia's Caribbean coast, including the famous "sombreros vueltiaos", the loose-fitting dresses worn by local women and the rustic musical instruments made of wood and leather. In order to return home with a suitcase full of gifts, you can choose between artisanal Colombian coffee bags, traditional local sweets, or pretty ceramic figurines of local symbols such as the balconies, "chivas" buses, or the India Catalina statue. If you're looking to take home large amounts of souvenirs without hurting your travel budget in this beautiful Caribbean city, classic choices such as refrigerator magnets, pens, and post cards are great options.
Luxury and a Full Wallet
All along Cartagena's luxurious hotel zone, many jewelers and upscale shopping centers have set up shop. Valuable Colombian emeralds, which originally come from the mines in the center of the country, are placed within arm's reach of the people visiting this Caribbean destination. Due to the excellent prices, these tourists don't think twice about bringing home this stunning little piece of Colombia. Among the most well-known shopping centers in Cartagena are Bocagrande, Paseo de la Castellana, Ronda Real and Getsemani. Conveniently spread out in different neighborhoods throughout the city, you'll be close to one of these shopping centers in any part of town. Here, you can find a wide range of shops including boutiques selling vanguard Colombian designer clothes, along with stores offering accessories, perfumes and international brand-names like Benetton, Versace or Lacoste.
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