If you are looking for information on what to bring as a gift from the Dominican Republic to your relatives, friends, colleagues, then your trip is already at the final stage. I will tell you in detail about all the cool gifts and Dominican souvenirs. There will be more than just fridge magnets. But also things that can only be bought in the Dominican Republic, which will definitely delight your friends.
Table of contents:
- What to bring as a gift from the Dominican Republic: general facts
- Golden Dominican Three
- Jewelry made of Larimar
- Cosmetics: snail cream
- Cocoa beans
- Lime doll or Dominican faceless doll
- Magnets, mugs, spoons, etc.
A gift from the Dominican Republic: general facts and tips
Below is not only a list of the Dominican souvenirs that are brought as a gift. But I will also write prices, where it is better to buy, I will give advice and recommendations.
As for general tips for buying any souvenirs:
- Almost all souvenirs can be bought at the duty free at the airport. But the prices there are 3-4-5 times higher than in the shops of the Dominican Republic. Don’t put off shopping for gifts until the end of your vacation. Because then you will pay a lot for it.
- There are a lot of souvenir shops, especially in tourist places.
- If you’re buying gifts outside of the big store, always bargain.
- Usually you can decrease the starting price by 50%. This is not Egypt, where the starting price is 5 times higher, but still bargaining is required.
- Try not to make purchases from sellers on the beach, you don’t know about quality of this product. Rum can be a fake, a cigar rolled from banana leaves, and so on.
It is important to know:It is forbidden to export weapons, antiques from the Dominican Republic, just like in other countries. But still it is also impossible to export corals and money. If you collect banknotes from countries around the world, you can always take 1-2 banknotes in your wallet, no one will check. But keep in mind that such a ban exists.
- Do not forget that the Dominican Republic is an exotic country and diseases are exotic here: everything is about extended medical insurance.
Golden Dominican Trio: a gift from the Dominican Republic.
Perhaps 90% of all travelers bring home one of these three. And if you are asked: what do you associate the Dominican Republic with, you will also say: rum, cigars, coffee.
Cigars and cigarillos
We can’t find them here, and if you find them, it’s expensive. And here they sell it in every souvenir shop. And the prices are very low. Most tourists, even if they don’t smoke, take home cigars as Dominican souvenirs.
Good to know:A cigar and a cigarillo are both tobacco products, but they differ in size and composition. Cigars are larger and made from whole tobacco leaves, while cigarillos are smaller and made from ground tobacco. Cigars are typically rolled by hand, while cigarillos are machine-made. They also differ in smoking time and flavor, with cigars having a longer smoking time and a stronger flavor, while cigarillos have a shorter smoking time and a milder flavor. Another difference is that cigars are usually not inhaled while smoking, while cigarillos are more commonly inhaled.
I personally do not smoke myself, but I adore the smell of an unlit cigar. It doesn’t compare to cigarettes.
Below are a few things you need to know about buying cigars in the Dominican Republic.
- Sold by the piece
- It is recommended to buy in stores and shops. Cigar sellers sometimes walk along the beach and offer tourists. Very often they use a dried banana leaf instead of tobacco.
- The price for 1 non-premium cigar is 100 pesos or $2.
- This is a great gift for any smoker, friend and colleague. For a non-smoker, this is probably not the best gift, but I bought a couple of extra pieces for myself.
- Everything about cigars in the Dominican Republic, about the size, manufacturers and much more at the link.
Not only the main national alcoholic drink of the Dominican Republic, but also a national idea. Rum is sold everywhere here, it is affordable, the choice is huge. Every famous Dominican cocktail contains rum.
Follow the link to an article where everything about this drink is described in detail. How they do it, what manufacturers are there, how to choose rum, what kind of rum they use for what and what kind to bring as a gift.
Here are some facts about Dominican rum if you don’t have time to read the article:
- There are a huge number of manufacturers in the country, but the most important are Brugal, Barcelo, Bermudez. They are also called 3B.
- For information, Bacardi is also here, but it is expensive because it is imported. Don’t forget that this is Cuban rum.
- Rum can be bought in general in any store in the country. Even if it is a small shop on 4 sq.m.
- For cocktails they buy white rum, it is not aged.
- For those who like to drink neat with or without ice: they take aged in oak barrels from bourbon or sherry.
- The price of plain rum for 0.35 liters starts from $4. Rum 15 years old can be bought from $20-25. Read more about all this at the link above.
- These are a great Dominican souvenirs for family, friends and colleagues. Except not for the kids.
About coffee and tea
Let’s start with tea. I am often asked – what kind of tea to bring as a gift from the Dominican Republic?
It is important to know:In the Dominican Republic, there is no culture of drinking tea. They only drink coffee here. Drink tea at home, but only coffee here – this is how the waiters sometimes jokingly answered me. In the shops of the country, there are exactly two types of tea: black lipton in bags and green lipton in bags. There is no more choice. Here tea is not grown, sold or drunk 🙂
Coffee is the second national drink here after rum. Or maybe the first one. They drink it everywhere, all day, at any opportunity.
In the Dominican Republic in the south of the country there are coffee plantations at an altitude of about 1000-1400 meters. It is said that this altitude and special climate make Dominican coffee one of the best in the world. It is very high in caffeine and grains are saturated with oils. I don’t know if this is good or not. But for a coffee machine, probably not very much :).
Coffee as a gift from the Dominican Republic is a mandatory attribute of any trip. When we return home we buy 7-10 packs of coffee as a Dominican gift to friends and parents.
- Good coffee in the Dominican Republic is considered to be the capital producer – Santo-Domingo. A pack of ground coffee 250g costs an average of about $ 2-3.
- I recommend coffee to everyone as excellent Dominican souvenirs.
- Read more about coffee in the Dominican Republic here.
Jewelry from Larimar
First, let’s look at what Larimar is. Larimar is a rare, blue variety of the mineral pectolite. It is only found in the Dominican Republic.
- The name “larimar” comes from a combination of the name of the daughter of the man who first discovered it and the Spanish word for sea, “mar.
- It is known for its unique blue color, which ranges from white-blue to deep blue, and is often used in jewelry making.
- It is considered a semi-precious stone, and is relatively new to the gemstone market, first being discovered in the early 1900s.
- It is considered as the national stone of the Dominican Republic.
- You can buy either just a stone or a Larimar in some kind of decoration. Popular:
It is important to know:All good specimens go into the production of jewelry. And in the form of stones, just the same low-grade samples remain that no one needs.
- Jewelry with Larimar is a good Dominican gift for women.
Cosmetics: snail cream
Many advise to bring cosmetics from the Dominican Republic. To be honest, I’m not sure the advice is great. Locals consider cosmetics from the USA and Europe to be of better quality. And the fact that all sorts of body oils based on coconut milk are sold here also are sold everywhere in the world.
But in the Dominican Republic there is one line of cosmetics that is popular with the locals, which tourists bring home and which is very unusual. These are cosmetic products for the care of the skin of the body, face, as well as hair. These creams are produced on the basis of snail mucus and are called the line: Baba de Caracol.
What kind of cosmetics it is, how much it costs, where to buy, read in detail in the article at the link.
Pictures: what to bring from the Dominican Republic?
Local artists in tourist places draw oil paintings. They are usually very bright, cheerful with a special Caribbean spirit. There are paintings ranging from very small, almost A4 format, to several square meters.
All paintings are unique and hand drawn. And even if the plot is the same, you still cannot find two identical paintings.
It is important to know:Paintings are sold in many places. But if you are careful, sometimes you can see that it is here that the artist who draws them is sitting, and not an ordinary merchant. He usually sits with an easel in the far corner and draws another beauty.
So, I think that if you are going to buy a painting, it is better to buy from these guys. First, you support the poor artists of the Dominican Republic. Secondly, they are cheaper and you can get more discount. And thirdly: if you need some special plot in the picture, you can order a picture from such a guy, and pick it up in two or three days.
- Paintings are sold on all beaches in souvenir shops in the tourist areas of the Dominican Republic.
- Prices: from $10 to $200. For $ 150, a guy Jafa in Las Terrenas painted us a picture 1.5m by 2m.
- Remember that after purchase, any painting is removed from the frame and wrapped in paper and a cardboard tube. So that you can transport it normally on an airplane.
- At home, of course, you will still need to spend money on a frame in a framing workshop.
Mamajuana: what to bring from the Dominican Republic?
Very briefly, as this guide has a long article about a purely Dominican drink – Mamajuana.
I can only say that this is a tincture on special wood, spices, ground shellfish, wine, honey and, of course, rum.
They drink it in small doses, like a medicinal tincture. Cure the flu, sore throats, runny nose, and of course, like all peoples of the world, there is a special remedy for male power. Here in the Dominican Republic – this mamajuana.
Small bottles with this potion can be bought from $2-3.
- The link details everything about Mamajuana, how to make it yourself, where to buy the base and how to bring it home in large quantities.
Cocoa beans and more
We will not dwell on this point in detail either, since the link has a large article about cocoa in the Dominican Republic.
I will only say that cocoa is loved here, it is grown in the Dominican Republic and it is sold in many places and is not expensive. In the shops of the country you can find cocoa in the following form:
- In grains or beans. Mostly tourists buy it, since it still needs to be ground and there are no additives at all. The locals do not buy cocoa beans, as they believe that the product is not yet ready to be consumed.
- Powder. Exactly the same as ours. You can’t even taste the difference. It’s definitely not suitable as a Dominican gift.
- The third option is the most interesting and I recommend bringing it from the Dominican Republic:
- Cocoa balls.
- This is a jar with 8-10 balls. Which can be drowned in hot milk or just water.
- As a rule, they already contain sugar, vanilla and maybe something else.
- This is at least original and unusual. I throw one ball into a glass of milk and put it in the microwave. The main thing is to stir a couple of times and you have an excellent chocolate milkshake.
It is important to know:In the Dominican Republic, bitter chocolate made from local cocoa beans is of very good quality. And this is also a great Dominican gift.
Lime doll or faceless doll
An interesting and unusual souvenirs from the Dominican Republic. The Lime doll is a purely Dominican phenomenon. There are 5 or 6 versions why the doll has no face. One of the most popular says that the wife of one of the Spanish conquistadors was fond of creating different dresses for her dolls and did not pay attention to faces. The dolls were made by clay potters, and this lady was already dressing the dolls in various bright dresses.
This version does not claim to be true. It was told to me by a salesman in a souvenir shop.
The Lime doll is a clay doll in the national dress of the Dominican Republic. These are always vivid images. Dolls come in different sizes, sometimes dresses are sewn from fabric, and sometimes from clay and then decorated with paints. But the doll always has no face.
- An interesting and original gift for connoisseurs of such creativity.
- You can buy it in absolutely any souvenir shop.
- The price starts for small doll from $4. For a medium-sized doll, they usually ask about $ 10.
Magnets, mugs, spoons
My aunt collects teaspoons and plates from different cities of the world. And the sister – bells and mugs with the symbols of different cities. We are accustomed to traveling around Europe to meet a huge number of such souvenirs in any city in Europe.
In the Dominican Republic, with regard to such mass souvenirs, it’s just a disaster. You will not find any spoons, plates, bells with the Dominican flag here. Magnets – maybe, there are $ 2-5 apiece. But the choice will disappoint even the most inexperienced buyer. I saw the largest and sane number of magnets in duty free on departure from the Dominican Republic, at $ 5 apiece.
But in the souvenir shops there will be anything, and everything that is listed above in the article. And fridge magnets can be 10 different things and nothing more.
Advice:Even if you are only the first day on vacation and have found a magnet you like, buy it. And then you might not see it again.
- A complete list of the coolest attractions in the Dominican Republic in a large review.
In conclusion: what to bring as a gift from the Dominican Republic to relatives and colleagues is a simple question. Of course: rum, coffee, cigars and mamajuana! And everything else is optional 🙂 Remember, everywhere in souvenir shops you need to bargain. From the original Price it is normal to reduce by 40-50%.
The coolest emotions from people to whom you will give souvenirs from the Dominican Republic!