HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
You will quickly notice Caracas of Venezuela has a great sense of style. Caraquenos love to shop for the latest things and have plenty of massive glittering shopping malls to do it in. Jewellery, gold and leather items like shoes and handbags are very good purchases in this city.
Venezuela’s largest city, Caracas, blends a modern cityscape with a lush, tropical feel. It’s noisy as any large city with millions of inhabitants, with traffic jams, dangerous areas to avoid, slums, and a distinct contrast between the levels of society.
Prices are, however, not shockingly low, and so you won’t find much in the way of a deal. That said, Caracas has some of South America’s nicest shopping malls, and so it is always an interesting and entertaining experience to go shopping here.
One area of shopping that isn’t quite as inspiring as other Latin American cities is the markets. Caracas doesn’t have colourful, bustling local markets where you can enjoy a cultural experience. They are often unsafe and not particularly interesting, although the Mercado Guajiro on the Plaza Chacaito is a reasonable choice.
You can head to the Mercado Guajiro which is the a collection of 30 shops featuring indigenous and other arts and crafts. However, the best shopping for Venezuelan arts and crafts is to be found in El Hatillo at the Hannsi Centro Artesanal. This huge indoor bazaar has everything from indigenous masks to ceramic wares to woven baskets. The selection is broad and covers everything from trinkets to major pieces of fine craftsmanship.
Head to El Hatillo, just south of the city, if you want to enjoy an afternoon hunting for handicrafts. This charming little town really is a great place to shop for everything from handmade devil masks to traditional
The most gigantic shopping complex in Caracas is the Centro Comercial Sambil off the Avenida Libertador, which is advertised as being the biggest in South America. This mall has five levels and is hugely popular with the locals. You will find a multiplex cinema, miniature amusement park, performing arts centre and gourmet restaurants.
Other decent malls in the city include the Centro Comercial El Recreo in Sabana Grande — on the Avenida Casanova, the Centro San Ignacio on the Avenida Blandin, and Tamanaco off the Autopista Caracas Baruta. Shops in the malls are typically open every day. El Recreo is the newest of the large-scale malls and boasts the best food court in the city.
Check out the Las Mercedes district for the most upscale galleries, shops, nightclubs and restaurants. This is where affluent locals like to go and shop, and it truly is one of the safer and quieter parts of Caracas. Its upmarket Centro Comercial El Tolon and Centro Comercial Paseo Las Mercedes shopping malls have a great selection of boutique outlets, with both being located along the Avenida Principal de las Mercedes. Altamira is another posh neighbourhood with an enticing choice of stores.
The Central Comercial Ciudad Tamanaco, east of Las Mercedes in the suburb of Chuao, attracts crowds with its upstairs cinemas, fast-food restaurants, and swanky boutiques. —