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Shopping in Punta Cana - from Hand-rolled Cigars to Unique Jewelry

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You’re never far from a souvenir in Punta Cana - and if a strolling beach vendor has what you’re looking for, the souvenir will come to you. Many excursions include stops at open-air markets like Plaza Bávaro, where you can pick up handicrafts, jewelry, and hand-rolled cigars. Modern malls allow you to shop for international brands in air-conditioned comfort.

Malls in Punta Cana

 

For anything from a beach towel and a pair of flip-flops to a memory card and a pack of aspirin, drive or take a shuttle bus to one of Punta Cana’s malls. At Palma Real Shopping Village, you can stroll through arched galleries flanked by upscale fashion and jewelry boutiques. Less chic but more comprehensive, San Juan Shopping Center offers a multiplex, several restaurants, and a supermarket where you can buy good, cheap rum. International brands predominate at both malls.

 

  • Palma Real Shopping Village, Avenida Barceló 57, 809 Bávaro; Tel: +1 809 552 8725; Website: Palma Real Shopping Village
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  • San Juan Shopping Center, Carretera Barcelo Km. 9, 809 Bávaro, La Altagracia; Tel: +1 809 466 6000; Website: San Juan Shopping Center

Shopping for Dominican cigars

 

A box of Dominican cigars and a bottle of rum make a great gift for any connoisseurs back home, but even non-smokers will enjoy a trip to a cigar factory. Here, you can watch expert workers roll each cigar by hand while a tour guide explains the industry’s long history and its importance to the country’s culture and economy. Don Lucas Cigars and La Perla Dominicana are among the small factories offering free tours and the chance to try before you buy - preferably over a tumbler of rum.

 

  • Don Lucas Cigars, Avenida Barceló, Edificio Mundo Autentico; Tel: +1 809 200 0129; Website: Don Lucas Cigars
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  • La Perla Dominicana, Playa Los Corales, Bávaro; Tel: +1 829 903 6705; Website: La Perla Dominicana

 

Jewelry and souvenirs

 

At open-air markets like Plaza Bávaro, you can easily fill a suitcase with all kinds of gifts and mementos. Look out for ceramic dolls dressed in traditional rural costumes. Or pick up a kit for making your own Mamajuana, the local brew of rum, honey, wine, and spices said to improve virility and cure most ailments. Trinkets can be bought anywhere, but if you’re looking for a genuine piece of jewelry incorporating local gemstones, find a store with a good reputation. The most sought-after products incorporate larimar, a rare blue mineral found only in the Dominican Republic.

 

Punta Cana shopping tips

 

Although most stores accept U.S. dollars and other international currencies, it's usually cheaper and more convenient to pay in Dominican pesos. Credit cards are widely accepted in and around the resorts, but if you intend to shop off the beaten track, take cash. Small vendors will be reluctant to accept large bills for an inexpensive purchase, so try to carry as much small change as possible. Spend any surplus Dominican pesos rather than taking them home with you. Few banks will accept them in exchange for your home currency.