10 Souvenirs You Can't Miss
Do you want to buy a keepsake, memento, souvenir to remember your trip to Punta Cana? Most people do but what do you buy to truly capture that Caribbean experience of warm nights, tropical beaches and lazy palm trees?
There's much to choose from but we'll highlight the Top 10 Things to Take to make sure your memories of Punta Cana are never too far away…
- Coffee: Dark and robust, coffee from the Dominican Republic is valued worldwide. The country's many mountain ranges and tropical climate offer a safe haven for the prized coffee bean. Locally, Dominican coffee is preferred dark and sweet. Although a latte (cafe con leche) is also common and normally sipped in the morning hours. Choose from fresh coffee grinds or whole coffee beans to bring the rich taste of Dominican cafe home.
- Chocolate: The Dominican Republic’s climate lends itself to the cultivation of the cacao tree brought by Spanish conquistadors, from Central America, over 500 years ago. Grown throughout the island, much of the country’s cacao production is exported and is then crafted into the many chocolate goodies we love to enjoy. What isn’t exported stays put for local consumption. We recommend a dark chocolate with a high cacao content to really savor the rich flavor.
- Rum: Aged to perfection, Dominican rums are born from the island’s thousands of acres of sugar cane fields. The country also offers numerous labels from high end end rums best sipped "neat" or "on the rocks", to liqueurs, flavored rums, spiced rums and mixing rums, best enjoyed locally as a Cuba or Santo Libre (Rum with Coke or Sprite) and a lime. Some popular brands include Brugal, Barcelo, Oliver & Oliver, Macorix and Bermudez.
- Cigars: The Dominican Republic is the world leader in hand rolled cigar production with over 500 million rolled yearly. The island also holds claim to the most cigar brands in one country: Cohiba, Aurora, León Jimenes, Arturo Fuente, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann, are just a few of the internationally-recognized Dominican labels known for superb quality.
- Faceless Dolls: These ceramic dolls are famous throughout the Dominican Republic and are an excellent keepsake for your trip to Punta Cana. Their facelessness represents the country’s diversity as no “one face” represents all Dominicans. The dolls are also very delicate; be sure to pack them tight.
- Dulce de Leche: Sweet and creamy, Dulce de Leche or “Milk Candy” is arguably the Dominican Republic’s most traditional treat. Made from milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and cornstarch, the ingredients are boiled and then cooled. The result is an amazing dessert that will have you reminiscing with each bite.
- Beer: Dominicans love their beer! And since it may be hard to find Dominican beer back home, it may be best to take some for the road. Presidente is the country’s most recognized brand and is not only a best seller in the Dominican Republic, but also in many countries throughout Latin America. A light pilsner, Presidente has a crisp, cold taste that is sure to bring back Punta Cana’s lazy Caribbean sunsets.
- Amber: The Dominican Republic is famous for its amber. Found mainly in the country’s northern region, Amber is actually tree sap that has hardened over millions of years. This semiprecious stone is then sculpted by local artisans and set in jewelry - a beautiful keepsake.
- Mamajuana: A local aphrodisiac with reputed healing powers, Mamajuana has captured the intrigue of locals and travelers; it’s history as a traditional Taino drink, has only added to the elixir's mystique. Mamajuana is prepared numerous ways but normally includes several ingredients: tree bark, twigs, roots, red wine, rum, honey and cinnamon. Those looking to discover this traditional liquor can purchase a pre-made bottle and or a bottle that has the basic ingredients, allowing you to make up your own concoction by adding rum, wine and honey.
- Larimar: Found only in one place in the world (Bahoruco, Dominican Republic), Larimar is a rare semi-precious blue pectolite. Locals believe Larimar is born directly from the sea and the stone’s pale blue color supports that legend. No souvenir captures the Dominican Republic’s bluish-turquoise, Caribbean waters more than Larimar.
Caribbean Dream, a Tour Operator in Punta Cana, offers a Free Shopping Tour to Mundo Autentico to experience and purchase the aforementioned products.
More importantly, Mundo Autentico is really a learning experience as opposed to a simple souvenir shop. Besides a variety of keepsakes and jewelry, Mundo Autentico prides itself on its original Walk-Through Tour to experience and taste the Dominican Republic's most sought after natural goods: Tobacco, Rum, Coffee and Chocolate.
Visit https://puntacanatours.com/free-shopping-tour/ for more information and to reserve your spot on the tour!
Thomas J Murray
TJ Murray is an expert on travel in the Dominican Republic. He has wandered the country's furthest reaches and smallest corners and has a passion for highlighting his favorite destinations through travel articles and photography. When TJ isn't traveling in the Dominican Republic, he is trekking around the globe or surfing where he lives in Bavaro, Dominican Republic