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Punta Cana Airport Adventure – Duty free

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Posted 29 Mar '17 from Canada with 15 ratings

I’ve just came back from a relaxing trip to the Dominican Republic. Before leaving, I read on some Trip Advisor forum, that the duty free at the Punta Cana airport sold mostly international rums. With that in mind, I used my Rum Ratings wish list to tag Dominican rums that are not available in Canada and that I could hopefully bring back (Ron Quorhum 30-year please rum gods!!).

At the various shops near my hotel, all I could find was low-mid priced Brugal and Barcelo rums. Fearing I couldn’t buy any Dominican rums at the airport, I purchased a Brugal Leyanda at the hotel boutique for 30 USD (was priced 38 in the system, but ticket on box was 30 :) ).

Time to go back the cold…. On the return shuttle, I saw a big LiquorMart which I’m certain I will visit on my next trip.

After going through customs, I am dynamically greeted by a nice duty-free shop sales clerk. I tell him I’m looking for some Dominican rums. A few minutes later I’m tasting mango flavored rums and chocolate vodkas. He was really pushing hard to sell me some unknown Barbados rum, that he swore was made by a Dominican Republic company. After reading the bottle carefully, I saw a little warning on the bottle that there was some added caramel color in that ‘rum’. I repeated to the clerk that I’m looking for Dominican Rums like Brugal and Barcelo and he says he didn’t have any.

After escaping the clerk, I finally found the international rum section. There’s plenty of popular choices (no Dominican). Zacapa, Havana Club, Flor de cana, Appleton… you get the idea. I ended up buying a Havana Club Selección de Maestros for 49 USD.

After exiting the duty-free, disappointed I couldn’t get any Dominican rums, I kneel to pack my new Cuban nectar in my cabin baggage, raise my eyes, and behold the ‘Punta Cana Para ti’ boutique! This is a second duty-free boutique, but this one mostly carries Dominican products. Mamajuana, coffee, vanilla, honey, etc… They carry the full range of Brugal and Barcelo rums (even Papa Andres). I bought a Barcelo Imperial Onyx, which is not available in Canada for 57 USD.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the most wanted rums I was looking forward to bring back, but I’m still satisfied with what I brought back. Having know that there was a second Dominican only boutique, I would’ve purchased all my rums there.

Hopefully this experience can help others.

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From United Kingdom with 140 ratings Replied 14 Apr '17

I travel all the time and it seems like a large corporation as taken over most of the airport duty free shops. Now they all look great and new, but they rarely stock local items including rum :(

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From Canada with 22 ratings Replied 5 Jan '19

Heading to Punta Cana Jan 24 and will be on the hunt for uber premiums. Any suggestions or tips is well appreciated!

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From Canada with 11 ratings Replied 13 Jan '19

Sorry about that I touch the wrong button . Make sure you go to a major centre as it is a lot cheaper at a supermarket then at a resort when I was there a couple of years back they wanted $30 for a bottle of brute gal extra I went into town and Putah Canna and I got a gallon for 22 bucks or maybe it was 29

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From Canada with 22 ratings Replied 13 Jan '19

Thanks for the suggestion. I actually did some internet snooping and found a few real gems at a supermarcado approx 13 miles from the resort district. Brugal Siglo de Oro ($80), Brugal Leyenda ($25), Ron Cubaney Cenenario ($116) and Unhiq XO ($80). Prices are converted to CDN from Dom Peso and are approximate based on images I found. Still, even if 10% more still a bargain. Planning on a bottle of Leyenda for consuming while there.
Really hoping not to pay (too much) duty on returning. Always brought back 3 bottles from trips with no issue, maybe 4 with a smile from the rum God's🙄

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From Canada with 22 ratings Replied 2 Feb '19

Well, I just returned from Punta Cana and made a nice collective purchase (don't know how to post pics here?).
Brugal Siglo de Oro
Ron Cubaney Centenario
Ron Barcelo 30 anjeo
Unhiq XO
Plus, I picked up and consumed there, the Brugal Leyanda (did a review). Not what I was hoping for, still enjoyable but glad I didn't use up a spot in the luggage.
While there, I also enjoyed sampling the Brugal 1888 and many glasses of the Ron Barcelo Imperial. Both were excellent sipping rums, with subtle flavours.
All my purchases were made from the National grocery store, just a few blocks from the Punta Cana airport.
Prices were at least 30% less than the airport. Airport prices were around 30-40% less than the resort.
The resort store wanted $235US for the Ron Barcel 30 anjeo, where I paid $87 at the grocer.

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Graham Davie

From United Kingdom with 54 ratings Replied 2 Feb '19

Hi all, in Punta Caña airport last year on way home, I was also not impressed with the “duty free” selection.
Wandering around the area I bit miffed I also stumbled across “ the little everything Dom Rep “ area.
Picked up Optimus 18 for 55 US
Agree with every one else, look around local shops/stores and pick up bargains.
Enjoy graham.

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