We were told by Susana with hotel activities to go to this pawn shop to buy jewelry. So we decided to give it a shot. Well we imagined a dingy little pawn shop in the seedy side of town. When we finally got there, the taxi driver kept taking us to tourist shops, we could not believe our eyes. This place belongs on fith Ave. in NY, it is huge.
The main problem we had was they have almost too much jewelry to select from. We were aprehensive as we did not see prices, but they showed us that all the gold had it's weight written on the tag and they sold it by the gram, so that was cool. The sales people were not too pushy and very helpful. The prices were less than half of what we saw in other stores!
This was our second time and we were just as pleased. We found out if we came alone, without a taxi or guide they would give us an additional 10% discount. They set us straight on why the taxi kept taking us to other places, they get a 30% commision at the tourist traps.
What to buy: We bought a gold chain, larimar ring and a diamond tennis bracelet at unbelievable prices. The amber and larimar are really neat to buy although the plaza las americas had only a limited selection.
The Amber Museum was also very interesting with a lot of amber but a little expensive.
What to pay: Very reasonable
When we asked our taxicab driver where we could get good deals on gold jewelry he took us right to this fancy-looking, big white building called Plaza Las Americas. Thinking we were walking into a high end jeweler we soon found out that this place was a pawn shop!
When we started looking through the displays we were in disbelief with the quality of the jewelry. This stuff looked like they were all brand new designer pieces. What shocked me even more was when I finally picked out a big 14k gold chain for myself; thinking it would cost a fortune, the girl who took care of us punched in the grams into her calculator and came up with a price so low that I had to keep asking her to double check her calculations. Then the wife went over to the diamond jewelry display and looked at tons of rings, necklaces and bracelets. She finally fell in love with a gorgeous white-gold bracelet with diamonds. Just like the chain I picked out, the price was a knockout!
We walked out of there wanting to buy more. The sales people were all extremely helpful and the girl that took care of us spoke great English! When on cruises, I've been to many jewelers in the Caribbean that have always had great deals. But this was simply the best as far as unique selection and low, low prices. I also saw that these guys had some really high end pre-owned watches such as Longines and Omega, in pristine conditions for cheap.
So whatever it is you are looking for as far as Jewelry goes, don't miss out on this!! I will definitely return next time I am in Puerto Plata.
What to buy: Diamond jewelry, Gold chains/ necklaces, Gold bracelets, rings/ wedding bands and much more!
What to pay: Whatever you pick out will be calculated by the gram regardless of whether or not it is white, yellow or red gold; or whether or not it is designer-made.
Well I was just looking basically for rums, and coffee. Our local friend "Carlos" took us to a grocery shop somewhere in downtown POP. Here I bought coffee for almost $4.75 vs $20.00 at the compound or airport. My friends bought rums, tobacco, but I cannot be sure if the cigars are authentic. Please ask any staff at the hotel and Dominicans can point you at the right direction rather than hanging on to every word of your travel guide.
What to buy: Brugal rums, Santo Domingo Coffee
At the end of the factory tour, you have an opportunity to buy various gifts including rum. While it may be cheaper at the supermarket, $4 for a bottle of rum is still very cheap.
What to buy: Nice hats were $4. White rum $4. Old amber rum $6. Stainless steel flasks $8.
What to pay: Very cheap
Although there will be a gift shop at your hotel, your best bet for convenient shopping nearby is the plaza. It is two-level large mostly indoor complex, complete with restaurants, pubs and a toddler play area.
What to buy: You can get everything you need at the plaza: jewellry shops galore, souvenirs, paintings, beachwear, sportswear, groceries, drugstore, liquor, cigars, internet, bank, and sightseeing tour companies. It will definitely be cheaper to book at the plaza for sightseeing tours than with your hotel. Also, the tour price on their brochures is not their final price - you should bargain. Also, we found that the stores on the bottom level of the plaza were more expensive and less willing to offer you a deal than the stores on the second level, which get less business.
Go at the market place, you'll find everything
What to buy: Bring back something special from Dominican Republic, pure vanilla extract that taste great and absolutely good aged rhum at low cost (Brugal for an exemple)
What to pay: Few dollars for each, Best rhum at 10$ approx.
An open-air mall consisting of grocery stores, medical supplies, doctor, tour operators, souvenirs shops, bars (Cheers, Hemingways) fast food places (Pizza Hut and Archies) and world renowned "Harrison Jewelers." There are also three banks located within the mall "Banco Popular", "Banco de Reservas", "Banco del Exterioras" as well as an instant teller located on the outside of the building. (Money withdrawn will be converted to the Dominican Pesos).
Free internet service is provide here as well. Owned by one of the tour companies "Mar Y Sol Tours", they allow free access as long as you can put up with them trying to sell you a tour ( there is no obligation to buy a tour though). If this bothers you, hassle free internet access is available at one of the stores that houses actually three business (Caribe Music, Azul Tours and Playa Dorada Internet access). Expect to pay a fee here and it is busy. An half hour is $39.00DR Pesos/$3.90 Canadian or $60RD pesos/$6.00 Canadian. They do have a special from 8:00am til 10:00am (Two computers for the price of one).
What to pay: Don't forget to bargain with the seller!!!
Mercado is a bunch of little shop offering some souvenirs.
DON'T FORGET TO DEAL WITH THE SELLER.
(It's part of the dominican culture to deal with the seller)
If not, you will be ripped. The cost of what you want to buy is around 5 times the price you will pay.
For example, i bought two pipe for 70dominican pesos and initially the sellers was asking 170dominican pesos for one!!!
What to buy: There's a lot of thing to buy. Everyone will be satisfied and will find what they are looking for.
What to pay: 5-6 times less of the first price that the seller tell you
When shopping at the airport, wait until you get to the departure hall, and don't buy from the guys outside, they're more expensive, not a lot, but still.
What to buy: Found some nice cigars, and whiskey. Watch out for the cigars though, a lot of them were dried out, and you have to really test them one-by-one, so try and buy the boxed/wrapped ones. Still don't know if the whiskey is the real thing.. $36 for 2 bottles of JW Black... will know more over the weekend.
Cigars, watches, necks, sculptures, everything
What to pay: when the first price is 300 pesos??? you offer 100 and get it for 150. all the time
#7 Calle Llibre, Sosua, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Good for: Business
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