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Some of the best shopping in Puerto Plata can be found just by wandering around the city. The streets are teeming with activity and dotted with a variety of gift shops such as the Grand Factory, Rainbow Gift Shop large tourist jewelry shops with amber and Larimar made on site. In the Central Park area there department like shops such as Casa Nelson and Distributor Gonzalez, where the locals get daily items for reasonable prices. Dominican sweets, marmalade, foods and quality rums can be found in Puerto Plata supermarkets. The large market on the hill a bit east and south of the central city is the Open Market with vendors of such crafts including amber and larimar jewelry, basketwork, pottery, ceramics, wood sculpture, and Haitian painting. Some of these vendors will visit the major hotels in the evenings, selling their wares. Be careful how you spend your money. The mall was sometimes way more money than the shops on the beach.
Shopping day tours of Puerto Plata city are available, as well. Some day trips include tours of the Brugal Rum Factory, where tourists can find excellent rum, and the Amber Museum, whose gift shop and gallery contain magnificently preserved pieces of amber, some with fossilized insects, leaves and other debris encased in the petrified resin.
Local shopping - go where the locals shop, Calle Camino Real is full of stores, don't be afraid to go off the resort and right into the city. You can take a bus, taxi or a moto-taxi downtown. Tienda Jimenez is a large department type clothing store with lots of inexpensive clothes for men and women, including designer jeans, bathing suits, dresses, etc. Smaller boutique like shops abode, Just around the corner and in front of Caribe Tours Bus Terminal is the largest Pawn Shop and jewelry in the DR, Compra Venta Antonio / Joyeria Las Americas has phenominal buys on gold and diamond jewelrey from around the world.
Most places will negotiate prices, especially if they look touristy, so bargain. Sometimes if you don't get the price you want just say "no thanks, I will just go somewhere else." Then walk past the same shop a couple times and they will normally follow you and tell you to come back and they will agree to your price. Bring a calculator because they may not understand you. Punch in a number and show it to them. That's the easiest way to do it.
Also stop at a cigar place and roll your own cigars, which is great. You can buy rum in the factory and souvenirs in the market. Such as paintings, things made from cow horns, statues which were made in Haiti (yes from Haiti), cd's, amazing hand designed photo albums, t-shirts, Beach bags with shells etc... You will be pleased with everything but you must BARGAIN, chances are they will not let you walk out but be fair. Be prepared to be harassed, everyone wants you to buy theirs and it never ends.
Cautions- Be advised that most taxies and guides get a commission on sales at shops and even some restaurants, especially those leaving the tourist resorts. Highly suggest determining where to go and insist being taken there. As in any place be alert, in Puerto Plata there are occasionally snatch type thefts, so don’t wear expensive jewelry around town, and be mindful of where you are and with whom.
Plaza Playa Dorada: The complex is safe, beautiful and secure. At few miniuet walk from most of the resorts, you will find a plaza with several shops that mainly have all the same items no variety, arts and crafts and alcohol. They also have tours many available and exchange places with bank machines.
Surounding Areas- Beach lovers and adventurers will find a large number of small shops selling a variety of beach and water sporting goods and crafts in any of Puerto Plata’s beach towns.