Housed in a fine Victorian mansion with an interesting history of its own, the Amber Museum (Museo de Ambar Dominicano) is worth a visit to see some rare and fascinating amber pieces and to understand more about this semi-precious gem.
Formed out of the fossilized resin of ancient trees some 25 to 40 million years ago, the resin (that in its pressed form becomes amber) perfectly preserved whatever it covered. Amber-covered fossils, such as insects and plant remains are still being discovered today.
There are thousands of specimens at the Amber Museum, but one of its finest has to be a perfectly conserved 40cm (15.8in) lizard encased in a 42.5cm (16.7in) length of amber.
The entire collection has good bi-lingual signage and English and Spanish-speaking guides are available to take you through the museum and relay the story of the Bentz family, the original owners of the mansion.
It was a great trip. We weren't rushed at all. I just wish we could truly see more of the city. Visiting 3 different jewelry shops was not my idea of a city tour at all. I would not by this option again or recommend it until that changes.
I gave it a 3 stars rating to be generous. Most of the time is spent in rum and jewelry factories that mask the store trying to sell the products. It is like going shopping experience, even thought the amber and Larimar museums are nice to see. There was no lunch includded, even thought it was mentioned like part of the deal. The best part for me was the visit to the city center and the cable car ride with amazing views. I would recommend adding more sightseen of the beautiful Puerto Plata area and surroundings, and less shopping experience.
Very nice tour. We saw alot of different places. Be aware of the people who act as security at the church area....they offer to take your pictures but want "tipped" for it afterwards.
Don't be duped into buying amber off the street if it's cheap - it's highly unlikely to be the real deal. Dominican amber is considered to be the finest in the world and has a price tag to match.
The Amber Museum is in Puerto Plata's center, two blocks southeast of Central Park.