Come and explore Puerto Plata and the sizzling beach towns of Cabarete, Cofresi and Sosúa, where rich culture and history mingle with delicious gastronomy, warm Dominican people, lively music and magical ecotourism activities. The enchanting Puerto Plata province along Dominican Republic’s North Coast features nearly 50 miles (80 km) of coastline as well as a variety of resorts, hotels and condominiums to suit every need and budget. It’s no wonder the area beckons free spirits who seek eco- adventure and stylish pampering, and want to participate in the joyous Dominican way of life. Christopher Columbus first arrived in this area on his first voyage to the Americas and the Island of Hispaniola in 1492. Upon his arrival, he named the region Puerto Plata (Silver Port in Spanish) due to the sparkling reflection of the sun from the pristine ocean waters along the coastline and mountains. Also known as the Amber Coast for its rich and rare amber, Puerto Plata is situated on the outskirts of Mount Isabel de Torres where the warm waters and perfect trade winds make this area the renowned wind sports and kite boarding capital of the world. It is also the home to Ocean World Marine Park, the Fort San Felipe, Brugal Rum Factory and more delightful attractions. And, if pampering and relaxation is what you desire, the region’s hotels and resorts deliver. The sparkling ivory-colored sand and crystal-clear blue ocean water catch the attention of visitors, but the winds, watersports and active pace of the province keep them coming back for more. The North Coast features beaches that provide enough wind to keep windsport enthusiasts enthralled and others that offer peaceful tranquility for those looking to take it easy.
The following guide to Puerto Plata includes descriptions of the amazing attractions, accommodations and ecoadventures that await you. Puerto Plata is located on Dominican Republic’s North Coast where the Atlantic Ocean meets this magnificent natural region’s pristine beaches that lead to lush green valleys and palm covered mountains. Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the large island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Republic of Haiti, and is the second largest country in the Caribbean, comprising an area of 29,948 square miles (48,198 km). The country has a population of more than 9.5 million and enjoys sunny tropical weather year-round with average temperatures from 78° to 88° F (25° to 31 C°). The cooler season is November through April, while it is warmest from May through October.
time: The local time zone is Eastern Caribbean Time (GMT -0400). Dominican Republic does not observe daylight savings time.
Capita l City: Dominican Republic’s historic and sophisticated capital city, Santo Domingo, is the oldest city of the New World and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.
Language: Spanish is the official language, however, you’ll be surprised by the fact that the majority of employees in hotels and tourist destinations speak relatively good English, French, German and Italian.
Currency: The Dominican peso (RD$) is the official currency.
Getting Here: Dominican Republic currently has eight international airports. The main ones serving the Puerto Plata area are Gregorio Luperón International Airport in Puerto Plata and El Cibao International Airport, located in Santiago, one hour south of Puerto Plata. Maritime Ports that regularly receive cruiseships include: Santo Domingo Port (Don Diego and Sans Souci terminals), Casa de Campo Port in La Romana and Samaná Bay facilities.
Documentation : For most visitors, a passport along with a US$ 10 Tourist Card (available at the airport) is required to enter the country. For a list of countries that can enter Dominican Republic without a visa, please visit:
Electricity: Operates at 110 Volts/60 Hertz, the same as North America.
Taxes: Dominican hotels and restaurants collect 26 percent of their published prices (16 percent sales tax + 10 percent service charge).
Medical Precautions: Travelers visiting the country are advised to drink only bottled water. Also, because of the strength of the Caribbean sun, it is recommended that vacationers drink water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
Drinking Age: The legal drinking age in the country is 18 years old.
HOTELS: For information about Dominican Republic hotels, visit the Association of Hotels and Tourism:
27 Falls of Damajagua – For only the most adventurous, hike and scale a series of spectacular waterfalls with the forest canopy above you and crystal clear water below. Feel your senses come alive as you experience nature’s perfect waterpark, the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua. Courageous visitors can jump, slide and swim down natural water chutes or jump in peaceful pools. Experience is not necessary, although only swimmers are encouraged to participate. Visit: www.27charcos.com.
Amber Museum – Housed in an incredible epitome of Victorian architecture known as Villa Bentz, the Amber Museum boasts a unique collection of valuable Dominican amber dating back millions of years. The Amber Museum offers guided tours in several languages. Museum displays detail how amber was formed and even how the insects in the stone inspired the film jurassic Park. For more information.
Victorian Architecture – Downtown Puerto Plata is known for its gorgeous late 19th and early 20th century preserved Victorian homes and public buildings garnered with gingerbread motifs, wooden lace filigree and pastel colors. Visitors can admire turn-of-the century charm while they take a stroll in the heart of the city, which is decorated with some of the most beautiful Victorian architecture.
San Felipe Fort – In 1541, Spaniards began constructing the Fort of San Felipe in order to protect Puerto Plata from pirates and other intruders. The fort was completed in 1577, making it the oldest standing structure in Puerto Plata and the only remnant of the colonial time architecture.
Mount Isabel de Torres & Cable Car Ride – Visitors can experience breathtaking scenery of Puerto Plata from Moun sabel de Torres. A thrilling 10-minute cable car ride takes passengers up 2,656 feet (810 meters) through misty clouds to the mountain top with spectacular views along the way. The short ride up rewards visitors with lush exotic flowers that flourish atop in its botanical gardens with many walking paths. At the peak, iders can get a close up look at a statue of Christ he Redeemer, a smaller replica of the Rio de Janeiro landmark.