La Romana is one of the most popular tourist and cruise destinations in the Dominican Republic, and for good reason: This Caribbean seaport is rich with history and cultural influences. If this is your first time visiting this coastal town, then you may be interested in discovering what you can buy in La Romana for your loved ones or for yourself. Here are the top eight souvenirs and gifts you can buy in this port of call:
1. Dominican Coffee
If you’re into coffee, then pick up some Dominican coffee the next time you stop in La Romana. As coffee is one of the country’s main crops, you’ll find an abundance of Dominican coffee beans that you can bring back home from your cruise. The version that is mainly produced in the country, and a main exported crop is Arabica, which is a mild variety of Dominican coffee. Locals also drink the stronger version, called Robusta. After tasting some authentic Dominican coffee for yourself, consider selecting a variety of Dominican coffee beans for the aroma and flavor of your preference to bring home as a gift.
2. Munecas Lime (Faceless Dolls) Ornaments
Walk through the corridors of the local artisan markets in La Romana and you are bound to come across one of the most distinctive odes to Dominican culture in the form of faceless dolls, or Munecas Lime. These dolls have been popular as souvenirs since the 1980s, but they are related to a heritage that stretches back in time to the 16th century. The faceless look represents the mixture of cultures and ethnicities in the Dominican Republic. These ornamental dolls come in several sizes and a wide selection of vivid color schemes, making them a great choice for a unique gift. Most faceless dolls are made of clay, but you can find them in other materials as well.
3. Amber and Larimar Jewels
When you’re shopping in La Romana, you’ll find an abundance of jewels to choose from. But none are as unique and reminiscent of the region as amber and Larimar jewelry. You can find amber souvenirs in a variety of jewelry options, including bracelets, earrings and necklaces. However, if you’re looking for a gem typical of the Dominican Republic, the next time you’re on a shore excursion, look for local artisan shops that sell Larimar jewels. The sea-blue colored Larimar gemstone is only found in the Dominican Republic, and is actually the country’s national gemstone. The gemstone also has a unique pattern that mimics moving ocean waves, which makes it ideal for collecting as a souvenir to remind you the rarities of the Dominican Republic and your trip to La Romana.
If you enjoy cigars or want to buy a few for a friend back home, then La Romana is the right place to get some unique varieties. You can find woodsy and spicy flavors and even varieties with pickled ginger. It’s not hard to find hand-rolled cigars, especially since La Romana is home to the largest hand-rolled cigar factory in the world.
5. Terracotta Pots
If you’re into gardening, then you’ll want to head to one of the local artisan shops and pick up a small terracotta pot. These unique, intricate pots are handcrafted in this region of the Dominican Republic. You can easily find these planters and pots when visiting a one-of-a-kind village with a historic Mediterranean vibe called Altos de Chavon, home of many local artists.
From carnival masks to colorful replicas of local wildlife, La Romana offers a variety of souvenirs made of wood. The great thing about picking up woodwork as souvenirs is that you can find small items that are also light enough to carry in your luggage. You can buy several of these wood carvings as gifts for family and friends back home, too.
The Dominican Republic is known for its rum, and La Romana houses plenty of opportunities to buy some of the finest varieties of rum while on your shore excursion. You can choose a light brown rum for a lighter taste, or you can opt for flavorful dark rums aged in European sherry casks made of oak, which are ideal for aging rum.
8. Taino-Inspired Art
Bring a piece of native culture home when you buy Taino-inspired art. The Taino were indigenous people of the Caribbean who populated the Dominican Republic from 1000 to 1500 AD. The Taino people’s deity belief system was depicted in the stylized art they made, which often included amulets, cave paintings and engravings. La Romana offers a wide variety of Taino-inspired art for you to buy as a souvenir, including paintings, engravings and pottery.