LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Shades of amber.

(Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic)

A week or two ago, we spent one full day sight-seeing on the “Amber Coast” of the Dominican Republic. Puerta Plata, as it’s more commonly known, is home to the Brugal Company Rum Factory and the Museo del Ambar.

Our second stop of the day (after first checking out the >>Christ statue<< at the top of Mount Isabel de Torres) was at the Brugal Company for a factory tour and rum sampling…at 10:00AM. Lol. It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, right? ;))

Nothing is more Dominican than street dogs, baseball, and sugar cane. Except maybe rum! So we of course wanted to check out the local rum while in the DR.

Unfortunately for us, Brugal does not allow any photography whatsoever inside the factory. That was like a massive slap in the face for me. No photos? Seriously? Talk about a major bummer. (I would’ve maybe tried to sneak a few anyway if the tour guide hadn’t told us he’d get fired if I took photos. And I do not need that on my conscience!)

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You’ll have to take our word for the factory tour, since there are no photos to prove it.  Turns out, this location is really just a bottling location and the actual distillery is at a different spot. The tour was free and somewhat brief since you’re only really viewing the factory floor from a mezzanine above as workers bottle and label the rum.

Regardless, it was definitely still neat to see, but again, no photos to show how cool the factory was. And clean! Spotless in fact.

The good news is that we were able to snap as many photos as my little heart desired in the Brugal rum shop and taste testing area, where we may or may not have purchased several bottles of the local favorite! We spent some quality time in the shop checking out all the different kinds of rum available for sale and tasting each one! To be honest, I can’t really tell the difference between the different ages/types of rum. Can you?

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After our little morning of rum tasting, we headed further into the city to check out the Museo del Ambar, or Amber Museum.

The historic museum is located in an old Victorian house in the middle of the city. Once we entered the main building and paid our 25 pesos a piece, an English-speaking guide led us through the museum exhibits.

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^^”A”mber “G”allery^^

And it was all very Jurassic Park esc. ;))

Little did we know, the Dominican Republic is somewhat unique in that amber can actually be found here. And not only that, there are as many as 10 different colors of amber to be found here in the DR, including the very rare blue amber. The quality of the Dominican amber is very well known around the world, but especially the pieces originating from the Puerto Plata area, which is considered to be some of the most valued, due to its transparency.

After a little rundown from our tour guide, we spent about 20 minutes checking out all the exhibits of amber rocks covering various little critters and nature. Pretty neat to see!

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^^Both^^ tours were ultra cheap and definitely worth checking out. Jer and I spent the rest of our day in Puerta Plata chowing on some local Dominican food, doing a quick stop at Fort San Felipe, wrapping up the day with a massive grocery shop at La Sirena (the DR’s version of Walmart), and hauling our La Sirena loot back to the boat via dinghy (which is never fun).

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream PuffJuly 21, 2014 - 9:57 pm

Glad you made it to PR safe and sound.

Ever think that the reason the DR sells so much rum to sailors is because they are either facing or have just sailed the Mona Passage ~ just sayin’

Don’t feel bad about the bucket. We both get seasick when in the washing machine. That motion is horrid.

We both love sailing at night under a full moon. But Mark’s favorite time is when there is no moon. He will lay on his back and count the shooting stars. So much for him keeping watch, huh!

Mark and Cindy – s/v Cream Puff
http://www.creampuff.us

LAHOWINDJuly 22, 2014 - 8:06 pm

Thanks guys! We needed a few drinks after 3 days at sea. Lol. :) -Kim