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.
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.