SHOPPING

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The shopping in Punta Cana is not exactly what brings the tourists in, but it is still something that you can add to your list of things to do in Punta Cana. Fortunately finding shops in Punta Cana is easier than ever. Punta Cana has a variety of fantastic places to go shopping. No matter what you’re looking for, whether it’s American-style shopping malls or authentic Dominican markets, you’re sure to find it while shopping in Punta Cana.

Unless you are booking a stay at one of the vacation rentals in Punta Cana, you will likely be staying at one of the all inclusive resorts. Most of these resorts offer shops of their own. The stores at the resorts typically sell souvenirs, clothing items, beach-related goods, and jewelry. It’s also common to be able to buy handicrafts and other locally made products at some of the resorts, including cigars and rum.

Punta Cana has many shopping plazas, stocked with Dominican & Caribbean crafts and unique gift ideas: silver and hand made souvenirs, hand-rolled cigars, rum and ceramics. Shopping plazas in Punta Cana are in the open air and consist of many small shops:


PLAZA BAVARO

Located next to the entrance to Occidental Flamenco Hotel is one of the largest shopping center filled with Dominican souvenirs and stores that offer all the extras that you might need on your trip, anything from Drug stores to beach clothing. Shopping at Plaza Bavaro provides a great opportunity to mingle with the locals while on vacation in Punta Cana. The Plaza is open every day from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and includes many gifts shops, a calling center, Internet center, banks, restaurants, pharmacy, jewellery store and various boutiques.

Plaza Bávaro can be a great place to go, but only if you’re willing to haggle. Many of the prices at this shopping plaza are over-inflated, and if you purchase what’s on the price tag, you’re probably overpaying. The nice thing about this plaza is that there are a lot of locals that shop here, so you can get a sense of where everyday Dominicans do their shopping. The downside is that many visitors to Punta Cana feel that the vendors and store owners at Plaza Bávaro can be too pushy in trying to convince you to buy something, but if you’re prepared for that, and you’re ready to haggle, it can be a great place to go shopping in Punta Cana.


BEACH SHOPPING PLAZAS

Along the beach of Bavaro there are many places where you can find shopping plazas with many shops where to buy some local souvenirs:

Plaza Bibijagua, located in proximity of the resorts IFA Villas Bavaro and Barcelo Palace Deluxe
Jellyfish Shopping Center, located close the resort Melia Caribe Tropical
Galerias El Pirata, located between the resorts Now Larimar and Barcelo Dominican Beach, in Los Corales
El Cortecito, located next to the resort Presidential Suites


PALMA REAL SHOPPING VILLAGE

While Plaza Bavaro and Beach Plazas are an excellent place to rummage through a variety of goods, Palma Real Shopping Village is one of the best places to go if you’re looking to do some serious shopping. Most resorts offer a free shuttle bus to Palma Real, so a rental car isn’t necessary. You will find the Palma Real Shopping Village near the Cocotal Golf Course, the Paradisus Palma Real Resort, and the Melia Caribe Tropical. Besides the variety of different shops, Palma Real also offers several restaurants to choose from, including U.S.based chains such as the Hard Rock Cafe and Tony Roma’s.

Basically, this is a good place to go shopping in Punta Cana if you’re looking for something a little more upscale and a little closer to the kind of shopping experiences you can have in the U.S. Please note that the prices at this mall are a bit inflated (most people say is pricey), but you won’t find as much variety anywhere else when looking for Punta Cana shops.

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SAN JUAN SHOPPING CENTER

The region’s most complete shopping experience, located at Coco Loco intersection. San Juan Shopping Center is a contemporary shopping destination, offering a seven-screen movie theater, many well-known jewelry and clothing brand shops, and other shops such as a pharmacy, electronics and banks. Some of the shops include the surf and skate shop CoastRiders, Adidas, I Love Punta Cana, Crocs, Levis, and Carmen Sol. There is also a Spanish gourmet store, called Garum, at San Juan Shopping Center. Free shuttle service from any hotel in Punta Cana.

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CARIBBEAN STREET

Caribbean Street is a fantastic place to go shopping in Punta Cana. With its adorable, brightly colored shops and palm trees lining the street, it has a very authentic Caribbean vibe. There are a variety of stores to choose from as well. Besides practical stores, such as a pharmacy and a gym, Caribbean Street has a number of gift shops and boutiques selling one-of-a-kind clothing. There’s also a Harrison’s Jewelers, which makes some of the finest jewelry in the Caribbean. If you’re up for a splurge, it’s a great way to get something unique so you’ll always remember your trip to Punta Cana.

 

MUNDO AUTENTICO & DON LUCAS CIGAR FACTORY

Located in the Don Lucas Cigars Factory, this is a complementary shop to buy some local souvenirs and Dominican products for those visiting the cigars factory. Free Transportation is included and this free tour is offered by the most of the hotels in Punta Cana.

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CHOCO MUSEO

If you like chocolate this is a place to visit.  Includes visit of the cacao and chocolate museum, chocolate factory, chocolate tasting, chocolate making workshop and more. Free transportation from any hotel in Punta Cana. Located in the same site of Don Lucas Cigars Factory and Mundo Autentico.

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LA REINA DOMINICANA

This combo store is particularly indicated for those looking for some good authentic jewelry and cigars (they make their own cigars there). Prices are very affordable and probably the best among the various shopping tours offered at the hotels. Free round-trip transportation is included as well.

 

In addiction, you can also get some handmade jewelry and other knick-knacks from the beach and street vendors, so Punta Cana shopping definitely isn’t limited to the main stores and shopping centers. There’s more to shopping in Punta Cana than you might have originally anticipated, so should you get the itch to shop during your visit, you can surely do so.


TIPS

– Bartering with the Punta Cana beach vendors and at the impromptu local markets is encouraged and can only add excitement to your overall Punta Cana shopping experience. Bargain especially for cash purchases – don’t forget to ask for a discount, which may be as high as 40% off the asking price.

– Note that in Punta Cana, many places are cash only. Even places that accept credit cards will likely give you a discount of some kind if you’re willing to pay in cash.

Speaking of cigars, the Dominican Republic produces more of them than any other country in the world, including Cuba. In case you want to take some cigars home with you, some of the best-known brands are La Aurora, Arturo Fuente, and Montecristo.
(***Be aware that most of the cigars sold on the beach or on the streets are fake so don’t make the mistake to spend a lot of dollars for counterfeit cigars. Reed this post about***)

– In addition to cigars, rum is something that many tourists look to buy when doing some Punta Cana shopping. Bermudez, Brugal, and Barcelo are the top rum brands in the Dominican Republic. Just remember that airlines put restrictions on liquid carry-ons, so if you are taking rum home with you, it will have to go in the suitcase.

– If you are looking specifically for jewelry when doing some Punta Cana shopping, head to Harrison’s Jewelry Store near the Iberostar Resort. It’s renowned for its quality, and is considered to be one of the top jewelry makers in the Caribbean.

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