Posted by: Orekh Schriftsteller | April 28, 2011

Santo Domingo Best Shopping Spree

Custom shopping trips to introduce and guide you to the best shopping in Santo Domingo ,  DR

My mother and grandmother had me shopping since my stroller’s days. Like typical caribbeans and hispanoamericans , they were always looking for a bargain, a hidden handicrafts or antique, or the best ‘viveres”( root vegetables like Cassava or green plantain).  Mind you, this was not always a local venture – they were willing to travel far and wide in the city for that perfect item or exquisite deal. I credit them with setting in motion my shopping and traveling addictions.

When I first arrived to work in New York  twenty  five years ago, I was overwhelmed at the variety of  Dominican handicrafts and creativity.  Back in Brooklyn all I wanted to do was splash bright colors on my walls, and shop–for exquisite hand woven baskets or  shawls, multihued pillows, rugs and sarapes, hand painted ceramic or clay, leather items and innovative hand blown glass. As the years passed, my knowledge broadened to know which dominican town or community or co-operative of artisans crafted the “doll without face” ( ceramic /pottery) piece, colorful coconut carvings or embroidered “delantal” (Taino or African dress).

Growing in a Hebrew language home in an English speaking country, it was a must to be sort of multi-lingual. As my Spanish  improved, I was finally able to actually talk to the artisans and gain an understanding of how deeply their traditions and roots related to their lives, land and spirituality. I was in a ceramic’s studio in Santiago looking at his bare dirt floors as she explained that she wanted to feel the earth and clay with which she worked under her feet. In La Vega a nearby town-province, I asked a family of weavers—whose ancestors had been doing the same weavings for years—which dye they used to obtain a certain color for the handspun wool. It’s more used in  Costanza or Jarabacoa where it tends to be a bit chilly.

I then visited a then-small cooperative in la Vega (which now consists of  more than 30 woman) and learned that the Taino peoples of  Hispaniola Island never embroider anything that does not have a spiritual meaning for them. The Taino amulets , made of clay pattern symbolizes the unity between the earth and sky, or the universe. In the heart of the amulet the image of a turtoise, sun or simply the sun is often found, which is the symbol of the light and center of the Taino cosmos.  You  also help preserve the folk art traditions of indigenous-caribbean people and artisans of  the Dominican Republic.  Taino culture is extensively found along in Puerto Rico.


Following are a few of my favorite Santo Domingo  shopping experiences:

The Zona Colonial  and the Mercado Modelo  in the city of  Santo Domingo, with its  crafters, stores and carpentry  factories nearby specializing in custom items, antique stores, and local food markets. You’ll find a lot of designs.

In the area surrounding the city are the contrasting shopping meccas of  Zona Colonial and  Mercado Modelo. Gazcue has a row of magnificently renovated private mansions, now transformed into a pedestrian walkway filled with museums, restaurants and  shops brimming with furniture and antiques as well as artisan studios featuring locally crafted works of art and ceramics. Mercado Modelo has an estimated  300 well known artisans and close by you can find an open-air flea market to showcases their wares.

An iconic shopping experience in this country is the “Villa Consuelo” in the north of San  Carlos neighborhood of Santo Domingo City.  It’s the icing on the cake in a city filled with warehouses,  art fairs, mini-galleries, unique specialty boutiques, and shops.

In the Cibao area, for instance each town specializes in a specific craft, displayed in popular markets.

The work of the crafts indigenous people and african-slaves descend groups of the traditional town coastal areas of  Puerto Plata and Samana are sold both in colorful open-air markets as well as stores in the surrounding towns.

Luxury shopping trips are custom tailored based on your interests and interior design requirements. We take the guesswork out of shopping in Santo Domingo to help you to find the latest, most unique home accessories and furniture while showing you the best Dominican Republic has to offer.

Highlights include:

Ability to meet noted artisans in their local towns.

Resources for local, high quality furniture, art, accessories and one-of-a-kind items…we know exactly where to go.

Savvy, bilingual design and buying scout in unique shopping districts.

Ideal for those individuals interested in something different and off the beaten track.

Chauffeur-driven excursions that take you from one amazing place to another with your own personal shopping expert as your guide.

Direct access to some factories.

Benefit from savings off of retail prices.

Enjoy mini-galleries, great art and private studio visits with emerging and established artists.

Expertise in shipping and exporting Dominican goods abroad, as well as within the country. We can assist you with the ins-and-outs of doing so, or handle it directly for you.

All trips are private, flexible, and customized to suit individual interests and schedules. Highly personalized itinerary planning and expert advice is a part of every trip.

Benefit from the insights of a Dominican  specialist, who has traveled extensively in the country.

How to book the trips

Contact HP or MD directly by email or by phone to arrange for custom itineraries and quotes: Canada Telephone: (647) 448 – 2052  Local cel: (809)-899-5832  e-mail:  Any particulars or preferences you can provide us with in advance allow us the ability to fully customize your shopping experience. Advance reservations are required, and can be made up to 6 months in advance, or a minimum of 24 hours in advance. I’ll respond back to you with trip confirmation, finalize deposit and payment requirements, and arrange transportation pick-up at your location.

Trips canceled in 48 hours or less in advance of planned departure will be charged the 50% deposit or are subject to a cancellation fee. You may reapply the deposit if the trip is rescheduled for another date.


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