Gift shops abound in San Pedro, especially on Front and Middle Streets; they’ve got your postcards, beach apparel, towels, hats, T-shirts, hot sauces, and the usual knickknacks. Orange has gorgeous hand-carved art and other crafts in its two island locations. Artisans sell their works on Front Street, mainly handmade ziricote wood carvings and bowls and Guatemalan jewelry and textiles.
For sinful gifts, the Cigar and Rum Shop (on Middle Street, across from Elvi’s Kitchen, 9 a.m.–9 p.m.) has a walk-in humidor with Cuban and Belizean cigars, interesting rum and liquor products, and dark-roasted Guatemalan Arabica coffee—for sale and sampling.
A decent book selection is available at Blue, across from San Pedro Holiday Hotel, open daily at 8 a.m. Pages (in Vilma Linda Plaza on Tarpon St., www.pagesbookstorebelize.com, Mon.–Sat.) is another option with a decent stock, but a bit expensive.
Belizean Arts in Fido’s Courtyard (tel. 501/226-2056, daily) sells art, jewelry, ceramics, and carvings by local and Belizean artists. The well-established shop has the largest selection of original paintings in Belize. Also in Fido’s Courtyard is Bambar, offering handcrafted jewelry made with resin ambers, Maya jade, shells, and silver. Mambo Chill imports expensive women’s clothing.
Ambergris Art Gallery is worth a look, with two stores: one on Middle Street near the men’s clothing store Moonbreeze, the other in the Sunbreeze Hotel.
Get your rocks at Ambergris Maya Jade and History Museum (across from town hall, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. daily). Also a retail jade shop, it’s designed “to give visitors an overview of 3,000 years of Mesoamerican jade and its importance to the cultures in the region.” When you’re finished, check out The Emerald Mine, a few doors down.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition