While you are exploring Jamaica, you will definitely want to pick up some souvenirs for yourself or to share with your friends and family back home. Avoid the usual touristy mementos like t-shirts and keychains, and seek out local goods instead. Not only will they be unique to Jamaica but you will always have a physical reminder of your time on the island.
20+ memorable, one-of-a-kind souvenirs to remind you of your trip to Jamaica.
Blue Mountain Coffee
Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee is considered one of the best and most sought-after coffees in the world. Grown in a legally designated growing region in the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica at elevations between 910 metres (3,000 ft) and 1,700 metres (5,500 ft), this coffee is the perfect souvenir to share with your friends back home. Known for its natural sweetness and rich taste, it has a very unique flavour that many people prefer to Colombian.
Bob Marley Coffee
Bob Marley’s legacy continues in his music and many other ways, including Marley Coffee. Co-founded in 2009 by his son, Rohan Marley, this international gourmet coffee company has partner farms in Ethiopia, South America and other top coffee-growing regions worldwide. With a slogan of “Stir It Up” which refers to Bob Marley’s song “Stir It Up”, and blends named after his greatest hits, Marley Coffee makes a great Jamaican gift for the coffee lover on your shopping list.
Jamaican wood carvings are some of the most popular souvenirs sold on the island. Perfect for the home or garden, they can be found in craft markets in Kingston, Ocho Rios, Negril and Montego Bay. The carvings range from symbols of Jamaican culture such as Rastafari figures and influential people to the more unconventional phallic items and are typically made out of local woods such as lignum vitae, mahogany and cedar.
Jerk Spices and Sauces
Recreate the flavours of Jamaica once you return home by purchasing some jerk spice as a souvenir. Made from Scotch Bonnet Peppers, allspice, as well as spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, jerk spice rubs and jerk sauces will add bold flavour to any meal.
Sangster’s Rum Cream
Hugely popular in Jamaica, rum cream is a blend of premium aged Jamaican rum and rich cream. It has just a hint of exotic Jamaican fruits and spices which make it especially delicious. Made by famous Jamaican distillers J. Wray & Nephew, it can be enjoyed on the rocks, straight up, or as an addition to coffee.
Jamaica is famous all over the world for its wide array of high-quality rum. Distilled from the sugar cane grown on the island for over 270 years, this alcoholic beverage can be enjoyed on its own or as an addition to fruity cocktails. If you are looking for a truly unique Jamaican gift, seek out one of the 800 bottles of Appleton Estates 50-year Rum, which retails at over $5000 per bottle. If that’s not in your budget, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum or Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum are great choices.
Jamaican Oil Paintings
Jamaica is home to some of the best painters in the Caribbean and top quality art is easy to find on the island. Along with local galleries where you will find works by local masters, beautiful oil paintings can be purchased at craft markets and small shops. Featuring scenes of village life, bright sunsets, and palm trees on the beach, they make a great personal souvenir that will bring back wonderful memories of your trip to Jamaica.
Coconut Wine Glasses
Found in craft markets all over the island, coconut wine glasses are one of the most popular souvenirs to bring home from Jamaica. Made from coconut shells, these lightweight wine glasses are bound to inspire some lively dinnertime conversation.
It’s no secret that Jamaicans love all things spicy, so be sure to bring home some local hot sauces as a souvenir. Usually made from one of the world’s hottest chile peppers, the Scotch Bonnet Pepper, their intense flavour will make even the most avid chile pepper fanatic break a sweat. For those who prefer milder flavours, hot sauces made with fruits like mango and banana are sweeter.
Authentic Reggae Music
Jamaica is known worldwide as the birthplace of reggae. It is also one of the best places in the Caribbean to pick up some CDs. The island has a thriving music scene and has produced many talented artists including Bob Marley, Sizzla Kalonji and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.
Jamaican Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil
In recent years, Jamaican cold-pressed coconut oil has become an increasingly sought after souvenir. Ideal for cooking or used in hair and skin care products, it is made locally and sold in most stores.
If you’re looking to bring back a souvenir from Jamaica for that special foodie friend in your life, why not buy them an authentic Jamaican cookbook. Enid Donaldson’s The Real Taste of Jamaica and Jerk from Jamaica by Helen Willinsky are especially popular.
Jamaican Root Tonic
The most authentic of all souvenirs from Jamaica is Root Tonic. Developed centuries ago by the Maroons, this drink is a blend of medicinal plants, herbs, roots and tree bark. It is said that Root Tonic improves health, builds strength and rejuvenates the mind and spirit. It even increases sex drive!
Goods woven from straw, wicker and palm leaves are both practical and easy to find souvenirs from Jamaica. Traditional items that are easy to bring home include bags, placemats, wall-hangings, baskets, vases and hats.
Calabash Wooden Bowls
Hand-carved from the fruit of the calabash tree, calabash bowls are one of the most popular souvenirs found in Jamaica. Used in the kitchen or as a decoration piece, these unique bowls will provide you with a lifetime of memories.
Whether it be a Bob Marley T-shirt, or a handmade dress in colours of the Jamaican flag, clothing is one of the most traditional souvenirs to bring home from Jamaica. It is also one of the easiest souvenirs to find on the island. With ‘I love Jamaica’ shopping bags, Rasta hats, and other green, yellow and black clothing for sale around every corner, you are guaranteed to find something for everyone on your shopping list.
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
If you’re a Guinness fan, or are shopping for one back home, the best souvenir you can buy is a case of Guinness Foreign Extra. Brewed in Jamaica, this beer tastes much different than its Irish-brewed counterpart. It also contains 6.5% ABV, 1% less than overseas.
Souvenirs from Jamaica for Kids
Children love collecting things, so why not help them start an international coin collection! Jamaican Dollars are easy to find in Jamaica, and also make one of the most interesting souvenirs.
If you’re shopping for kids in Jamaica, one of the things you should buy are Jamaican dolls. Either stuffed with spongy material or made from hard plastic, the dolls are dressed in traditional Jamaican clothing.
Even if you visit Jamaica in July, you’re bound to come across some beautiful Christmas ornaments. Often handmade, they make a great addition to any Christmas tree.
I began collecting souvenir fridge magnets as a kid, and continue to do so now that I’m in my 30’s. Not only are they practical, but they bring back great memories from my travels!
If you’ve been to Jamaica, what souvenirs did you purchase? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!
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