The best places to go shopping in Puerto Rico offers plenty of options for those who want a break from the sun, sea, and sand. The capital, San Juan, is a shopper’s dream, but you’ll find many opportunities for indulging across this tropical Caribbean island, whether you’re looking for unique handcrafted items or international luxury brands.

    From eclectic offerings in lively markets to discount outlets and large shopping malls, these are the best places in Puerto Rico to add to your itinerary for a dia de compras (perfect shopping day).


    Plaza Las Américas, San Juan

    The Caribbean’s largest shopping mall

    • Families
    • Shoppers

    Plaza Las Américas sits at the end of San Juan’s Hato Rey district. The largest shopping mall on the island has over 300 stores, along with a wide array of entertainment and dining options. You can find virtually everything, from cars and candles to beauty products and clothing.

    There are plenty of international brand names at Plaza Las Américas, including Nine West, Coach, JCPenney, and Macy’s, as well as some local names such as Arts and Crafts PR. Besides shopping, it’s a great place for a movie in the multi-screen theatre or bowling at Galaxy Lanes. There’s also an Internet chat room, dancefloor and 2 bars.

    Location: 525 Av. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, San Juan, 00918, Puerto Rico

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 787-767-5202


    photo by Moebiusuibeom-en (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    The Mall of San Juan

    An excellent first or last stop on your Puerto Rico holiday

    The Mall of San Juan is spread over 60,000 square metres, located near the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. This upscale shopping mall is a convenient spot for picking up any necessary items right after your arrival or before departing.

    The Mall of San Juan has many famous brands, including fast-fashion outlets like Zara along with high-end designers like Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. If you want to grab a bite to eat, there’s a surprising number of delicious offerings, particularly for brunch and dinner.

    Location: CX6F+VR San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 787-759-6310


    photo by Moebiusuibeom-en (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Old San Juan

    Puerto Rico’s top tourist area offers some of the best shopping, too

    • Shoppers

    Old San Juan is not to be missed, no matter what type of experience you’re looking for in Puerto Rico. Apart from anything else, it happens to offer some of the best shopping on the island. After exploring museums and monuments, you can seek out the many historic buildings that house resident artisans. They specialise in unique handicrafts and high-quality clothing.

    Every Puerto Rican man has a good guayabera (loose-fitting, comfortable linen shirt) that’s ideal for the tropics. You can find them at Almacenes Fernandez and Clubman, just to name a few. Of course, it’s always fun just to walk around and find hidden shops in Old San Juan.


    El Mercado Urbano

    A San Juan farmer’s market with over 50 vendors

    El Mercado Urbana takes place at La Ventana al Mar in San Juan, facing the Atlantic waterfront. While it’s also on Ashford Avenue, it’s entirely separate and focuses more on handcrafted items and home-grown produce than high-end designers.

    Around 50 vendors set up their booths under large tents at El Mercado Urbana. You can find Puerto Rican-made products like vinegar, cheeses, bread, coffee, sangria, soaps, plants, and flowers. Most offer samples so you can try them before you buy. It’s an excellent place to pick up local souvenirs and try some of the local food and drinks.

    Location: 1054 Ashford Ave, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico

    Open: First Sunday of the month from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 787-721-2400


    Plaza del Mercado de Rio Piedras

    A traditional local market in San Juan

    Plaza del Mercado de Rio Piedras is the place to go if you want to experience a colonial period tradition in Puerto Rico. This indoor market in San Juan includes 4 long blocks basically turned into an outdoor mall, all closed to road traffic.

    Plaza del Mercado de Rio Piedras offers a real taste of the local culture. There are lots of shops where you’ll see residents bargaining for everything, along with a food court where you can enjoy a cheap and tasty meal. Live music often takes place during weekends.

    Location: 1114 Calle Vallejo, San Juan, 00925, Puerto Rico

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 6 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 787-383-0392


    Puerto Rico Premium Outlets

    Enjoy the widest range of discount stores on the island

    Puerto Rico Premium Outlets is a popular outlet mall with more than 90 international and designer brands, all offering lowered rates on off-season items. The venue is about 45 minutes north of San Juan in Barceloneta, but it’s well worth the trip. You can find items with at least a 25% discount, with some up to 65% lower than the original price.

    Popular stores at Puerto Rico Premium Outlets include Nike, Guess, Gap, Ann Taylor, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, and Michael Kors. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s a food court and several sit-down restaurants. A must-visit is Metropol, a local restaurant specialising in Puerto Rican and Cuban dishes.

    Location: CFQ5+HJ Barceloneta, Puerto Rico

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 9 am to 8 pm, Friday–Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 787-846-5300


    The Outlet Mall at Route 66

    A top spot for entertainment and shopping

    • Families
    • Shoppers

    The Outlet Mall at Route 66 is only 30 minutes northeast of San Juan, accessed via the road to El Yunque National Forest. There are bargains galore at big-name outlets like Tommy Hilfiger, Aldo, Guess, and Levi’s.

    The indoor mall is one of the top destinations for entertainment in Puerto Rico. Besides a movie theatre, you can enjoy bowling, arcade games, a CXC simulator, and an indoor kart racing centre.

    Location: 18400 Autopista Roberto Sánchez Vilella, Canovanas, Canóvanas 00729, Puerto Rico

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 9 am to 7 pm, Friday–Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 787-256-7040


    Plaza del Caribe

    One of Puerto Rico's largest shopping malls

    Plaza del Caribe contains over 130 stores, making it the largest shopping mall in Puerto Rico after Plaza Las Américas. As the building is fully air-conditioned and easy to stroll around, it’s a great place to escape the heat in Puerto Rico. The shops range from budget-friendly to chic and luxurious, with brands like American Eagle, Crocs, Macy’s, and Hot Topic.

    Many locals come here for its food court, though you’ll also find some good chain restaurants like El Paraiso Criollo and P.F. Chang’s. Plaza del Caribe is in Ponce, around an hour’s drive from San Juan.

    Location: 2050 Ponce Bypass, Ponce, 00717, Puerto Rico

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 787-259-8989


    photo by Tito Caraballo (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Arecibo Flea Market

    Lots of kitsch goods and tasty pinchos

    • Shoppers
    • Budget

    The Arecibo Flea Market offers lots of pinchos (appetisers or snacks) along with inexpensive clothing and kitschy items. This is the biggest flea market in Puerto Rico, selling discounted jewellery, music, DVDs, and auto parts.

    It’s fun to walk around and hunt for treasures while enjoying the atmosphere at Arecibo Flea Market. There’s even a mini-VR arcade offering a variety of scenarios, including sea diving and zombie shootouts. The best time to visit Arecibo Flea Market is in the evening, especially if you’re in Puerto Rico in summer.

    Location: Exit 77A, Expreso José De Diego, Arecibo, 00612, Puerto Rico

    Open: Friday–Sunday from 2 pm to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +1 787-378-6715


    Ashford Avenue

    Puerto Rico’s upmarket shopping boulevard

    • Shoppers
    • Luxury

    Ashford Avenue in Ponce's Condado district is where you’ll find the most exclusive shopping opportunities. There are many big-name international brands like Salvatore Ferragamo and Cartier, along with boutiques by local designers that cater to refined tastes.

    Nono Maldonado is one of the premier designers on the island, offering ready-to-wear and made-to-measure clothing for men and women. Another excellent option on Ashford Avenue is Mademoiselle, a boutique known for its good-value European brands.


    photo by Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue (CC BY 2.0) modified

    K.C. Dermody | Contributing Writer

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