On the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata is recognized as the main city for recreation (the full name is San Felipe de Puerto Plata). Its surroundings are rich in wonderful sandy beaches with promising opportunities for passive relaxation and active entertainment. The city attracts surfers, divers and the most ordinary tourists, who are vacationing alone or with large families. As in the entire Dominican Republic, in Puerto Plata the nature is very good, varied, exotic and disposes to one hundred percent rest.
Attractions Puerto Plata
In addition to golden beaches, mesmerizing landscapes and a heady air filled with aromas of tropical plants, Puerto Plata distinguished by its original architecture. There are noteworthy tourist sites associated with the centuries-old history of the city, founded at the end of the 15th century, and its distinctive culture.
Central Park Puerto Plata
The historic city center, or Central Park, as it most often called, a neat square with colonial buildings. From here, perhaps, it is worth starting your acquaintance with Puerto Plata. The old mansions well preserved. It can be seen with the naked eye that they properly kept. Most colonial buildings today house the administrative bodies of the municipal government. A walk among Victorian buildings, carved lanterns, luxurious palms and pretty benches is already a good thing. In addition, you can buy souvenirs on the square or find a local guide.
Address: Historical Center Puerto Plata, Puerto Plata.
Fort San Felipe
Fort San Felipe built to protect the city from attacks by Spanish pirates, and later, when they done away with, turned into a city prison. Today the fort, as it should be, has become a museum of architectural and historical value. It is the oldest colonial fortress in all of America and is a small structure that you can quickly explore. At the entrance, visitors given an audio guide with a choice of languages. If you know, for example, English, then this a good opportunity to briefly get acquainted with the rich history of these places, plunging into the times of the Caribbean pirates. Among other things, wonderful views open from the fortress walls.
Catedral san felipe
The Cathedral of Saint Philip is the main Catholic church in the province of Puerto Plata. It built at the beginning of the 16th century. But the cathedral that can be seen today is already a fairly new building, built in 1929, and the ancient temple, unfortunately, has not survived to this day. However, it is worth visiting the cathedral: it is a very quiet, cozy, small church with original interior decoration and beautiful stained-glass windows.
Address: Calle Jose del Carmen Ariza, Puerto Plata.
Malecon puerto plata
Malecon is a city promenade that stretches along the coast for several kilometers. A jogging track laid along the entire embankment for those who, even on vacation, keep themselves in good physical shape. There are dozens of cozy cafes and comfortable benches here. Nice place for evening walks.
Address: Malecon, Puerto Plata.
Amber Museum is a small amber museum, the second in the Dominican Republic (the first and larger is in Santo Domingo). The exposition of the museum presents unique exhibits collected on the “amber coast”, as the coast of Puerto Plata often called. Here you can see natural pieces of amber of the most incredible shades: from pale yellow to bright blue and even black specimens. The museum also has beautiful amber items created by the hands of local craftsmen. But the most remarkable exhibits, which you will not see anywhere else, ancient insects forever frozen in resin, fragments of plants that you cannot find on earth today, and even small lizards and frogs.
for adults – RD $ 50 ($ 1.1);
for children – free admission.
Address: 61 Duarte St, Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata.
Entertainment, excursions in Puerto Plata
Just like other resorts in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata has surf schools, dive centers, rope towns and all the possibilities for jeep safaris, horseback riding and hiking excursions. Travel agencies that provide these services are not difficult to find. But the city also has original entertainment that can only be found here. Here we will talk about them further.
Mount isabel de torres
Isabel de Torres is the highest (about 800 meters) mountain in Puerto Plata, as well as the Botanical Garden, a conservation area and a symbol of the city. You can go on an excursion on your own. You can climb the mountain on foot, overcoming all the nuances of hiking through the rainforest. This is an option for the most extreme. You can just come by car, but keep in mind that in some places the rise is quite steep, so you need to be one hundred percent confident in the power of the car when going up, as well as in the serviceability of the brakes when descending.
The most popular way to transport tourists to Mount Isabel is the cable car, which has already become a local attraction in itself. Two cable car cabins, designed for twenty people each, with only standing places (this is so that tourists can move freely from window to window), smoothly floating between heaven and earth, provide their passengers with the opportunity to take a good look around and take unforgettable photos of exciting soul landscapes.
Upstairs, tourists greeted by a smaller copy of the Brazilian statue of Christ the Savior (a gift to the city from the Brazilian authorities), a cafe, a souvenir shop and again wonderful views of the city, the sea and neighboring resorts, opening from the observation deck, where telescopes are prepared. But the main thing that deserves attention on Mount Isabelle is an amazing botanical garden or, rather, a tropical rain forest with thousands of rare plants and exotic birds. An iron argument for visiting the reserve the fact that it was here that some scenes from the movie “Jurassic Park” filmed.
Funicular Fare: RD $ 225 ($ 5);
from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Address: Manolo Tavárez Justo, Las Flores, Puerto Plata.
You can hardly find the same entertainment anywhere else. It vaguely resembles a water park, except that Mother Nature herself created the slides here.
The unique cascading waterfall consists of 27 steps, which must first be conquered by climbing on foot or using rope ladders. As a reward for the efforts made – sliding, diving, swimming and jumping from a seven-meter height under the supervision of trained guides.
For safety, the participants are provided with helmets and life jackets. Children allowed to climb only the first stage of the cascade. Adults offered the choice of conquering seven, twelve or twenty-seven steps with an appropriate fee. Naturally, the participants must be in pretty decent physical shape. It recommended that you use very comfortable shoes and take extra clothes with you, as will have to get wet to the thread. For a fee, you can order a photo or video of your adventures. The shots are quite impressive.
1- from 1 to 7 – RD $ 230 ($ 5.1);
2- from 1 to 12 – RD $ 260 ($ 5.8);
3- from 1 to 27 steps – RD $ 350 ($ 7.8).
Official website: www.27charcos.com
Ocean world adventure park
Ocean World Oceanarium is a place where you can not only look at dolphins during the show, but also swim with them, as well as pet a seal or a real shark. In addition, there is a zoo with tigers, iguanas and tropical birds. And in the evenings, entertainment programs for adults begin, lasting until the morning: a bright dance show Bravissimo, discos, casinos and restaurants.
Address: Calleprincipal # 3 | Cofresi, Puerto Plata.
The brugal rum factory
The Brugal distillery is the largest producer of the rum of the same name, which made the Dominican Republic famous as the best supplier of this drink all over the world. The largest factory of the Brugal plant, located in Puerto Plata, receives tourists every day who want to learn the history of rum, see the process of the miraculous transformation of sugar cane into an aromatic drink and, finally, taste the result of production. In the factory store, rum sold at manufacturer’s price (from RD $ 450 ($ 10) per bottle). By the way, you can make the famous Cuba Libre cocktail yourself by mixing Brugal rum with cola. If, instead of cola, you add lemon fizzy to it, you get another cocktail called Santa Libre.
Address: Avenida Manolo Tavarez Justo, Puerto Plata.
An excursion to Yasipark is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the authentic world of the traditional life of ordinary people in an ordinary Dominican village for a couple of hours. Tourists offered to visit a cheese dairy and a poultry farm, learn how to wash clothes in the river, like a simple Dominican peasant woman, taste local coffee, a hand-made cigar and the national alcoholic drink Mamahuana. All this takes place in a real village, located in an amazing garden among exotic plants.
Opening hours: from 9:00 to 17:00.
Adults – RD $ 1,120 ($ 25);
Children under 12 years old – RD $ 445 ($ 10);
for children under 6 years old – free.
Location: between Puerto Plata and Santiago.
How to get to Puerto Plata?
Gregorio Luperon International Airport is located 10 kilometers from Puerto Plata, which receives connecting flights.
The best way to get from Santo Domingo is the Caribe Tours intercity bus. The ride will take 4 hours and cost RD $ 330 ($ 7.4).
If you arrive on a direct flight to Punta Cana airport, the road will look a little more difficult. First you need to get to the bus station in Bavaro. This done by taxi for RD $ 450 ($ 10). From there, you need to take a ticket for the Bavaro Express intercity bus to Santo Domingo. The way to the capital of the Dominican Republic will take 3 hours in time, and in terms of money it will cost RD $ 300 ($ 7). From Santo Domingo, proceed to your final destination as described above. Another caveat: if you late for the Bavaro – Santo Domingo bus (the last bus leaves at 16:00), it recommended to book a hotel room in advance for an overnight stay.
Puerto Plata Restaurants
Traditional dishes or modern novelties, local delicacies or delights of Italian, Mexican, European, American cuisine – in the gastronomic establishments of Puerto Plata there is an answer to any question, delicious food even for the most sophisticated gourmets. Particularly noteworthy are the grilled seafood dishes and the local fish and chips.
Le Papillon restaurant has a cozy atmosphere of a country house, which seems to be a favorite place for pirates – the original interior, made in a nautical style, can tell about this. Don’t be surprised that local chef Thomas wears a tunic. This smiling, good-natured guy worked for a long time as a real cook on a cruise ship. At Le Papillon you can order Caesar salad, Calypso shrimp cocktail, dough snails, onion pie, chicken breast stuffed with shrimp in saffron sauce and many other familiar and unfamiliar international dishes.
Address: Villas Cofresi, Puerto Plata.
Los tres cocos
Los Tres Cocos a modern restaurant set in beautiful tropical gardens. In the evenings, a romantic atmosphere emerges here in an imperceptible way, conducive to an unforgettable dinner. It’s nice that the food here is no worse, and the service leaves the very best impressions. The choice of dishes is quite varied: juicy ribs and tender salmon, tuna, shrimp, fish dishes. Vegetarians can opt for a wonderful arugula salad with goat cheese. The tasteful wine list serves as an excellent addition to the menu.
Address: Las Rocas Cofresi, Puerto Plata.
Le petit francois
The cute restaurant Le Petit Francois, located next to the beautiful Dorada beach, will help you to feel the peculiarities of the Caribbean cuisine. Here you can dine in a relaxed atmosphere on the outdoor terrace overlooking the seascape. The menu includes fried chicken, smoked pork, parrotfish and other seafood, pork or chicken mofongos. In addition to the main order, it recommended to try a vitamin smoothie of three tropical fruits of your choice, to which you can add vodka, rum or protein to your taste. In addition to traditional Caribbean dishes, you can order pizza, chicken wings, burgers or nachos.
Address: Plaza el Pueblito Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata.
Puerto Plata Accommodation
It is not difficult to find a hotel in Puerto Plata in accordance with your preferences and financial capabilities. It has everything a classic beach resort can have, from luxury five-star hotels to humble hostels. Naturally, the principle “the closer to the sea, the more expensive” on this coast has not been canceled. Most hotels with a decent price tag proudly have their own pieces of precious beach and beach clubs, but guests of inexpensive hotels and the aforementioned hostels will have to stroll to public beaches, which should not darken the long-awaited vacation, because the beaches here are simply gorgeous.
Casa Colonial Beach & Spa *****
Casa Colonial is an elite hotel located on the quiet Dorada beach. The building built in a colonial style, and in the decor of the rooms, which offer stunning views of the turquoise waters of the Atlantic. The hotel has a magnificent swimming pool, spa with Turkish hammam and sauna, gym, tennis court, restaurant with excellent food and service.
Rooms’ fares range from RD $ 10,500 ($ 235) to RD $ 30,000 ($ 670) per night.
Address: Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata.
Iberostar Costa Dorada ****
The Iberostar Costa Dorada is a beautiful hotel with a romantic atmosphere, a cozy territory, a park where you can meet peacocks, flamingos and even turtles. The hotel has its own well-groomed beach area, swimming pool and spa center. In addition to delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves fresh juices and ice cream. The level of service at the hotel is commendable. In the evenings, a nightclub on site, and in the afternoon, cheerful entertainers are engaged in guests’ leisure.
Room rates range from RD $ 6,550 ($ 146) to RD $ 16,115 ($ 359) per night.
Address: Carretera Luperon km 4, Marapica, Costa Dorada, Puerto Plata.
Club Hotel Riu Bachata ***
The Club Hotel Riu Bachata a fine example of a reasonably priced, all-inclusive club hotel. Comfortable rooms with beautiful pictures outside the window, a cozy beach, a swimming pool, a restaurant with a varied menu, a tennis court, a gym and even a casino – everything for a pleasant stay. Babysitting services are available for families with children.
Room rates range from RD $ 5,340 ($ 119) to RD $ 11,670 ($ 260) per night.
Address: Bahia de Maimon, Puerto Plata.