The gorgeous beach town of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is not only a fantastic beach destination – it is also a great place for shopping.
Leave some extra room in your suitcase on the way there, as you will want to fill it with lots of great bargains and souvenirs during your trip. So, if you want to indulge in some retail therapy during your trip to Punta Cana, where should you start?
Read on for some tips for where and how to shop on your visit to Punta Cana.
The Best Places to Shop in Punta Cana
Many of the best and most interesting places to shop in Punta Cana are located near resorts and hotels. For example, next to the Barcelo Premium Punta Cana you will find a marketplace with an interesting range of items.
You can also head to Nicole Boutique, which is a high end shop that is located close to the Ocean Blue and Sands Hotel. It offers great service and a variety of products and the sales staff speak excellent English. This is one of the more expensive shops, but the items are very fashionable and high quality.
Another excellent shop for clothing and souvenirs is Camelon, which is a beach-hut style store that offers beach clothing, collectibles and other items. You can treat yourself to a new outfit, as well as some lovely souvenirs and gifts for your friends back home.
Plaza Bavaro can be a good place to shop in Punta Cana, but often the prices here are oven inflated so you will need to be willing to haggle. If you pay the first price quoted, you will almost certainly be overpaying. Check out the beautiful Playa Bavaro which is also nearby.
Palma Real Shopping Village
This is one of the best options if you want to shop until you drop. Most of the resorts will offer a complimentary shuttle bus that will take you to Palma Real, so you can get there even if you don’t have a rental car. As well as having a number of different shops, Palma Real also has several great restaurants to choose from including Tony Roma’s and the Hard Rock Cafe. This is one of the more upscale shopping experiences in Punta Cana and it is similar to a mall that you would find in the USA.
San Juan Shopping Center
This is one of the largest and most complete malls in Punta Cana – it even has a large supermarket so you can pick up some groceries during your visit as well. The mall has over 60 stores as well as restaurants, banks and a movie theater. There is a very cool gift shop called “Las Americas” which sells arts and crafts from Dominican artisans.
The Galerias at Puntacana Village
These shops are located within a residential complex on the way to the airport. It was originally constructed for the employees of the Punta Cana Resort, but this shopping area has since then became a well known tourist draw. Here you will find a lot of different restaurants including a supermarket, doctor’s office, banks, churches and much more.
Bibijagua Artesanal Plaza
This is a wonderful place to shop if you are looking for inexpensive items such as sarongs, beach toys, t-shirts and other souvenirs. You can also find cheap jewelry and some different types of rum. If you get thirsty while shopping, you can stop for a fresh juice in the center of the market.
Caribbean Street is also a fantastic place to go shopping in Punta Cana. This palm-tree lined street has vibrant and quirky little shops painted in bright colours and a very friendly vibe. You will find stores selling unique handmade jewelry, clothing boutiques and much more
Also, you will find many stalls and vendors along the beach where you can buy a wide range of souvenirs, clothing, jewelry and other items.
The Best Things to Buy in Punta Cana
What are some of the treats, gifts and souvenirs that are best to buy in Punta Cana? Here are a few:
- Dominican Coffee – It’s delicious, high quality and known for being some of the best coffee in the Caribbean.
- Dominican Paintings – Created by local artists, they depict the beautiful landscapes and the traditions of life on the island.
- Jewelry – The handmade jewelry is beautiful here, often made with silver, amber and a sea green stone called Larimar that is only found in the Dominican Republic.
- Rum – Take home a delicious bottle of rum to enjoy yourself or give as a gift to someone.
- Cigars – If you like to smoke a cigar, this is a great place to bring some home with you. The Dominican Republic produces more cigars than any other country in the world. Some of the best brands to buy here include Arturo Fuente and Montecristo.
Tips for Shopping in Punta Cana
The regular stores will have set prices, but at the small market stalls or tiendas along the beach you will be able to haggle. The first price the vendor quotes will be quite high, so you can go lower and meet them somewhere in the middle.
If your lower offer is rejected, you can turn and walk away. Usually they will change their mind and drop their price.
It’s important to know that in Punta Cana many of the shops are cash only. Even if the shop accepts credit card, they might charge a small percentage more for processing the credit card payment. It is best to have plenty of cash with you when you go shopping.
When it comes to buying cigars, make sure that you know how to tell the counterfeits from the real ones and that you do your research.
If you are buying rum remember that there will be restrictions from your airline of how much you can take on your carryon, so you may have to wrap up the bottle carefully and place it in your suitcase.
Where is your favorite place to shop in Punta Cana? Let us know in the comments below!