With its colorful houses and beautiful, sun-soaked beaches, the Dominican Republic is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean.
But there’s a lot more to the country than just its tourism! If you’re looking for Dominican gifts that fully explore the spirit, culture and history of this island nation, here are just a few ideas.
35 Dominican Gift Ideas
For a Good Time, Call Mamajuana: Don Zavier Dry Mamajuana Bottle
Mamajuana is a little-known gem from the Dominican Republic. It’s a drink made with rum, wine, honey, herbs and tree bark, and not only does it offer amazing flavors, but it’s also said to be a powerful aphrodisiac! It’s so potent that it’s sometimes banned by customs, but ordering it in dry form is usually all right.
Just take the spicy wood chips and cure them with your alcohol of choice to create amazing, right-out-of-the-Caribbean flavors with a strong taste and an eyebrow-wiggling kick.
When Their Normal Volume is a Sonic Boom: I’m Not Yelling, I’m Dominican Coffee Mug
“I’m Not Yelling. I’m Dominican.” If you know someone who would immediately bust a gut after being called out this like, you’ve just found the perfect coffee mug for their loud-mouthed self. It can hold 11 ounces of the good stuff, or they can repurpose it as a pencil holder or candy jar.
It’s made with a glazed white ceramic, so it’ll be nice and durable no matter how it gets used, and your gift recipient will be able to enjoy it for years to come. Their mug will last even if their eardrums don’t.
Color and Culture All Rolled Into One: Dominican Republic Boxed Shot Glass Set
One of the most magical things about the Dominican Republic is that it combines the best of both Latin America and the Caribbean islands, and this gift is the perfect representation of it: two shot glasses resting in a wooden box that’s been decorated with coral, starfish and seashells.
It’s a tropical paradise contained within a box, and it’ll transport your gift recipient right to the beaches of Puerto Plata every time that they look at it.
For the Penny Pincher: Five-Piece Collectible Dominican Republic Currency Set
Currency is one of the coolest collectibles that you can give to a hobbyist, especially when it’s related to foreign cultures. This particular currency set contains five coins from the Dominican Republic that date all of the way back to the 1930s! Their value is sentimental rather than monetary, at least for now, but they’ll make an awesome gift for anyone from the motherland or anyone who enjoys rare and interesting items from abroad.
For Some Old-Fashioned Fun: Dominican Republic Domino Table Top
There’s nothing like a group of middle-aged men smoking around a domino table to make you feel like you’re in the Dominican Republic. The game of dominoes is a time-honored tradition there, and with the help of this beautiful, high-quality gaming table, you’ll be able to bring the custom to the States as well.
The wood is smoothly sanded; the craftsmanship is second to none. There are even metal legs that can be folded and unfolded for ease of use and storage. To top it all off, the central design is a colorful, larger-than-life depiction of the Dominican coat of arms.
No Boomers Allowed: Platano Power Dominican Republic Shirt
“Platano Power” is one of the most commonly used expressions in the Dominican Republic, especially among the young and trendy. It comes from the country’s abundance of plantains (platanos) and is used as a tongue-in-cheek way to recognize kinfolk or cheer someone on.
Banana emojis are usually involved. Your grandma might not get it, but your Dominican cousin definitely will, so this is a t-shirt to give to the meme lord in your family.
For the Globe Trotter: Dominican Republic Beach Design Souvenir Shot Glass
Maybe they aren’t Dominican. Maybe they just enjoyed the h*ll out of a vacation to Santo Domingo or San Juan de la Maguana. If they forgot to pick up souvenirs at the airport before they came back, you can supplement their collection with this awesomely kitschy shot glass.
It’s stamped with the flag of the Dominican Republic, but it also exhibits the beautiful, postcard-perfect ocean view that you can find on many of the country’s beaches. In short, it’ll be a great way for travelers to remember everything that they experienced on their trip to the Caribbean.
Move Over, Bobby Flay: Five-Set Dominic Republic Gourmet Spices
Maybe they’re addicted to street food like tostones. Maybe they’ve always wanted to make a seven-meat sancocho stew like their grandmother did. Either way, it’s hard to replicate the food of the Dominican Republic without having the right spices for it, so this five-jar collection will be invaluable to the worldwide chef.
It contains everything from the familiar tang of cilantro to the exotic heat of malagueta and the vibrant color of bija. If they’re at all interested in Dominican cooking, give them the ingredients to bring their recipes to life!
When the East Meets Latin America: A Day at the Beach Desktop Zen Garden
Anyone can throw a few rocks in a sandbox and call it a zen garden. This model takes it to the next level with an entire range of beach-themed accessories that will let you build your very own piece of La Romana! There’s a beach chair, umbrella, sandcastle and shovel as well as a whole bag of miniature starfish and seashells.
You can arrange them on the coastline however you’d like, expressing your creativity and relieving your stress at the same time. It’ll be much more satisfying than just raking sand around some rocks!
A is for Aguacate: Spanish Bananagrams
If they want to brush up on their Spanish before their Caribbean getaway, why not have some fun with it? The Spanish version of Bananagrams will keep them engaged and entertained in a way that a textbook simply can’t.
It’s so easy to play that even kids can join in, and since the tiles are stored in a bright yellow banana pouch, it’s also highly portable for vacations. The whole family will have a blast, and they’ll strengthen their Spanish skills for haggling over souvenirs to boot!
Because There’s No Place Like It: Una Vaina Bien Dominican Republic Slang T-Shirt
Una vaina bien is a Spanish phrase meaning “awesome” or “well done,” but it’s only used in certain parts of Latin America, including the Dominican Republic. This t-shirt will therefore function like a homing beacon to other Dominicans.
It isn’t just a piece of home, and it isn’t just the language of home; it’s the uniquely Dominican version of home. It’ll be una vaina bien for Dominicans who take pride in their heritage and want to recognize others of their kin in the real world.
For a Closer Look at the Flag: Dominican Republic Hanging Wall Tapestry
Another gift that showcases the flag of the Dominican Republic, this hanging tapestry will absolutely dominate a feature wall with its bright colors and fine fabrics. Rather than the red and blue squares of the flag, however, it’s dedicated to the coat of arms in the center: It showcases the spears, the leaves, the cross and the Bible opened to John 8:32.
Y la verdad os hará libres. “And the truth shall make you free.”
When They’re Dominican and Proud: Dominican Republic Dog Tag
They don’t have to be a veteran to appreciate a well-made dog tag, but it certainly helps. This particular model is constructed with a metal frame and chain that includes glittering Swarovski gemstones every few centimeters.
The flag of the Dominican Republic replaces the usual identification details in the middle. Your gift recipient can wear it, display it, hang it from their rear view mirror and more. It’ll be a very versatile item for anyone who takes comfort and strength from their Latin American heritage.
If They Have a Plantain in the Oven: Made in American With Dominican Parts Baby Onesie
Are you friends with a newlywed or expecting couple? If so, this gift will delight the whole family. It’s a baby onesie that says “Made in American With Dominican Parts,” so it’ll be funny and cute for a multicultural kid, but it isn’t just a novelty item.
It’s a genuinely functional onesie with soft fabrics, machine washable instructions and a snap enclosure between the legs for easy diaper access. Parents will appreciate its humor and its convenience, especially when it’s 3AM and their newborn has spit up on every other piece of clothing that they own!
The Lament of Parents Everywhere: Ay Coño! Use A Coaster Gift Set
“Ay Coño! Use A Coaster!” If you grew up hearing this whenever you placed a drink on your mom’s cherry wood table, you’ll be pleased to know that you can spare her the effort of further scoldings with the help of this gift set.
It contains four identical coasters with the Spanish curses printed clearly on the top. They’re also made from an eco-friendly cork material, so they’re a sustainable product, and their laser-etched print will take years and years to fade.
The coasters will probably outlast the cherry wood table, to tell you the truth.
An Investment for the Future: Dominican Republic Flag PopSockets PopGrip
PopSockets are taking over the world as fun, trendy phone accessories that can be swapped at will whenever the mood strikes. As soon as you buy one, the entire line becomes available to you! This particular PopSocket is designed with the flag of the Dominican Republic, and it’s been given a snazzy kind of look; the colors have an artistic splatter style, and the font is a curved and contemporary one.
Ultimately, however, the best thing about this PopGrip isn’t the design or even the functionality. It’s the wide range of possibilities that open up when you buy into the PopSocket line.
To Prepare Tasty Treats: Bamboo Plantain Smasher
While not strictly a Dominican gift, this plantain smasher is a must-have for the Caribbean kitchen. It’ll quickly and easily mush their favorite food for everything from sweet desserts to savory side dishes.
What’s more, it’ll mold the plantain into a bowl shape, so the chef can used them for any “basket-style” recipe containing beef, pork, shrimp, rice, onions or more! There’s nothing better than a food container that you can also eat!
When the Roots Go Deep: Dominican Republic and American Flag T-Shirt
Perfect for dual citizens, this t-shirt offers the best of both worlds in terms of nationality. The squares of both the American and Dominican flag meet together with a blend of red, white and blue against a black background.
The stars and stripes are there, but so is the crest. No words are printed. No words are needed. This t-shirt tells an entire story with a simple yet multicultural design, so it’ll be great for folks with a mixed ancestry.
For the Football Fan: Dominican Republic Knit Scarf
Perfect for those chilly away games, this scarf will be a warm and cozy way of staying comfortable while you root for your favorite footballers. It’s also emblazoned with the red, white and blue of the Dominican flag, and it says “Republica Dominicana” in a bold print that unfurls along the length.
You can look sharp, keep warm and celebrate your heritage all at the same time! As a bonus, since it measures 57 inches long, it’s a “one size fits all” scarf that’s suitable for Dominicans of all ages and genders.
Because Education is Everything: The Dominican Republic: A National History Paperback
The Dominican Republic: A National History is one of the few English-language books dedicated to the surveying and researching of Dominican history. It’s written by Frank Moya Pons, a contemporary historian in Latin American, and it covers everything from elections and occupations to cultural shifts and socioeconomic reforms.
Whether your friend is a Dominican-American who wants to learn more about their roots or just a history nerd who likes reading about the rise of foreign countries, this is a rare and riveting tome that they won’t want to miss.
For Sweet Dreams: Caribbean Map Dominican Republic Linen Throw Pillow Cover
Throw pillows have a wide variety of uses. You can use them as purely decorative items in a home or office setting; you can toss them into the back of a car or onto a white sand beach for extra comfort as you camp, travel or vacay.
This particular pillowcase is for the Dominicans out there: It maps out a large portion of the Caribbean islands, but only the Dominican Republic is in full color. It’ll be the X that marks the spot of home and happiness, and since it’s printed on a throw pillow cover, you’ll be able to take it anywhere and everywhere to carry a piece of your soul with you wherever you go.
For the Java Junkie: Bialetti Express Moka Pot
Caffeine addicts, this one is for you. The most popular way to prepare coffee in the Dominican Republic is the moka pot, and this coffeemaker is a thoroughly modern take on it, offering everything from a detachable aluminum strainer to an ergonomic stay-cool handle for ease of use.
You’ll be able to brew all of your favorite blends from Central America with none of the usual fuss. As a bonus, since Bialetti is an eco-friendly brand, you’ll be helping the environment with every cup!
For Gentle Beauty With Strong Roots: Dominican Republic Map Pendant Jewelry
The nice thing about this necklace is that it isn’t ostentatious. While it does have a subtle, sophisticated glamor with its gold-plated pendant, it isn’t decorated with the usual bright colors or flag designs of the Dominican Republic.
Instead, it’s shaped like the country, and it has a small heart shape in the middle. The average person on the street might not even realize what it symbolizes. For the wearer, however, it’ll be a piece of home, and home is everything.
Kid Tested, Mother Approved: Dominican Nutrition Facts Novelty T-Shirt
100 percent hustling. 95 percent baseball. These are just a few of the “nutritional facts” that make up the average Dominican, and they’re hilarious because they’re true. There’s even a section for “protein” that warns “needs mangu!” Perfect for everyone from retired Dominican grandpas to crazy Dominican moms who never miss a chance to loudly cheer at their son’s soccer game, this t-shirt will quickly become a favorite for folks from all walks of life.
To Laze It Up in the Sun: Feelin’ Beachy Luxury Scented Soy Candle
While this gift isn’t exclusive to the Dominican Republic, it’ll definitely stir some memories of their time there. Its “beachy” fragrance is made with a combination of floral, musk and sandalwood notes, and when lit, it’ll transport everyone in the room to their favorite tropical destination.
For Dominicans, this will probably be somewhere like Bayahibe or Punta Cana, and they’ll be able to sit back and breathe deeply as they daydream about the olden days. If you’re looking for a gift with lots of nostalgic power, this is it!
To Help Them Earn an A+: Dominican Republic Flag Pencil Bag
If they’re a student, they’ll get a lot of use out of this pencil bag. Not only does it come with a zippered pouch for holding writing utensils, but it also boasts a fine mesh pocket for anything else of value such as erasers, markers, paper clips or even headphones or dollar bills.
Elastic bands will hold everything in place, and a hard, waterproof cover will ensure both durability and portability. Did we mention that the exterior is decorated with a patterned print of the Dominican flag waving in the breeze?
The Unlikely Trio of Sun, Snow and Sand: Collection of City and States Dominican Republic Snow Globe
Another great gift for a traveler, this snow glob hails from the world-famous “Collection of City and States” line that includes all 50 U.S. states and many popular tourist destinations. It’s kitschy, but it’s kitschy on purpose, and it’ll fit right in with other snow globes in a collection.
Just shake the container to watch snow gently swirl around a palm tree and a beach covered in towels, umbrellas and other items from a tropical vacation.
To Let Them Eat Cake: Tortuga Mamajuana Rum Cake
If you’re curious about the taste of mamajuana but uninterested in drinking or distilling it, why not try a rum cake that’s been infused with its signature flavors? Though it’s called a “Tortuga” cake, it’s pure Dominican, and it’s a staple of household parties everywhere in the country.
A few mamajuana cakes and some cocktails and you’ll be ready to get lit just like the locals do. You could also serve it as a fun and exotic snack at a brunch, or you could save it all for yourself one night when you’re relaxing on the couch and vegging out on some telenovelas!
A Cooler Kind of Morse Code: Ke Lo Ke Dominican Republic T-Shirt
Que lo que? is another example of Dominican slang that’s recognizably Spanish but also reflective of the unique country that it comes from. This is especially true when it’s written as ke lo ke like on this t-shirt.
Natives will get it; travelers will get it; people from other countries probably won’t. It’ll be a secret for just your gift recipient and anyone else who hails from the Dominican Republic.
To Celebrate on the National Level: 200-Count Dominican Flag Toothpick Cupcake Toppers
Though they’re advertised as cupcake toppers, these flag-bearing toothpicks could just as easily become skewers, decorations, cocktail umbrellas and more. They’ll be ideal for everything from food festivals and cultural fairs to house parties and mock UN meetings.
There are 200 in total, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth, and their small 1.4 x 1 inch size will make them quite versatile. When it comes to celebrating Dominican pride, the only limit is your own imagination!
Another Day, Another Site for a Dream Vacation: Sunset Dominican Republic T-Shirt
This is another gift that takes a subtle approach to Dominican pride. It’s a plain black t-shirt with a striking “golden hour” sunset printed within a jagged shape, and it’s only upon a closer look that you realize that shape is the outline of the Dominican Republic.
What’s more, the beach is a real beach that can be found on the island. Buy them this t-shirt to help them brag about the beauty of their country without being overt about it!
To Destroy Their Taste Buds: Caribbean Hot Sauce Gift Set
There’s hot sauce, and then there’s Caribbean hot sauce. The stuff that comes out of Latin America could be used to burn down entire cities! If you know someone who isn’t afraid of the heat, however, this three-piece gift set is sure to delight and inflame them.
The names of the bottles are “jerk,” “steak” and “hellfire.” You can also poke around at other gift sets that the manufacturer has to offer; those flavors include everything from a plain “pepper” to an elaborate “mango and ginger stir fry.
” Long story short, if you know someone who likes hot sauce, this is a present that will definitely blow their hair back.
When X Marks the Spot: Pirate Treasure Chest Storage Box
Are you looking for a unique way to wrap your gift? Consider this “treasure” box. It’ll function as a stronghold for all of a pirate’s bounty with its double collection of locks and keys as well as its rustic, vintage bronze design.
You can make your friend work for their gift, and as a bonus, they can use it for further storage when they take it home!
A Gender-Neutral Gift Option: Dominican Republic Heartbeat T-Shirt
Available in multiple cuts and colors, this t-shirt is one of those rare gifts that can be given to just about anyone. You can order it in a plain, gender-neutral black or in a distinctive pink or blue.
You can order it in both men’s and women’s fits. You can even order it with a youth cut! As long as their heart beats for the Dominican Republic just like the design implies, this t-shirt will work for them.
Bilingual Fun: Say It In Spanish Coffee Mug
Last but not least, if your gift recipient can curse like a sailor in English and Spanish, this coffee mug is sure to give them a laugh. It reads, “If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Say It In Spanish.
” They can use all of their favorite and most colorful phrases from the Dominican Republic whenever their boss demands another Monday morning meeting!
4 Tips and Tricks for Buying Dominican Presents
The Dominican Republic has a long, rich history, and this history is reflected in everything from the spirit of its people to the quality and craftsmanship of its goods. The only trouble is finding gifts that fully express it! If you need a little help to figure out which presents are the best ones, here’s a how-to guide to Dominican gifts to get you started.
1. Narrow Down Their Interests
Why do they like the Dominican Republic? If they’re a native, maybe they enjoy the foods and fashions and dominican republic gifts that remind them of home. If they’re a non-native, maybe they’ve traveled the Caribbean and think that Dominican beaches are the best. Everyone is different, so your gift should be equally unique. Whether they’re into art, culture, cuisine, history, language or popular media, try to find something that speaks to their own individual interests.
2. Do Your Research
One of the dangers associated with cultural gifts is that you might pick something unwittingly strange or offensive. For example, you might think it’s just a cool, old-fashioned flag, but it’s actually a flag from the days of colonization, and you’ll piss off anyone who is knowledgeable enough to know about it. Be careful with these kinds of things when shopping for Dominican gifts. Make sure that you won’t ruffle any feathers with a well-intentioned but poorly-chosen present.
3. Watch Out for Fakes and Scams
Is that pendant really blessed by Dominican priests? Is that cake really made by a struggling Dominican family with nothing to offer but love and abuela‘s old recipe? If it sounds too cliched to be true, it probably is. While there’s nothing wrong with looking for authentically made Dominican gifts, don’t let yourself get swindled by false claims that anyone can make. Be just as discerning about Dominican goods as you would be by something made in your native country.
4. Consider Customs
Most Dominican gifts can be freely shipped across the world, but you might run into issues with things like mamajuana if your country has restrictions on certain types of imports. You’ll also want to make sure that your perishable gifts won’t melt, break or expire while in transit. Again, this is an area where it’s good to do your research beforehand. How long does shipping take? What’s the customs process like? How can you protect your international packages?
These are just a few dominican republic gifts to wrap up the sun and surf of the Caribbean and put it in a box. What do you think of our Dominican gift ideas? Can you do better? Have you done better?
We’re always open to suggestions, to let us know if you have anything to add to our list!