It is typical for visitors to shop for gift items either for themselves or to bring home to their family and friends whenever they visit a different country or place. In the Dominican Republic different souvenirs are available for the thrifty and persistent shopper.
A variety of locally made handicrafts can be found in many of the tourist spots in the country. Items range from vibrant Dominican and Haitian paintings to wood and stone carvings. There are also ceramics and furniture made of made of mahogany as well as amber and Larimar jewelry.
Here are some of the top items to seek while visiting the Dominican Republic:
Cigars: The Dominican Republic is the world’s biggest cigar producer and most of the manufacturing is done in the Cibao valley region of the country. The locals take exceptional pride in the farming and management of its tobacco plants to produce a distinct Dominican taste. Many cigar enthusiasts believe that most of the cigars produced in the country are superior even to that of the more famous Cuban brands. One can find a variety of cigar types in the country, some well-known brands are the Romeo y Julieta, Cojimar, Leon Jimenez and Montecristo.
Rum can be found almost anywhere in the Caribbean but the rum produced in the Dominican Republic have a distinct flavor. They are sweeter and heartier than their counterparts. This is because the aging is done using American white oak kegs in a natural process of distillation. The top brands are produced by the three B’s – Barcelo, Bermudez and Brugal.
The Dominican Republic is considered to have the most valuable type of amber in the world. The first reason is because amber in the country is 90 percent more clear than those that are found in any other country. Second, fossilized plants or insects are most likely to be found in the amber mined in the Dominican Republic and are therefore prized and given more value. The last reason is that aside from the usual golden yellow color that most amber come in, other colors such as deep red and smoky green and blue hues can be found in the country which are very rare.
Another type of gem that the Dominican Republic is known for is the Larimar. This opaque blue semiprecious stone can only be found in the western region of the country. This stone is primarily blue with hints of green and white, are mined in the volcanic mountain range of the country.
Mamajuana is a purely Dominican Republic creation. A concoction of rum, wine, honey, herbs, bark and sometimes, though not normally, animal parts. It is a cure-all liquid serum for all types of ailments and can also be used as an aphrodisiac. Locals swear by its effective healing properties as well as a digestive drink and are sometimes served after meals in some local restaurants.
The Dominican Republic coffee is known for its full body and rich flavor. It is grown in Bani & Cibao Altura areas of the country. The inexpensive cost of this product makes it an ideal take home gift for friends and family.