Shopping in Caracas
There are few things that set Caraqueño hearts (and banknotes) fluttering quite like shopping. The city is home to some of the biggest and swankiest centro comerciales (shopping malls) on the continent, making shopping in Caracas something of a challenge and a delight.
For bargain Venezuelan jewellery, head to the Edificio La Francia off Plaza Bolívar.
Markets here are not the kaleidoscopic spectacles of other Latin American destinations and can be unsafe for foreigners. But El Hatillo is the Holy Grail for handicraft hunters. The widest selection is found at Hannsi (hannsi.com.ve/web), which has everything from stuffed piranhas to hammocks and traditional ceramics to devil masks used in local festivities.
The enormous Centro Comercial Sambil (www.tusambil.com/caracas) on Avenida Libertador is a goliath, with five levels, rooftop amphitheatre and enough footwear shops to shoe a small nation. Other malls to trawl include San Ignacio (www.centrosanignacio.com) on Avenida Blandín, Centro Comercial El Recreo (www.elrecreocc.com) in Sabana Grande and Centro Comercial Ciudad Tamanaco (www.miccct.com) just off the Autopista Caracas Baruta.
Shops in Caracas generally open from 0900 to 1900.