Oh, one of my favorite subjects! Things to buy while you are on vacation.
This time, I am doing one for the Dominican Republic and more specifically, Punta Cana. While I am sure you can buy these items anywhere in the D. R., let me be clear by stating that Punta Cana is the best. It the most developed and understanding of the American Tourist.
And since I live close to the Baltimore-Washington Airport, it’s an easy 3 ½ hour direct flight. So fast and affordable it makes for an easy long weekend or a full 7 days of bliss. For sure you should call your travel agent (hopefully me!?).
So here it is folks!
1. The number one souvenir you could bring home from Punta Cana is Mama Juana. The All-Inclusive resorts will certainly serve this up at their bars, so be sure to try it. It is a mixture of twigs, bark, leaves, and herbs mixed with wine and honey. It is said to cure just about anything with a side dose of male energy...cough, cough.
There is a lot of folklore surrounding this drink and if you happen to go on any cultural excursions you will have a chance to learn more about the drink and the legend. One thing to note is that you can buy the dry twigs, leaves, and herbs to bring home, but illegal to bring that back into the states. It is completely OK if the alcohol is with it. So only buy bottles.
PRO Packing tip- think ahead and pack things that would make it easier to transport glass bottles of Mama Juana home.
2. The Larimar stone is only naturally found in the Dominican which makes it a unique item to pick up while you there. It reminds me a lot of the stone turquoise. They use it to make stunning and intricate jewelry or something as simple as just a bead for your charm bracelets. It is really pretty in person and hard to resist.
All the resorts have shops that you can see these items or you can take advantage of shopping excursions and perhaps get a better price away from the resorts. Since it can not be found anywhere else in the world naturally, you should pick up a piece or two.
3. Rum! Well, this is an easy one. The rum comes in all sorts of flavors and sizes making it easy to pack, take home and relive your Dominican Republic vacation dreams. Brugal Rum is the local stuff! Founded in 1888 it is still going strong on the island. They also make rum cakes with it that are delicious and also a great souvenir or gift for the person you left behind. =)
4. Christmas Ornaments. This might be on all my lists because I love stuff that you pack away and can revisit every once in awhile. Kind of like a photo album when you are reminded of all your memories every time you open it. So when decorating your house for Christmas, all my ornaments that I only see once a year is really a walk down memory lane and I love it.
5. Coffee. The stuff from the D. R. is great! And because it is lightweight you should load up on it. It is easy to pick from the airport on your way out. But if coffee is not your thing, the chocolate is of the same caliber. So many Dominicans make their living from growing chocolate and coffee beans so it only seems fair that we take some home to enjoy later.
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