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Best Punta Cana Shopping

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There are lots of interesting things to buy in Punta Cana, and lots of people who want to sell them to you. Visitors are particularly fond of the larimar (known as "Dominican turquoise") and silver necklaces, pottery made by the Taíno Indians, amber fossils, the fabulous Romeo y Julieta cigars and Mamajuana, an herbal liqueur with unidentified "medicinal properties." Most places you visit will take both dollars and euros, so don't worry about getting Dominican pesos unless you think it's fun. Also, don't pay anyone on the beach their asking price unless you are considering it a donation, and be wary of fake silver.

Mercado Publico de Higüey

Neighborhood: Higüey

If you're less interested in jewelry and souvenirs and just want to see some local culture, try heading to Higüey for a dose of real life. This open-air market of meats, fish and produce (and flies and stray dogs) is always bustling with locals. You know, those real people that live outside of the resort and do all the world to make Punta Cana such a wonderful place. Keep in mind that you have to wash any produce you pick up here very carefully. It's a great place for taking pictures and for getting a sample of real Dominican life.

Plaza Bavaro

Neighborhood: Bávaro

Plaza Bavaro is right in the middle of shopping central and consists of restaurants, banks, an internet center and about 50 or so gift shops with a lot of the same souvenirs. If you've ever wanted to hone your bartering skills, this will be your ultimate classroom. Every shopkeeper will call out to you and no prices are set in stone, so put on your best aggressive haggling face and see how low you can get them to go.

PUNTACANA Village

Neighborhood: Higüey

This little commercial haven is full of shops, restaurants and art galleries, as well as a playground for the kids. The village was originally built to house employees of the PUNTACANA Resort & Club but has become something of a destination itself due to its Oscar de la Renta shop and local art exhibits. If you're staying at Tortuga Bay or PUNTACANA Resort & Club, you can get a shuttle there for free.

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PUNTACANA Village  

Palma Real Shopping Center

Neighborhood: Bávaro

Some people unwind by lying in the sun; others unwind by shopping at the mall. Palma Real is a mall with all the spoils of home. You know, things like a sushi, hair salon, Spanish restaurant, gift shops, makeup, jewelry, clothes, a Tony Roma's and even a Hard Rock Cafe. Palma Real is where to go when you realize you didn't bring a pair of jeans for horseback riding or don't have shoes to match the dress you bought on the beach.

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Palma Real Shopping Center  

Artesany Center

Neighborhood: Fruisa-Melia

The Artesany Center is a must-see shopping destination, especially if you want to be sure your souvenir wasn't "Made in China." Here you'll find crafts from locals artists, from hand-woven hammocks to wood carvings and Taíno pottery are sold. Some things are even made right in front of you. As an added bonus, there are also events at the Artesany Center, so you may walk in to find a live performance of some kind.

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