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Larimar Mine/Dominican Republic

Introducing Larimar Mine

All larimar in the DR – and, indeed, the world – comes from this one mine. Discovered in 1974 by Miguel Méndez, the name comes from Larissa (Méndez’s daughter) plus mar (sea). Its scientific name is blue pectolite.

The mining operations are done not by a large mining concern but by a small collective of individual miners. You can visit the mines and even go down some of the mine shafts. A small group of basic shacks sells cut-rate larimar jewelry at the mine, and a few no-name eateries sell food and drink to the miners.

To get there, look for the turn-off in the small hamlet of El Arroyo, 13km south of Barahona (3km north of Bahoruco). There’s no sign, but there is a European Commission sign referring to the mine. It’s an hour’s drive on a rough road (4WD absolutely required). Ecotour Barahona offers a tour here (US$75). Alternatively, take a gua-gua to the turn-off early in the morning; you may be able to hitchhike in with one of the miners.