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6 Ways to Bring Home the Caribbean

Vivid turquoise waters and white sand beaches. Snorkeling through a kaleidoscope of brilliant fish and coral, and relaxing in the evening with  a rainbow-sherbet sunset. There are few vacation destinations as magical as the tropical islands of the Caribbean. Once your holiday is over, head home with a suitcase of souvenirs as authentic as your island paradise.

 

The Hook Bracelet, St. Croix  

Crucians around the world identify one another — and spot visitors who fell in love with their homeland — by the presence of a hook bracelet. The gold and silver bracelet represents eternal love in a design that evokes a fishhook and line. Commonly purchased as a pair, one for him and one for her, the bracelets can be found at shops across St. Croix, but Sonya Ltd. in Christiansted ranks as the local favorite, having crafted the jewelry for some 50 years.  

Caribelle Batik Garments, St. Kitts

Set in a historic sugar plantation once owned by Thomas Jefferson’s great-great-great-grandfather, Caribelle Batik creates vibrant clothing and wall hangings emblematic of the Caribbean. Using wax to strategically resist staining, Caribelle designs range from the traditional — think hibiscus blossoms and palm fronds — to the abstract, in colors vivid and muted. Visit the workshop to see the batik items made, or check out their shop in St. Kitts’ capital city of Basseterre.  

Spices, Grenada  

Often called the Spice Island, Grenada earned a reputation starting in the 19th century exporting nutmeg. And the island remains a leading supplier of the world’s nutmeg and mace. See nutmeg assorted and packed at the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station. Then take a heady stroll through the Spice Market in St. George’s to supply your own pantry with the freshest in spices such as locally grown cinnamon, cloves, ginger and turmeric. 

Caymanite Jewelry & Art, Cayman Islands

Nowhere in the world but in the Cayman Islands will you find Caymanite, a semiprecious stone created from the ash layers of ancient, now-dormant volcanos. Look for pieces of the stone all across the Cayman Islands, with their tell-tale stripes of cream, caramel and chocolate brown. Highly-polished, it’s a lovely set in rings and pendants.

Angostura Bitters, Trinidad & Tobago 

Perfected as a medicinal aid by a German physician while living in Venezuela, Angostura bitters have been a mainstay in Trinidad since 1875. A secret concoction of herbs and spices, the digestif is more likely to be found behind the bar than in the medicine cabinet these days. Bring home a bottle of these famous bitters and add a piece of the Caribbean to your Manhattan or old-fashioned cocktail.  

Mahoe Woodcarvings, Jamaica

Jamaica ranks as one of the finest artistic centers in the Caribbean, selling everything from detailed acrylic paintings to weavings. But nothing better symbolizes Jamaica than artwork carved from indigenous blue mahoe, Jamaica’s national tree. Pick up a souvenir carving at places like the Kingston Crafts Market or at Harmony Hall near Ocho Rios.  

Add to your Caribbean souvenir collection! Call your local AAA Travel Agent at 800-750-5386 to plan your next tropical shopping trip or stop by your local AAA office