Puerto Plata is located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic and it is one of the best tourist destinations on the island. This city is the oldest city on the north coast of the country and is a pioneer for tourism to the Dominican Republic. Nestled by the ocean with a mountainous backdrop, the city offers a lively pier, which is known as the Malecon, colorful shops, and opulent homes from the 1800s. The city is famous for Parque Independencia (also known as Parque Central), a park fringed by royal palms and Victorian architecture. In Puerto Plata, you can hop on a cable car for sky-high views, take a tour of the local cacao farms, and buy some of the clearest amber in the world.
THINGS TO DO IN PUERTO PLATA:
VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Monte Isabel de Torres is about 2,600 feet above sea level and crowned by a statue of Christ. Head to the stunning botanical gardens or enjoy the hiking trails. Feel like a ride? Take a cable car to the very top of the mountain for panoramic views.
One of the most popular beaches in Puerto Plata, Sosua is a stretch of fluffy sand with gorgeous transparent waters ideal for swimming and snorkelling. There are also several busy restaurants and bars nearby to enjoy after your time on the beach.
CASA DE CULTURA:
La Casa de la Cultura is a three-story Victorian house and home to the local arts — don’t miss out on all of the events and exhibits that take place here. It has a contemporary art gallery, a library and a store which sells local art and books.
Puerto Plata is famous for the production of the oldest, most translucent amber in the world and you can set those amber stones in any type of jewelry, taking a piece of Puerto Plata with you. There’s also plenty of shopping in Playa Dorada, which is a complex stocking bottles of mamajuana (a local drink), beachwear and local fruits.
- One of the most popular dishes of Puerto Plata and of the Dominican Republic is known as bandera dominicana, or the “Dominican flag”. This dish contains a medley of rice, beans, meat or fish, salad, and fried plantains. Many families in the Dominican Republic have this meal daily for lunch. Its simplicity and heartyness makes for a wonderful meal.
- This dish is flavourful marinated chicken that is breaded and fried. It has a distinct flavor because the meat is marinated in a bouquet of spices for an entire day. The spices include beer, sweet paprika, thyme, oregano, black pepper, and tarragon.
- Mamajuana is not a dish, but rather the most famous traditional drink of the Dominican Republic. Made with a combination of rum, red wine, and an assortment of herbs, honey and tree bark, this liquor was regarded as herbal medicine. It was created in the 1950s by Jesus Rodriguez and it was reported to aid digestion and circulation, and cleanse the blood, liver and kidneys.
DOMINICAN PESO (DOP). NOTE: Be careful how much money you choose to exchange into Dominican pesos while on the island. Travelers are only allowed to change back up to 30% of one’s pesos for foreign currency upon departure. You will be given exchange receipts each time you change money during your stay, so keep them if you need to change back for dollars, pounds, etc!
You can find more information on Puerto Plata at the official Royal Caribbean website here.