The DR is known for producing some of the clearest and oldest amber in the world, mined in Puerto Plata. Tour amber mines where the stone is unearthed, in the hills of La Cumbre, passing entrances to holes that run 61 meters deep (200 feet), and watch workers reappear with stones in hand.
The Dominican Republic is known for two major precious and semi-precious stones you will see polished and sold in jewelry stores around the country: amber and larimar. Dominican amber—which was first offered to Columbus on his arrival in 1492, and later made famous in Jurassic Park—is mined on the north coast, in the hills of La Cumbre, the only place where blue amber is found.
The hills of Bahoruco produce the larimar stone—a blue-colored, semi-precious stone found only in the southwest of the DR and nowhere else in the world. Hiking excursions to mining regions are offered year round. Explore the grounds while the men are at work, as they enter and exit the underground with raw stones they’ve just extracted. While on tour, you can purchase unpolished stones directly from one of the recommended miners.
For more history, visit the amber museums in Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, and La Romana.
Gem Hunting in
Follow the jewel trail north or south, where precious stones—from amber to larimar—are unearthed from the Dominican Republic’s soil.
In the heart of Bahoruco’s mountains, these mines are the only place in the world where larimar is found–a semi-precious, turquoise-colored stone. Explore the mining area and witness workers climbing back out of holes–running as deep as 40 meters (150 feet)–with raw larimar stones.
Some of the DR’s stunning amber stones are displayed here. View closeups of stones containing a near 43-centimeter (17-inch) lizard, a scorpion, a centipede, wasp’s nests, and two beetles mating, all of which date back to 15 to 20 million years