One of the largest bazaars of the Caribbean, Port-of-Spain has luxury items from all over the globe, including Irish linens, English china, Scandinavian crystal, French perfumes, Swiss watches, and Japanese cameras. Even more interesting are the Asian bazaars, where you can pick up items in brass. Reflecting the island's culture are calypso shirts, sisal goods, woodwork, cascadura bracelets (made from the scales of the cascadura fish), silver jewelry in local motifs, and saris. For souvenirs, visitors often like to bring back figurines of limbo dancers, Carnival masqueraders, or calypso singers.
Stechers, Gulf City Complex (tel. 868/657-6993), is the best bet for luxury items -- crystal, watches, jewelry, perfumes, Georg Jensen silver, Lladró, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Limoges, and Royal Albert. You can find other branches at Long Circular Mall and West Mall. You can also pay a last-minute call at their tax-free airport branches or at the cruise-ship complex at the Port-of-Spain docks.
Y. De Lima, 83 Queen St. (tel. 868/623-1364), is a good store for watches, but the main focus is local jewelry. Its third-floor workroom will make whatever you want in jewelry or bronze. You might emerge with anything from steel drum earrings to a hibiscus blossom brooch.
Art Society of Trinidad & Tobago, 26 Taylor St., Woodbrook (tel. 868/622-9827; www.artsocietytt.org), showcases island artists who work in various media, including painting and sculpture. The best of the islanders' artistic statements are showcased here, and something new and fresh is always on exhibit, from "Shango-Baptist imagery" to paintings reflecting the East Indian backgrounds of its creators.
Lovers of Caribbean art also flock to the 101 Art Gallery, 101 Tragarete Rd. (tel. 868/628-4081; www.101artgallery.com), in Port-of-Spain. This is the best showcase for the hottest local talent. Local artist Sarah Beckett's work is so influential that her abstract oils appear on regional stamps. Often you can meet some of the artists here, especially on Tuesday evenings during openings.
The Market, 10 Nook Ave., St. Ann's (tel. 868/624-1181), is one of the most fashionable shopping complexes on Trinidad. Some 20 boutiques represent the best jewelers, designers, and art dealers on the island. You'll find a wide assortment of clothing, cosmetics, bags, shoes, china, tableware, handicrafts, and accessories. The complex forms an interconnected bridge among the Normandie Hotel and Restaurant, and the restaurant Vidalia.