Almost everyone who travels likes to pick up something to remind themselves of their adventure or vacation. Additionally, many of us like to bring home gifts that reflect some aspect of the journey. This is not always easy, and if you are among those who want to dodge the “made somewhere else” products, it can be tough to find a good quality item.
Fortunately, anyone visiting Turks and Caicos has a long list of must buy items that can also serve as champion souvenirs. Just consider Bambarra rum! Known as the island’s brand, it is the one thing that you know is unavailable elsewhere and yet you can pick from a range of varieties (hint: almost everyone who sips their Trouvadore 15-year-old variety loves it). Of course, you can also scout around for the Lucayan and Turks Head brands as they are both authentic island brands too.
What else should you consider picking up during a visit to Turks and Caicos? Let’s consider some of the best options.
One of the wisest items to purchase would be a locally made good. The artists of Turks and Caicos are busy making everything from wood carvings and painted silks to hand-woven baskets and unique prints. You should also consider locally made dolls with their bright and cheerful local fabrics, wind chimes made of native shells, local pottery and even consider buying CDs from the local bands who perform in restaurants, bars and other venues.
Of course, wall art is a wonderful thing to take home, and many villas and rentals have original works. Ask about any of the pieces you particularly like and find out if the artist is selling somewhere on the island. One thing that everyone will appreciate are the small, catch all baskets available from the Turks and Caicos National Trust. They are made of native fanner grass and make fantastic souvenirs for everyone at home – and yourself too!
Many travelers find that beach glass jewelry makes an especially memorable item and you can also find some artisans using conch shells or conch pearls to make one of a kind jewelry items.
Some island artisan shops include Greensleeves (at Central Square), Anna’s Art Gallery in the lovely Salt Mill Plaza also has great local goods, the Turks and Caicos Hand Crafts at Blue Hills Artisans Studio are also popular and almost everyone purchases a handmade, island t-shirt from Mama’s at Ports of Call.
With the mention of conch a bit earlier, we need to consider it as a must-have souvenir.
This is something everyone wants, but you need to know that the Queen Conch, with that stunning and majestic shell, is now protected and exporting it or its shell can mean getting a permit. Limit your purchase to three shells or less and you will have no problem. Even wiser may be to purchase locally made jewelry that was made from small parts of a shell. This ensures that you can travel easier, but keep in mind that you are still limited to three items – be sure to keep your receipt for your conch shell purchases.
Gourmands will probably know about the salts of Turks and Caicos, but if you are unfamiliar, it is a wonderful story. During the 1700s and 1800s, the island had sugar mills but was also known for its regular harvests of sea salt. This is still something available today, but be sure you are buying authentically crafted island salt. The foodies on your gift list will love you for it, and you’ll appreciate the authentic island flavor it adds to your foods at home.
There you have it! The must-have items you will want to purchase for yourself and loved ones each time you pay a visit to Turks and Caicos.