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Tips on buying Souvenirs in the Dominican Republic


If you are like most people, you like to take a little something home from a vacation to remind you of all the great times you had during your trip. Most likely, you also have a mental list of family members, co-workers and friends that you would like buy a nice keepsake for. So what are the best souvenirs to buy in the Dominican Republic? How can you get something for everyone without breaking the bank? Where are the best places to shop?  more...


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If you are like most people, you like to take a little something home from a vacation to remind you of all the great times you had during your trip. Most likely, you also have a mental list of family members, co-workers and friends that you would like buy a nice keepsake for. So what are the best souvenirs to buy in the Dominican Republic? How can you get something for everyone without breaking the bank? Where are the best places to shop?

There is an endless variety of truly unique souvenirs that you can buy while visiting the island, but to help save you time, have a look at some suggestions, depending on who you are shopping for:

  • Ladies:
    • The Dominican Republic is an impressive source of jewelry. Larimar is an exquisite blue stone only found on the island, and Dominican amber is famous world-wide for its beautiful warm tones. Both precious stones are sold in silver settings at affordable prices. You can also find jewelry made of other unique local materials such as coconut, bull’s horn, and shells.
    • Dominican hair products have an amazing reputation for their ability to tame even the most rebellious locks. Unconventional ingredients such as Sole and cinnamon, rosemary, coconut, and even placenta and whale sperm are used to achieve surprisingly gorgeous results.
  • Men:
    • Marble and mahogany are plentiful resources found in Dominican Republic. You can find striking figurines of all sizes in both of these distinguished materials. Perfect for a desk or bookshelf.
    • Mamajuana is a fun gift that consists basically of a bottle filled with flavorful and aromatic twigs and leaves. You add rum or wine to the bottle to give the alcohol a spice of the Caribbean. Because many of the bottles carry labels that claim to be potent aphrodisiac, they are sure to get a snicker out of anyone with a sense of humor. A word of caution: If you decide to buy a bottle of mamajuana, be sure to wet the contents with a bit of alcohol before taking it on the plane. Customs agents might give you a hard time about bring dry twigs back to the US.
  • Kids:
    • The Dominican Republic is home to many different sweets made from exotic fruits, such guava, passion fruit and mango. The classic “dulce de leche” is a favorite of both young and old alike.


Shopping for yourself and your loved ones can really add up, so what can you do to avoid over spending? Said simply: know where to shop and don’t be afraid to haggle.

Most likely you will be visiting one or more of the island’s beautiful beaches during your trip. The beach is a great place to relax and have fun; but it is not a great place to shop. Nine out of ten times you can find the exact same souvenir in a city like Santo Domingo or Santiago for half the price. Since most flights come in through these cities, it’s a good idea to come to the city a day or two before your flight leaves and do your souvenir shopping then. (For things to do in Santiago and Santo Domingo check out these links)

Also if you visit a local corner store (called a “colmado”) you can find small amounts of things like coffee, Dominican sweets, and seasonings packaged individually at a cheap price for those people you don’t want to leave out but, don’t can’t afford to spend a lot on.

Lastly, most shopkeepers will give you a discount if you do a little friendly negotiating. If you buy more than one item from their store, they usually throw in a little something extra like a keychain or a refrigerator magnet for free (this is called a “ñapa”).

Happy shopping!

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