In addition to the shopping centres in most major cities, specialty shops and local artisans offer a uniquely Cuban shopping experience.
For the world’s best cigars, head to the tobacco heartland of Pinar del Río, where you can buy them straight from the source at the Francisco Donatien cigar factory. Or select a box of authentic Partagás or Montecristos at one of the many Casa del Habano locations across the country.
Cuba’s famous rum can be purchased in virtually any town. At the Arrechabala Rum Factory near Varadero, you can enjoy a bit of rum-distilling history too.
Equally famous is the island’s aromatic, organically-grown coffee. Prime coffee country centres around Las Terrazas in Pinar del Rio in the west; as well as the foothills of the Sierra Maestra mountains in Santiago de Cuba, where the Archaelogical Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the Southeast of Cuba is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or perk up with some delicious Cuban coffee at Toa Ranch near Baracoa, where you can pick up a bag of beans after learning how to harvest them.
Cuban painters are world-renowned. Works of art can be purchased at private studios such as those in the sustainable village of Las Terrazas (in Pinar del Río province), which boasts a vibrant community of local artists. Baracoa, at the opposite end of the country is a seaside community with a distinct artistic flavour all its own.
In Havana, find one-of-a-kind crafts and clothing by joining a shopping tour, which stops at the Havana Libre Hotel Shopping Complex, La Flora, the Arts and Crafts Centre and the higher-end La Maison, which carries designer clothes.
Trinidad in Sancti Spíritus province is a shopper’s paradise, with colourful open-air markets all over town. A highlight is the Arts & Crafts Market, with its beautiful lace and textiles.
For local artifacts, look for the Fondo Cubano de Bienes Culturales in most major cities.