Alcohol - Liquor/Beer/Wine
You can find both local and imported brands of a variety of liquors, beer and wine, at
most corner stores and supermarkets in tourism destinations.
The most popular and inexpensive liquor to purchase as a souvenir, or to enjoy while
you are here, is Dominican-made rum produced by one of the three B's - Brugal (0,7ltr.
bottle around 6US$), Barcelo, or Bermudez. Each of these offer at least five different
types of rum - 151, Blanco, dorado, anejo, extra Viejo, etc. - with the fancier labeled
bottles generally containing the highest quality product (aged), at an accordingly higher
It is possible to briefly visit the Brugal rum distillery in Puerto Plata (at 500 meters east
of the city). 1 300 000 liters of rum brown or white are manufactured in this roasting plant.
You can buy rum there a little cheaper.
The most popular brand of beer is the locally produced Presidente . It is beloved by
Dominicans and visitors alike and is more economical to purchase than imported brands
like Heineken or Budweiser, which can also be found in most of the larger tourism
areas. Other popular Dominican beers are Quisqueya, Soberana and Bohemia .
Cigarettes and Cigars
Different brands of cigarettes are available by the package, or in cartons, almost
everywhere. Supermarkets generally have the largest brand selection at the least
expensive cost. They are a popular item to purchase because they are far less
expensive than in most other parts of the world. Marlboro , produced in the Dominican
Republic on behalf of the American company ( 200 Marboro cicarettes only 35US$ ),
Philip Morris , is the most popular and widely available brand. Imported cigarettes can
be difficult to find due to the price they command compared to Dominican
Republic-produced cigarettes. If you are particular about the brand of cigarettes you
smoke, you may want to bring a sufficient supply of your brand from home.
The Dominican Republic is the biggest cigar-producing country in the world and most of
that is done in the Cibao Valley region of the country (near Moca/Santiago). Cigar
aficionados believe many of the Dominican Republic-made cigars are superior in quality
to the much more famous Cuban cigars. You will find a variety of cigar types, in different
brands and price ranges, in almost all of the supermarkets and tourist gift/souvenir
shops in most tourism destinations. Cigar specialty shops tend to offer higher-end,
brand name cigars.
Jewelry is found in abundance in the Dominican Republic, with the most prevalent
jewelry items being inexpensive and casual, beaded necklaces, bracelets, earrings and
anklets. These are usually sold on the beach or in jewelry/gift shops in larger
hotels/resort gift shops, or in stores in the shopping areas of most tourism destinations.
The higher-end jewelry/gift shops also carry gemstone/semiprecious jewelry made with
either sterling silver or gold.
The most popular pieces are the ones that incorporate either Larimar or Amber , both of
which are mined in the Dominican Republic. Larimar, unique to the Dominican Republic,
is mined in a volcanic mountain range in the south of the country and is polished to
bring out its varied shades of turquoise blue and green, beautifully matching the
colours of the sea. Amber is the bronzy, orange-hued resin that has hardened after
millions of years. Amber is quite prevalent in the Dominican Republic. The most prized,
and therefore costly pieces, incorporate fossils of small plants or insects that collected
in the resin before it hardened, called 'inclusions'. Pricing of jewelry items incorporating
Larimar or Amber varies depending on the type/quality/size of the piece, the type of
metal used, and the design. Items sold on the beach tend to be lower in terms of quality
and price and can sometimes be fakes (not real larimar, amber, sterling silver or gold).
The specialty jewelry and gift shops offer more high quality products, incorporating the
real gems/stones, silver or gold, at accordingly higher prices.
You will find almost everywhere articles from the Dominican craft industry. It's most of
the time cheap, mass manufactured objects, like caps, baskets, ceramics, and jewels.
Only the specialized shops and the art galleries propose articles of quality.
On the southern region, will find representations of Tainos gods, as well as bags and
The headstock of "LimÃ©" was created in 1981 by the Dominican sculptor
Liliana Mera; it is a figurine without face, painted in tone creole. This is now a symbol of
the country. Some are very original.
Coffee is grown in the Bani and Cibao Altura area of the Dominican Republic, and is
known for its full body, low acidity and rich flavor. The economical price of coffee makes
it an ideal gift/souvenir to bring home. The most popular brand is the white bagged
Santo Domingo brand (1 pound only around 4U$$.)
You will find this naive paintings everywhere, even on the beaches. This art comes from
Haiti, but the Dominican ones renewed this style by adding new symbols. Please note
that this painting are mass produced.
To get paintings of quality, you'll have to go to reputed art galleries.
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