Punta Cana sits on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic. White sandy beaches, year-round warm breezes, and calm turquoise water make the perfect place for all-inclusive resorts, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sightseeing.
Be sure to take an afternoon or two to experience the local flavor by shopping for gifts and souvenirs.
You will find everything from modern malls to small independent shops to street vendors in Punta Cana. Look for some of the best deals in make-shift kiosks along the beach. Many of the inclusive resorts have shops of their own where you can also find beach wares, souvenirs, jewelry, and clothing.
Following is a list of some of the typical items you will want to buy in Punta Cana.
If you’re a chocolate lover (who isn’t?) or have someone back home who is, you’ll definitely what to make a chocolate purchase. The Dominican Republic is one of the world’s biggest exporters of cocoa beans. Dominican chocolate is the best choice for dark chocolate candy and other fine chocolates.
You may even be able to buy some of the freshly roasted beans themselves. Also look for Dominican-style hot chocolate sweetened with sugar and cinnamon or chocolate water, a Caribbean variation on hot chocolate
Rum is the official drink of the Dominican Republic. It’s made from sugar cane and available in transparent white or a golden color. Dominican rum brands are famous internationally and are packaged to suit different tastes and needs. The rums are available in smaller bottles making them convenient for tourists to transport home.
You can also tour a rum factory, sample rum, and purchase your favorites. The rum here is excellent and unbelievably low-priced considering the quality.
Items handcrafted by local artisans make great treasures to remember your vacation or to give as gifts. Look for paintings, wood carvings, and faceless hand-painted clay or ceramic dolls, and other traditional art pieces.
Sometimes you can get a chance to talk to the artist in person and find out about their craft, family, and community. You’ll have a great story to remember about your treasure.
Many coffee connoisseurs say Dominican Republic coffee is some of the best in the world. It is full-bodied, dark roasted, and smooth with no acidic aftertaste. Grown on small family farms, it is packaged under the name “Santo Domingo” Coffee. That’s the name of the island when it was ruled by the Spaniards.
If someone back home enjoys an occasional cigar, tour a cigar factory or visit a local tobacco shop for a Dominican cigar. They are considered to be even better than the Cuban cigar.
Amber is one of the hottest jewelry items sought after by shoppers in the Dominican Republic. Formed of fossilized tree sap, it sometimes contains the fossils of perfectly detailed leaves or insects. It is considered to be a precious stone in many parts of the world and is set in silver or gold.
Here and the Baltic region of Eastern Europe are the only two known places to find amber, so it is quite special. Amber is cheaper here because it hasn’t been on the world market for long. What you buy is sure to go up in value. Look for amber jewelry in the amber museum, souvenir shops, and from street vendors.
If you find yourself wanting or needing to buy clothing while on your trip, the best place to go is the Palma Real Shopping Village. Many of the resorts have a shuttle that goes there.
You will find a variety of shops including U.S.based chains where you can do some upscale shopping. The prices are a bit higher than elsewhere, but this shopping village has more variety in name brand clothing.