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Tips on Avoiding Punta Cana Tourist Traps

Punta Cana Tourist Traps

A very popular island to visit for vacation, Punta Cana is a Caribbean island filled with tropical sun, beautiful beaches, and unforgettable memories. While there is plenty for a tourist to enjoy, there are also some tourist traps to be wary of. We have highlighted a few tourist traps to keep an eye out for when visiting Punta Cana.

Beach Vendors

There are several beach vendors that walk along the beach under the pretense of giving gifts to the tourists. In particular, one vendor selling necklaces will even go as far as placing necklaces around the neck of tourists without permission. Out of guilt, tourists usually end up making a purchase until they learn this is a regular ploy vendors will use. It is perfectly alright to simply say, “no” to these gifts the vendors on the beaches appear to be offering. None of the vendors in Punta Cana will offer free gifts for tourists.

Resort Shops

Avoid shopping at the resorts.  Items are much more expensive inside the resort and often, the vendors inside the resort will be extremely pushy trying to talk tourists into buying goods they do not really want to purchase. If tourists are not careful they could wind up with a suitcase full of souvenirs they never really wanted to buy in the first place. Venture outside the resorts and tourists will find the same goods at a much cheaper price. Also, it is important to have a basic idea of what the current exchange rate is to avoid being shorted in the transaction.

Caribbean Market

While the Caribbean Market is an excellent to place to purchase goods and souvenirs, tourists must be prepared for the intense bargaining that takes place there.  Vendors have been known to be very aggressive to make a sale to the point of even dragging shoppers into the stalls to show them the items. If there is something of interest, know that bargaining is part of the process for purchasing items in the market. Often tourists will be able to gain quite a steal on prices. Do not stop bargaining until the price has dropped to at least 50% or even 60% the original asking price.

Jewelry Shopping

There are many opportunities in Punta Cana to purchase jewelry made of amber. Buyer beware though, there are several vendors that have been known to sell “Taiwanese” amber, or fake amber. Before purchasing, make sure that there is a black light available to use in the shop. Real amber changes colors under a black light whereas artificial amber does not. Another good test to use is to see if the amber will float or sink in water. If the item is made of real amber, it will float to the top, while artificial amber will sink to the bottom.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about tourist traps to avoid when visiting Punta Cana.

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