Where to eat and what to buy in the Dominican Republic, check our suggestions

In between relaxing recreation and active entertainment, you can always go shopping. Going for shopping in the Dominican Republic, you need to be patient to find the best deals and most interesting and unique products. Do not limit yourself to shops near the hotel. Money can be exchanged for Dominican pesos at ATMs and banks, but never on the streets – that’s how tourists are cheated here. Most shops in the Dominican Republic are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. At midday, some small private shops may close for lunch. Look for the best goods both in modern shopping malls and in small shops. However, it’s better to combine them for a more complete shopping experience in the Dominican Republic. Bargaining is accepted in small stores.

The Dominican Republic is famous for its wonderful souvenirs: handmade figurines, amber products, excellent coffee, and chocolate. The influences of Europe, Africa and the culture of the Taino people are merged together in bright works of art. Tourists can buy beautiful paintings, porcelain dolls and other handmade products at relatively low prices. The most interesting and authentic souvenir would be a traditional faceless clay doll. In small shops, you can often buy a product from the hands of an artisan.

In the heart of Punta Cana is the city’s largest shopping center – “San Juan” working seven days a week from 9:00 am to midnight. It houses about fifty shops, including those selling clothes by famous brands such as Lacoste, Puma, Victoria’s Secret and others. In the city center, there is also a supermarket and numerous shops selling tobacco, chocolate and Dominican souvenirs produced right on the spot. Take a break from shopping by relaxing in a park, going to a bar or a restaurant, eating pizza or watching a movie in the cinema. While in Punta Cana, be sure to visit PalmaReal Mall presenting products by local and world brands like Adidas, Armani Exchange, Tom Ford, Swarovski, and Pandora. Have a snack in Papa Johns Pizzeria or Cafe Dolce Italia and invite children to a play space with toys, slides, and pools with balls. Copyright

Unique Dominican amber is considered to be of the highest quality because of its transparency. Often it contains insects, which gives this semi-precious petrified gem a special charm. Dominican blue amber is extremely rare and can only be found in the Dominican Republic. Because of the rarity, the minimum price for the amber is $ 100. Another rarity found only in the Dominican Republic is Larimar striking with its beauty. Usually, larimars are blue, but there are also variations of shades. Those wishing to buy one of the varieties of amber or larimar should first visit one of the local museums presenting them to learn how to distinguish a fake. For example, the Amber Museum in Puerto Plata or the Amber World Museum in Santo Domingo selling its own amber. Fine jewelry made of larimar and opalite is offered by “Harrison’s Fine Caribbean Jewelers”.

Lovers of good cigars are recommended to visit “Espigon Cigars” in Puerto Plata. This shop not only sells excellent cigars but also demonstrates the manufacturing process. The best cigars in the Dominican Republic are “Arturo Fuentes”, which can be found in almost any cigar store. In Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial, on the corner of Mercedes Street, there is wonderful “La Leyenda” store selling its own cigars and many other brands. Find time to explore “La Aurora” cigar factory in Santiago where guided tours are regularly organized.

In Dominican markets and shops, be sure to buy some delicious fruits: guava, mango, and other exotic delicacies. And those who are interested in folk musical instruments or just want to buy a unique Dominican souvenir need to go explore local souvenir shops – you’ll definitely find a Dominican Tambora that is usually used for playing merengue music. 

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