Shopping in Santo Domingo

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Santo Domingo Shopping

Shopping in the capital is perhaps the best in the country. You can buy everything from inexpensive souvenirs to Italian designer shoes. Mamajuana—an herbal extract that is usually mixed with rum—is said to be the Dominican answer to Viagra. Brugal and Barceló rums make good gifts or reminders of your island experience. Cigars, of course, are great guy gifts. Amber and larimar jewelry are lady pleasers, and make reasonably priced jewelry gifts for young girls. Wood carvings of mahogany (although most are Haitian), as well as local and Haitian artwork and ceramics—notably the faceless dolls—are popular. High-end boutiques have fashions from Spain, France, Italy, and the United States, as well as from such noted Dominican designers as Oscar de la Renta and Jenny Polanco. If you go to a flea market or public market, yes, you can haggle, saying: "Gracias no, es demasiado caro para mi!" (No thanks, it's too expensive for me). But most prices in shops are set, except perhaps in some of the gift shops on Calle El Conde; if you must haggle, do it graciously.

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