A giant store with virtually everything bar live animals. It looks like a uniform department store in the American mould but in side it has the entertaining feel of a street market. Numerous and helpful staff are on hand to steer you into buying things you came for and things you didn't, and also to flirt with all and sundry. Some staff are English speaking. If you can't find one ask for Eduardo. Refreshingly for the DR, all stock is guaranteed.
What to buy: Houses many typical Dominican crafts from accross the country at cheaper prices than in tourist centres like Santo Domingo, such as:
Amber / Larimar jewelry
Traditional Bonao Sombreros
Local leather products - bags, shoes, belts
You can also find other more routine buys you'd expect from a department store - cosmetics, hardware items, housewares, children's men's and women's clothing, camera film etc.
What to pay: The artesan goods are intended for locals, not tourists, so the prices are as good as you'll find.
A smart and modern cyber cafe that also does scans and copies. Resident whizz kid Yuri will help you if you have any problems with your own computer.
30 pesos an hour. Fast Connection. English spoken.
Envious of the Dominican Women's extraordinarily gigantic, multicolored hair rollers? Put things right.
Irma's Beauty Salon has all manner of good priced facial, beauty and skin treatments as well as hairdressing and styling. An economical chance for the filthy backpacker to regain some polish for a Saturday night dancing at Leyasu.
The owner Irma is the daughter of the owners of the Don Julio Art Studio, and is very welcoming.
The surest way to change money in Bonao. Many staff speak English, and they give cash advances for visa and mastercard.
Also many ATM machines with very good rates - occaisonally better than rates on the black market.
You'll have to limbo around this charming and petit family giftshop, with piles of merchandise assualting you for all angles!
There seems little order to it all, but in amongst the clear outs and handmedowns, you'll may find some lovely random ornaments, furniture and craftwork. Some you'll even want to take home!!
What to buy: Bargain Art, rocking chairs and mobiles. You'll really have to explore it yourself, as it is hard to tell what will be there from one week to the next.
What to pay: This is bargain basement, haggling welcome.
A epitome of Dominican entrepreneurialism, Magaly Diaz' shop is a farmacy cum bookshop shop cum flower shop cum antiques.
Worth a trip just to see the audacity of these incongruous juxtapositions.
Has got some fine bargains too, including an art nouvea Italian lamp for US$30.
What to pay: Very reasonable prices and helpful who speak English
Set in the charming courtyard of the Plaza de la Cultura, the small gift shop is dedicated exclusively to the handicrafts of local artesans. Prices are fixed and cheap, with no-one giving you the hard sell. Very friendly and informative staff.
What to buy: Local leatherware:
Girls summer shoes - US$7
Belts - US$7
Handbacks & Shoulderbags - US$10+
Works of local sculpters
History/ Literature books about Bonao and the DR
Enquire here too for art sales from the Candido Bido museum next door
What to pay: See Above -
Items on sale are high quality, and so surprisingly good value.