If there is one place I know well in Punta Cana, it is the Galerias at Punta Cana Village. Every Saturday promptly at 9:00 A.M., I would board a bus chartered by my employer, Cap Cana Heritage School, to go to the Galerias at Punta Cana Village for my family's weekly grocery shopping at Supermercado Nacional. At first I found it to be a fun weekend "outing" to shop and spend time with similar carless colleagues. However overtime its luster faded, finding myself electing to rent cars from the Punta Cana Airport to fufill my shopping needs. Despite this change in transportation, the Galerias at Punta Cana Village remained my preference over other shopping locales as San Juan Shopping Center and Palma Real Mall.
Galerias at Punta Cana Village maintains a pleasing disposition to the eye. The buildings are crafted in the typical style and pastel colors one learns to love about the Dominican Republic. A long path is hugged by small restaurants of various ethnicities (Mexican, Spanish, Italian, Chinese) and boutique shops selling such goods as home furnishings and beach wares. The west end of the Galeria opens up to a Five Points Sheridan, Wendy's fast food, a car rental office, clinic, and banks. One finds the supermarket on the east end called Nacional along with a pharmacy and playground. Parking is ample facing the main road that connects with the airport and northeast of Nacional. It is quite easy to spend a lazy or rainy afternoon in the confines of the Galeria without becoming incessantly bored eating, drinking, shopping, and just bumming around.
I must say that Supermercado Nacional has improved in the eight months that I have been here. My wife and I tend to eat gluten-free and at first this was a bit of a challenge to uphold. Over time more and more gluten-free items have found their way onto the shelves. Now one can find flours from Portland's Bob's Red Mill and a brand called Full Circle puts out a lot of GF products. Be prepared to spend well-above what is typical for the same gluten-free goods in the United States. For those not worried about gluten, the grocery regularly bakes fresh breads that are absolutely yummy to the taste. Meat and seafood are abundant as well, although not at the level I would expect being so close to the ocean. A colleague commented that this was due to the waters being over-fished which I could not tell you if this is true or not.
Packages and Proximity
The Galerias is also the spot to receive packages both domestically and internationally. The Dominican Republic doesn't have a national postal system per se. To circumvent this, companies such as Vimenpaq and DHL set up a receiving station in Doral, Florida. From there packages are brought to their stores in the Galerias where recipients can pick them up. This works for packages only and not cards. If the latter is sent it most likely will never make it to its final destination. The Galerias at Punta Cana Village are at an excellent proximity to the Punta Cana International Airport being literally two minutes away by car. So it easy to stop in to the Galerias coming from the airport or popping in there on your way back home.