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  • Ron Zacapa Centenario: While I spend a lot of time waxing poetic over the beauty and quality of Guatemala's arts and crafts, it's worth emphasizing how special this 23-year-old dark rum is. Whether you think you like rum or not, any aficionado of fine spirits should pick up a bottle of this amazingly smooth brew.
  • In Nola (Guatemala City; tel. 502/2367-2424): This is the place in Guatemala City for textiles and just about any other arts-and-crafts item. The large store is beautifully laid out, service is excellent, and the prices are fair. You won't find the bargains you might be able to negotiate at the informal markets, but you won't be taken to the cleaners either.
  • Carlos Woods Arte Antiguo y Contemporáneo (Guatemala City; tel. 502/2366-6883): This is the finest art gallery in Guatemala City, with an excellent variety of modern and historical works. The rooms here are well lit and beautifully designed, making a visit a pure pleasure whether or not you're looking to buy.
  • Nim Po't (Antigua; tel. 502/7832-2681; www.nimpot.com): A massive indoor space with a soaring ceiling houses this local craft and textile cooperative warehouse. Textiles, woodcarvings, and ceramic wares from across the country are available here. The quality varies greatly, but if you know what to look for, you can find some fine works without having to venture into the farther reaches of rural Guatemala.
  • Joyería del Angel (Antigua; tel. 502/7832-3189): Antigua has a glut of high-end jewelry stores selling locally produced wares. However, this shop has the most interesting and unique pieces that you'll ever see in one place in this town. It's worth checking their clearance rack, as they periodically try to update their stock.
  • Wer (Antigua; tel. 502/7832-7161): Give yourself some time to wander through the many rooms of art in this contemporary gallery, set up in the rambling space of a converted colonial-era home. More than 100 Guatemalan artists are represented here.
  • Chichicastenango's Market (Chichicastenango; no phone): There's a reason this twice-weekly open-air market is so famous. The abundance and variety of wares for sale and the somewhat controlled frenzy of the entire operation are not to be missed. You may find better bargains and products around the country, but you'll never see so much in one place at one time.
  • San Francisco El Alto Market (San Francisco El Alto; no phone): Local cognoscenti swear that the Friday market in San Francisco El Alto is even better than the one in Chichi. It's certainly a great market, and if you know what you're looking for, and how to bargain, you might even do better here than in Chichi.
  • Q'eqchi' Women's Craft Cooperative (on the Río Dulce; no phone; www.aktenamit.org): The Caribbean lowlands are a particularly barren zone for die-hard shoppers. This small shop is the exception to the rule. You can only get to this humble cooperative by boat, but all of the tour operations in Livingston and Río Dulce stop here.
  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.