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Venezuelans -- and most visitors -- tend to shop at one of the many modern malls that have been built around Caracas over the past 20 years. Of these, the Centro Comercial Sambil, Avenida Libertador (Metro: Chacao), is perhaps the most popular. Reputed to be the largest mall in South America, it features everything from a multiplex cinema to gourmet restaurants to a performing arts space to a mini-amusement park. Other prominent malls include the Centro Comercial Ciudad Tamanaco (CCCT), Autopista Francisco Fajardo and Calle La Estancia (no Metro); and the Centro Lido, Avenida Francisco de Miranda, El Rosal (Metro: Chacaito).

Las Mercedes is an upscale district of restaurants, shops, nightclubs, and art galleries, which makes it the choice spot for a leisurely afternoon of browsing and buying.

If you're looking for arts and crafts, you can head to the Mercado Guajiro, Paseo Las Flores near the western end of Plaza Chacaito, a collection of 30 shops featuring indigenous and other arts and crafts. However, perhaps the best shopping for Venezuelan arts and crafts is to be found in El Hatillo at the Hannsi Centro Artesanal, Calle Bolívar 12 (tel. 0212/963-7184; www.hannsi.com.ve). 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.

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.