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 two main 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 PUNTA CANA

Located just across the street from Plaza BavaroPlaza Punta Cana offers a huge variety of merchandise – hand-rolled cigars, local souvenirs, rum, T-shirts and various local crafts. To help you choose you will find an excited group of vendors.

Plaza Bávaro and Plaza Punta Cana 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 both plazas 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.


PALMA REAL SHOPPING VILLAGE

While Plaza Bavaro and Plaza Punta Cana are an excellent place to rummage through a variety of goods, the king of the shopping centers in Punta Cana is the new Palma Real Shopping Village. The Palma Real Shopping Village is one of the best places to go if you’re looking to do some serious shopping.

Many people prefer this shopping center to Plaza Bávaro, as some feel that Plaza Bávaro is too intense and that the vendors are too pushy. 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.


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.


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.


PUEBLO PRINCIPE

The Pueblo Principe is the Dominican style shopping and entertainment center that is located at the entrance of the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana. The Pueblo Principe offers daily entertainment, a disco, shops, internet access, a casino and much more. Whether you’re looking for gifts and souvenirs or last minute items such as sunscreen and sunglasses Pueblo Principe has it all in its numerous shops with reasonable prices.

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***)

Csonka Cigar Travel Humidor with accessories – Black

- 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.

The Rum Diary (Bloomsbury Classic Reads)

- 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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