Next to last post about the Dominican Republic. I had plans to finish all my Dominican Republic related posts by June, but I’m one post shy of that, which is okay. I don’t often stick to my plans, so an almost is good enough for now. Continuing on…
Museo Mundo de Ambar, located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
(Amber World Museum)
Museo Mundo de Ambar is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm, and Sunday from 9am to 1pm. Admission to the museum is 50RD, which roughly equates to 1-2USD depending on exchange rate. The setup of the Amber World museum is very similar to other store-museums in the Dominican Republic in that visitors have to pass through the store first in order to see the museum. The difference between Amber World museum and other store-museums is that this one actually generates an income (the 50RD admission), thus there are more exhibits, which are more thorough, then other store-museums. Although a bit further away from the main tourist area in the Zona Colonial, it is still easily accessible via walking if you are in the area. Another way to reach the museum is by taxi (especially if you are outside of the Zona Colonial).
Amber World museum is located on the second floor of a two story building; there’s a small store on the first floor. The first exhibit gives visitors an overview on amber; its origins and mythologies, how it is formed, what its properties are and what it is used for. Amber is a fossilized tree resin that started as a soft, sticky substance that hardened into a solid material over time. Since amber started as a soft resin, sometimes insects and/or plants get trapped in the amber. The Baltic region contains the largest known deposit of amber, hence most amber originates from the area and is known as Baltic amber. In the Sala Hormigas aka Ant room, visitors can see a variety of amber with ants trapped inside.
In the Sala Dominicana, visitors can learn about Dominican amber. Dominican amber originates from the Dominican Republic, and comes in a variety of colors, the most distinctive being a blue color. In addition to the learning about the characteristics of Dominican amber, visitors can learn about what types of remains are typically found inside. Fake amber is very commonplace, and the museum has a small display on how to distinguish between real and fake amber using salt water; real amber will float, whereas the fakes will sink. The next exhibit is “Siete Cañadas”, which has a variety of amber on display from the Yanigua formation. (The Yanigua formation is a geological formation in the Dominican Republic.)
My travel buddy and I spent about 30 minutes at the museum. The museum isn’t that big, but there is plenty of information, so I feel I could have probably spent a total of 1 hour maximum if I took more time to read and look more thoroughly. As always, others will spend more or less time depending on their interest. (We visited around the same time as a tour group did, and they spent about 5 minutes only, so the time frame will vary per person. On a side note, I don’t like tour groups much, they don’t give enough time to see anything properly, too much to do, too much rushing.) Anyone interested in learning about amber will have a blast, as will anyone who has interest in natural history or want to learn more about the Dominican Republic. Take a visit, maybe buy some amber and learn all about amber at the Museo Mundo de Ambar.