Buying souvenirs from the places we visit is a way to make sure the trip never ends. During your trip to Punta Cana, you will be fascinated with every detail of your surroundings, wanting to buy products as a reminder of your experience. However, there are some items and elements that we shouldn’t get if we want to be environmentally friendly.
Let’s see which items you shouldn’t buy when shopping or take from nature in Punta Cana.
WHICH PRODUCTS WE SHOULD NOT BUY OR TAKE FROM THE BEACH
The Dominican Republic offers a wide variety of products of great value that you can buy as typical souvenirs from Punta Cana. However, there are some items of protected species of flora and fauna that we shouldn’t buy or take from nature.
Coral reefs are one of the most precious assets on the planet and close to 60% are endangered as a result of human activities. Among the main threats is the extraction of coral, therefore we must always practice environmentally responsible tourism during our trips and water activities.
In Punta Cana, some stores and establishments are authorized to sell coral. If you want to buy it as a souvenir, it is important that you go to these establishments and under no circumstances should you carry coral in your suitcase that’s been taken directly from the beach or bought without certification.
Just like with coral, only a few stores are authorized to sell conch shells. The conch encompasses four different species of mollusks, whose enormous shells are very attractive as a souvenir from Punta Cana. It is a protected species that also require a protected habitat for its survival.
A very common practice in Punta Cana is to remove starfish. This is a bad practice that is not allowed in the country and that also has a significant impact on the island’s natural environment. For the same reason, we must also be very careful when buying them and make sure to not acquire them in stores that don’t have the appropriate licenses.
The turtle is a protected species, so it is forbidden to purchase items made from their shells. The Dominican government promotes the protection of sea turtles, understanding it as a “moral commitment”: Thus, one of the country’s main sanctuaries is in Mano Juan, Saona Island. Three species of sea turtles have their nests here: the green, leatherback and hawksbill turtles. The latter is the most important and there are usually more than 25 females who nest here every year.
Many traditional products are highly recommended to take back as a gift from your trip. If you are thinking about where to go shopping in Punta Cana, there are exceptional places where you can buy the most representative products of this region, such as Taino handicrafts or precious stones, thus avoiding purchasing any of the protected species.