Stores, Malls or Markets in Dominican Republic

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    Orange Market, Playa Dorada beach
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Most Viewed Shopping in Dominican Republic

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    Shopping in La Marina

    by starship Updated Jun 7, 2009

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    La Marina, mentioned in a previous tip, is apparently part of the Casa de Campo resort and is quite a lovely section. The buildings and setting alone are worth riding the bus to get there. However, contrary to what we heard about great shopping, we found only a few shops open here. The ones we visited had very nice items such as upscale beach and resort casual clothing. There also was a very nice arts & crafts store as well but I'm not sure that the items here were actually made in the Dominican Republic, but maybe. As you might expect, these stores were pricey, but if you can afford to stay at this resort, you probably don't have to worry about that!

    What to buy: I did not find anything particularly indigenous to this country while shopping here. I imagine that you would find more selection in Altos de Chavon and the capital city of Santo Domingo if you were looking for native arts & crafts.

    What to pay: Expect bathsuits and the like to be in the $50 & up range. Tops and beach coverups $25 and up.

    La Marina Shopping & Restaurants

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  • Firestar24's Profile Photo

    Larimar - The Dominicans Beautiful Gift

    by Firestar24 Updated May 5, 2005

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    The best place to buy Larimar is from a gift shop in one of the Amber Museums. The prices are better than in the jewellers and you know it's geniune. Beach hawkers sell "amber" & "larimar" but most of it's fake. Still, if you get it cheap enough it still makes good costume jewellry!

    We went to the Museo Mundo de Amber for a tour and although I didn't intend to buy anything, we felt obliged to do so as we left via the gift shop. So I chose a pair of earrings that weren't too expensive. It turned out well for me though because they quickly became my favourite pair - until I lost one in Manchester one weekend :(
    So Sad!

    What to buy: While you're in the Dominican, you should definately splash out on some Larimar jewellery. Larimar is a pale blue stone which is unique to The Dominican Republic. YOU CANNOT BUY IT ANYWHERE ELSE!! - believe me - I've tried! It resembles turquoise but has faint white marble effect running through it. Looks great set in silver.

    What to pay: Jonathan bought me the pair of earrings shown for about £28. He paid in pesos but I can only remember the English price since we converted evertything before we bought. The gift shop at the museo mundo de amber have a handy calculator for those tourists who are particularly bad at maths (me!)

    My Lonely Larimar Earring!
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    regalitos

    by quartinb Updated Oct 1, 2005

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    no special shop.just street camelots inside or outside the resort selling "regalitos",dominican name for gifts.
    lots of handycraft and paintings, mostly, are the main atraction. acrilic paints made almost by the dozen but u´ll be able to find 2 or 3 suitable to buy, and with the proper frame hang it on yur living room back home.
    i asure u that paintings are the main feature, regallitos wise that u can bring from RP.
    everybody brings one...

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  • Firestar24's Profile Photo

    Plaza Central: Designer Dominican

    by Firestar24 Updated Apr 18, 2007

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    This place is amazing! After 2 weeks of tourist shops and beach hawkers it makes a real change.
    Plaza Central is a 5-storey shopping mall in the middle of Santo Domingo. It has furniture shops, art shops, perfume shops, a whole floor dedicated to eating (KFC, McDonalds, Taco Bell and Burger King sit next to funky coffee shops and chinese takeaways), a cinema, and best of all - hundreds of clothes shops! You can buy anything here from Gucci sunglasses to J-Lo's latest collection.
    This is where the rich Dominicans go. Jonathan and I got talking to a local lawyer in one of the coffee shops and he was telling us how bad the economy actually is. He explained that someone working in a bar could earn more than he does because of all the tourists tipping in foreign currency.

    What to buy: On the ground floor of Plaza Central is an Oscar De La Renta clothes shop. This Dominican born designer and his designs are popular Worldwide, particularly on those lush red carpets!
    The range is beautiful and I would definately recommend a visit (with a credit card!).

    There' s also a lovely little accessory shop - I think, on the third floor, with the coolest bracelets, handbags and scarfs I ever saw - extra luggage room needed!

    What to pay: Prices are pretty similar to the UK - roughly £30 for a shirt, £25 for a skirt and £40 for a pair of jeans.

    View from top of Plaza Central
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    Art and Craft Dealers

    by Calor Written Oct 13, 2003

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    When buying art/crafts, There is a strong tendency to assume the prices that are quoted is the actual price.

    You may even think a 10% discount is a bargain. Rest assured apparently the prices are marked up by 100%. Personally I was always willing to pay the full prices that was quoted, but the truth is be prepared to pay ONLY 50% and less that the price quoted.

    My signature vacation rep told us about this and it is amazingly true, for eg. we bought a piece of artwork that was quoted at 150 USD. The guy immediately dropped the price by 20% just for "us", when we decided we were leaving, the $150 artwork was suddenly worth $25USD.

    As poor as the Dominicans are, haggling is a WAY of life and is expected.

    What to buy: Art work, local and Haitian art.
    Jewellery.

    Shopping district in Santo Domingo
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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Wood

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    Street vendor or beach market - the pleasure of bartering.

    What to buy: 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. The advantage of this kind of recuerdo is that this wood is light weighted and easy to carry.

    Beach
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    River stone

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    Street vendor or beach market - the pleasure of bartering.

    What to buy: There are numerous objects made of varied stones, mostly statues of people and animals. It's very common to find in DR lots of statues made of a green stoe, called river stone. The form in which the statue is “finished” varies – polished or not polished, being that some pieces alternate on both giving it different colours.

    These stone objects, although nice, are heavy and more difficult to carry home.

    Altos de Ch��von
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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Paintings

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    Street vendor or beach market - the pleasure of bartering.

    What to buy: All over DR you will find 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, and then apply varnish on it so it looks like oil paintings. Just bear in mind this when bartering the price. I bought some paintings, not for the real value as "work of art" but because I liked their colourful designs (I usually buy something for my home when travelling).

    Restaurant at the beach
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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    The prices

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    What to buy: Watch out where you buy your souvenirs. Some places where guides drive you are more expensive than others. Anyway 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, ... One of the vendors was trying to negotiate on my husband's perfume!! Sometimes you get to pay just 1/3 or 1/2 of the price initially asked by the vendor.
    In regular shops, such as hotels, you are not supposed to argue the price, ...

    Altos de Ch��von
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  • Spinka's Profile Photo

    Coloured paintings

    by Spinka Updated Sep 11, 2003

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    What to buy: Hand maid (by local inhabitants) paintins - variety of lively colours and matters they represent is admirable.
    Look very nice and were very welcome by people I gave some...

    What to pay: The price depends of the size and quantity you want to buy, but you can of course negociate. Pitchers at the small side streets demand less prices (intead of those in the center). Quality is the same.

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    Wood carvings

    by Spinka Updated Sep 11, 2003

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    What to buy: Wood carvings make really good buys.
    Before buying make sure the carving doesn't has any even small perforation as it will turn to the big one soon (especially when you take this to place with completely different climate conditions).

    What to pay: Price depends on the size of carving and quantity you want to buy, but remember that you can always negotiate (negotiations at Dominican Republic are expected and very welcome)

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Fossile wood

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    Street vendor or beach market - the pleasure of bartering.

    What to buy: Looks like stone, not too heavy and not cold, but it's fossilized wood. Looking closer at the objects you may still see the wooden designs. Usually you can find statues of people and animals in this material.

    Fishermen's village
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  • REYNALDOPICHARDO's Profile Photo

    STREET VENDORS: TRUE SHOPPING

    by REYNALDOPICHARDO Updated May 8, 2003

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    OK

    This kind of vendors are all over the country, so you won't get to scape them, but they peddle some items that would cost you a lot more in the local shops, for example; "The Mamajuanas" this is an empty bottle of rum, filled with pieces of varied roots and local woods, that you add the local rum "Brugal" to, and it has to settled for sometime there soaking up on the root barks, till you obtain a distintive flavor not found anywhere else in the world, this process however is lenghty and has to be done in stages, for example the first batch of rum has to be discarded in a period of a week or two, because the bark and roots inside the botle will emit a lot of sand like particles, which as you can imagine aren't good to drink, also the first two or three batches are discarded because the taste aquired by the rum is too strong and drowns the rum taste you mean to spice, you can see the bottles hanging on the lower right of this pic on the left, they come in many sizes but don't get one too small, a half gallon beeing the most recommended, it should last you about two years filling and drinking repeatedly, you only do the preparation once, when it empties just refill it.

    What to buy: MAMAJUANAS
    Ready made not recommended

    What to pay: For a good batch of barks and roots expect to pay RD$200 or so, any cheaper and that's what you'll end up with, cheap wood!

    STREET VENDOR
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    LARIMAR

    by REYNALDOPICHARDO Updated May 6, 2003

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    Volcanic phenomena

    Larimar is a blue pectolite, and a result of vulcanic activity, which ocurred many million years ago on the island of "La Hispañola". Its crystallization took place when the volcanic lava was cooling off as columns in the tubular "chimneys", in which these pectolites, andesites, basalts and other minerals formed.
    The most important outcrop of blue pectolites, is located at "Los Chupaderos", in the section of "Los Checheses", about 10 kilometers southwest of the city of Barahona, in the south-western region of the Dominican Republic.
    Many of the nuclei or small blocks of blue pectolite or Larimar are in situ , which means at the very place w here they formed. But some of these, however, as a result of superficial erosion, boke off and slowly were dragged by the rain waters down the slopes of the hill.
    Thus they arrived at the torrent Sitio, from which the waters swept them into the river Bahoruco, and finally they ended up and were deposited in the Caribbean Sea, and washed by the waves. This is the reason why initial findings took place at the beaches of Barahona as if Larimar had come out from the sea.
    The first evidences of this rare mineral appeared in small rollings that sometimes were found at those beaches of Bahoruco. In fact, in the year 1974, Norman Rilling, a member of the Peace Corps of the United States, and the Miguel Méndez, a Dominican Followed the vestige upstream the Bahoruco river, they got to "Los Checheses, the place at which at present the most abundant outcropping is found.
    Also the name "LARIMAR" is due to this finding. Miguel Méndez' daughter's name is "LARIssa", and at the sea (Spanish: "MAr") it was found.

    LARIMAR ROCKS

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  • REYNALDOPICHARDO's Profile Photo

    TRUE SHOPPING

    by REYNALDOPICHARDO Updated Apr 24, 2003

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    LOCAL SHOPS:

    When buying at local shops, no dealing on prices is accepted on any item on the store, prices on tags are pretty much what's expected at check out, this differs greatly on street vendors and other non localized sales, prices are about 2/3 over of what your're expected to pay after barter for any item, this includes food, toys and appareal, however this beeing said, some items like paintings and sculptures on sale are overpriced only about 1/4 of the expected sales price, this contrast is because most artits peddle their own work and expect to sell it as soon as possible to continue their works, so they tend to slightly overpriced their items so the barter process is a very short one.

    What to buy: AMBER-- This native gems are beeing sold under-priced for several years now, but the trend it's going to come to an end soon because some major jewelry corporations have signed deals with dominican companies to use them for their own collections, also this includes LARIMAR-(Native Turquoise). Shown in the pic at top left.

    Larimar Carving
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Comments (1)

  • Mar 20, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Anther place, an online store in Canada, sells these dolls as well as other handmade crafts and jewelry. They buy direct from the artisans to support their livelihood. They also have an office there and handle corporate events and weddings. You should check out their website. If something you bought broke or you forgot to pick up a souvenir you can purchase one from them. Their website address is: http://dominicancreations.com

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