There was a craft/artisans mall between the resorts of Majestic Colonial and Gran Paradise Bavaro. There are probably 20 or more shops there. As I understand it from other vacationers and what I've read, as well as my own experience, I can tell you that shopping is not for the faint of heart. Be ready to haggle, don't show your money, and be ready to walk - or run - away when you've had enough.
There are lots of paintings to be purchased for good prices, hammocks, jewelry, and other tourist fare. It's fun for awhile but the merchants further down the street from where you enter the shopping area literally try to drag you to their stores. The pressure to buy gets old after a little while. Still, I think it's worth doing.
If you don't feel like 'running the gauntlet' just hang out at your resort and there's a really good chance that the merchants will come to you. Most of the resorts have an evening set aside for the merchants to come and set up displays from which you can purchase. Obviously, the selection will not be as extensive as if you go to their stores.
As we mostly stayed on the resort grounds, I didn't have much opportunity to shop. Usually there were a few tables set up near the Buffet Restaurant. There was lovely jewellery and wonderful, colourful paintings. In the resort complex there was a little boutique called CAMELEON. They carried the usual souvenirs, beach clothes, etc.
Popular buys in Punta Cana include jewellery of the national gemstones of Amber and Larimar (the rare Dominican turquoise), colourful local handicrafts and CD's of merengue and latin music. Dominican coffee is another popular buy as are cigars and rum. Bargaining is a normal practice but not in proper stores or boutiques.
There was a nice little market place right outside the entrance to our resort (Barcelo Premium Punta Cana), but there are market places everywhere. This one is particularly nice and bargaining is good. The shop owners can be very annoying though.
What to buy: Mamajuana.....they will try to sell it to you for around $20 a bottle. Don't pay more than $10. I actually paid $8.
Paintings.....you can get a HUGE one (poster size or more) for $35 if you know how to bargain right. Smaller ones for $10-$20
What to pay: Just know that whatever they offer you is CRAZY. Sometimes 10 or more times what they will actually sell it to you for
Dominican Cigars are some ot the best and you'll probably be able to find a Cigar shop in every hotel! I bought some quite good ones for $8 each, but there are still cheaper and of course more expensive ones!
What to pay: some in between $ 5 and $ 20
If you walk along to the end of the beach, there are a bunch of tiendas and shops located for the tourists. You can get everything from cigars and rum to jewellery and paintings. Make sure you are willing to spend some time bartering unless you want to pay alot of money. They usually start out at about 500% of what they will end up taking, and if you speak the language and keep a positive banter going, you will end up getting a pretty good price.
What to buy: Rum, cigars, coffee, art, jewellery
What to pay: Depends on how good you are at wheeling and dealing....
What to pay: Nothing has a price tag, when you ask the price, you will be quoted about 2X what they expect you to pay. Make a low offer and when it is rejected, start to walk away. Usually they stop you with their best price.
This is the main shopping plaza in the area. You can find the Western Union there where they offer the best exchange rate. It was a five minute bike from my resort.
What to buy: Pick up cigars, Mamajuana or Brugal rum (local liquors) and paintings. Larimar & Amber are the stones native to the Dominican.
What to buy:
In the resort’s beach you will find people selling:
. colourful paintings of local customs (or not). Watch out for the vendors. They will try to persuade you that they are canvas with oil paintings and to demonstrate they will throw water at it without damaging. Not true in most cases. They use some kind of fabric and use water paintings, then apply varnish on it so it looks like oil paintings.
. fossilized wood: looks like stone, not too heavy and not cold, looking closer you can still see the wooden designs. Usually you can find statues of people and animals in this material.
. stones: there are numerous objects made of varied stones, mostly statues of people and animals.
. wooden statues: there are lots of wooden goods, mainly some sculptures (Taino Indians’ replicas) that represent fertility, happiness and other "wishes". They all have a handmade look. There are also animals carved on wood, as well as people. Some of them are just plain wood, some other are painted in some bright colours.
What to pay: It is recommended to barter, especially if it's a street vendor. Sometimes you can pay part in currency and then offer the vendor something - like a t-shirt, some merchandising, ... just in case take with you some pens, or airbrushes or watches or t-shirts that contain adds, ... Sometimes you get to pay just 1/3 or 1/2 of the price initially asked by the vendor.
inside all inclusive resorts there' s always a few shops and this one is no exception.
4 or 5 colourfull shacks and all kinds of items can be bought from clothing to handycraft.
We went to the market on the beach before the shops on the resort, thinking it will be cheaper on the beach.Not. After we bought what we wanted, we went to the resort stores(Caribbean Street)-the prices were either the same or cheaper, plus you don't have to haggle, it is really clean-and you can buy anything!! Bikinis, shoes, dresses etc It is no Gap or Old Navy, but you can get some pretty decent stuff. I bought an awesome bikini and sarong for 80$usd-not cheap-but cheaper than in Canada, and nicer!! Their sandals are really inexpensive, and the cigars are great and cheap at the RESORT!!!
My hubby bought a box of cigars for $30(25 in box)-in Calgary-same cigars-$15 each!
Rum-at the resort-only 3-5$usd/26er!! Coffee$1/lb(dominican coffee-yummy)
What to buy: Coffee, cigars, rum, shoes, white flowy caribbean dress/pants/shirt, purses, shot glass, coconut scented candles, pictures, t-shirts, CD's.
One cool thing to do - go to the flea market-buy a Cerveca at one of the stands-sit and drink with the vendors-they love to dance!!
They will show you how to salsa on the beach-we showed them how to polka to latin music!!mucho fun!:)