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Trinidad, given its starring role on the tourist circuit, is one of the better shopping towns in central and eastern Cuba (though far from a shopper's paradise). In addition to the requisite cigar and music shops, several of Trinidad's atmospheric, cobblestone streets are converted daily into street markets featuring handicrafts, lace, and clothing items. While lace and clothing are the main attractions, you can also find interesting woodcarvings, musical instruments, masks, and a host of ceramic works. The street with the most variety tends to be Peña, near the Museo Municipal de Historia tower, while most of the lace and textile merchants, who occasionally have good guayabera shirts (simple, short-sleeved cotton shirt, with pockets and pleats, worn by men), tend to cluster on the small streets just east of the Plaza Mayor.

The art gallery on the south side of the Plaza Mayor, Galería de Arte ARTex, has two floors of contemporary art, much of it very accessible, and the traditional souvenir renderings of Trinidad.

The place for cigars and tobacco paraphernalia in town, La Casa del Tabaco, has two branches and carries all the finest Cuban cigars, carefully stored. The shop at Lino Pérez 296 (at the corner of José Martí) is open daily from 10am to 6pm; the branch on Francisco Javier Zerquera (at the corner of Maceo), is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Many of the ceramic wares you'll see for sale around Trinidad are produced by the Santander family, whose history in this art form goes back generations. You can visit their small factory, El Alfarero Casa Chichi, Andrés Berro 51, between Abel Santamaría and Pepito Tey (tel. 41/99-3146), although it's best to call in advance and tell them you're coming.

The most complete Cuban CD store in town, ARTex, is annexed to the Casa de Música on Fernando H. Echerri, where you'll find nightly performances of live music. The clerks will usually play just about anything you want to hear.

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.