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What Souvenirs To Buy In The Dominican Republic
Wondering what souvenirs to buy in the Dominican Republic? We have compiled a list of some of the most popular and culturally significant souvenirs to buy in the Dominican Republic on your vacation.
Dominican Republic Art
The fusion of European, African and Taino (indigenous persons of the Dominican Republic) traditions and customs contributed to the development of present-day Dominican culture and art. Dominican art is perhaps most commonly associated with the bright, vibrant colors and images centered on national independence, historical scenes, portraits, still life and landscapes.
Many times, when you see Dominican artwork (paintings, sculptures, etc.) you will see the artist has left the face unfinished. This is meant to symbolize that the Dominican Republic has a very diverse background and one face cannot accurately portray the Dominican people.
Typically, paintings, porcelain dolls and wooden statues are bought by tourist to take home as the paintings can be rolled up and carried onboard and the porcelain dolls and the wooden statues can be safely packed away in a suitcase. If you are staying in the Colonial Zone or taking a day trip to the Colonial Zone, there is a hardware store on Calle Conde, Ferretería Americana and they sell PVC tubes that you can roll up any artwork that you purchase.
Cigars of the Dominican Republic
While Cuban cigars might be better known, Dominican cigars are some of the best in the world – some argue the best. Many of the Cuban cigar rollers who moved to the Dominican Republic years ago not only brought their talent, but they also brought the Cuban tobacco seed as well. Now the Dominican Republic has some of the best rollers and great seeds as well. Arturo Fuentes is the #1cigar in the Dominican Republic, and, if you are cigar aficionado, you will surely want to pick up at least one of Arturo Fuentes. These cigars can be found at many of the local cigar shops and at the Arturo Fuentes cigar bar. Another company that makes a great cigar is La Leyenda del Cigarro that has 3 stores in the Santo Domingo area and probably the easiest one for travelers to visit is in the Colonial Zone at the corner of Calle Mercedes and Calle Hostos. Their cigar shop is stocked with their own cigars and some of the country’s most popular cigars – to include a few Arturo Fuentes.
Caribbean rum is known around the world and we have two great companies here – Barceló and Brugal. Try some of local rum here while on vacation and then take some home with you. You will be surprised by the flavors and the smoothness of the rum.
Mamajuana is a Dominican Republic drink formulated by allowing red wine and honey to soak in a bottle of tree bark and herbs. Once the fermenting process is over, all you need to do is add your favorite local Dominican rum. The herbs and tree bark can last practically forever and the flavor only improves more over time. Buy a bag of dry mamajuana (tree bark and herbs) and your favorite rum and you can make Mamajuana at home for you next party.
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If you like wearing jewelry or know someone that does, we have 3 stones that make beautiful jewelry, two of them are unique to the Dominican Republic and can only be found here. While the camera on my phone and my basic photography skills can’t capture the true beauty of theses stones, I have included a few pictures of the stones.
Larimar also is a popular stone found exclusively in the Dominican Republic and its color varies from a deep blue to a whitish-blue. You can find pieces ranging from $10 USD to several hundred.
While not completely unique to the Dominican Republic, amber is a stone that is prevalent in the Dominican Republic. Dominican amber is a resin from the extinct Hymenaea Protera tree. Dominican amber differentiates itself from other types of amber and is often thought of as better quality because it is nearly always transparent and contains a higher number of fossil inclusions. You can find pieces ranging from $35 USD to several hundred.
Dominican Blue Amber
Just like amber, blue amber is fossilized resin with inclusions and is found in the very same mines as amber. Little is known about the blue amber because of its rarity, but, because of its rarity, it makes unique and beautiful jewelry. Blue Amber offers you the opportunity to own and wear a rare stone that is still affordable. Blue amber can start at around $100 USD.
Because of the history the Dominican Republic has with music there are a couple of musical instruments that have a lot of Dominican culture associated with them and the they can be bought for not too. These make great souvenirs either for decoration or for actually playing.
Is a round, steel, hollow tube scraped along the side to produce the desired sound.
Is a Dominican drum that is a two-headed and is used in merengue style music.
You now have an idea of some souvenirs to buy in the Dominican Republic; not just because they are pretty; but also because of their cultural significance as well. Buying anyone of the suggestions above should give you great memories of your trip to the Dominican Republic for years to come.