Puerto Plata Tourist Attractions
Puerto Plata, the hub of the northern coast has local street life and quaint gingerbread houses, but is dominated by a series of all-inclusive resorts.This was the first custom-built tourist destination in the Dominican Republic. Its narrow beige-sand beaches display an array of water sports kiosks, deck chairs and loud-speakers broadcasting the island's Merengue music.In the center of town are the Church of San Felipe, Independence Park with its restored gazebo and General Gregorio Luperón Monument.
Mount Isabel de Torres
Puerto Plata's most impressive geographic feature, 780m/2,600 ft Mount Isabel can be reached after a seven minute cable car ride up the nearly vertical slope.In addition to the views from the top are botanical gardens, a statue of Christ similar to the one in Río de Janeiro, and a restaurant.
Botanical Garden & Statue of Christ the Redeemer
A manicured botanical garden is dominated by a colossal statue of Christ reminiscent of the one overlooking Río de Janeiro. At the base of the statue are a crafts center and a view over Puerto Plata.
Amber Museum of Puerto Plata
The Amber Museum of Puerto Plata, set in a Victorian mansion, features a large display of amber specimens. Amber is the Dominican Republic's designated national gem.
A short drive from Puerto Plata are the Damajagua waterfalls / cascades. These are a series of 27 waterfalls that visitors can do on a guided 'tour', which involves hiking, climbing ladders, and sliding, swimming and jumping down the falls while wearing helmets and lifejackets. There is a fee and guides are required. Children of a reasonable age can also enjoy this experience. There are tours of varying length that take in more or less waterfalls depending on your preference.There is a visitors center and restaurant on site.
Fort San Felipe
Fuerte San Felipe is Puerto Plata's only remaining colonial structure and one of the first European forts to be constructed in the Americas.The 16th C fort is ringed by a moat and inside its 2.4m/ 8ft-thick walls are historical artifacts, and a small museum. It was built to ward off French and English pirates and later used as a prison for political dissidents.At night the fort is outlined in lights.
Ocean World Adventure Park
Ocean World Adventure Park in Puerto Plata is a water park that allows visitors to interact with marine life. Guests can swim with dolphins, play with sea lions, pet sharks and stingrays, and snorkel with tropical fish. The park also offers aquarium style viewing of marine life as well as tigers, and birds.
The Malecón is an ocean-side road featuring numerous cafes and small restaurants. On weekends road-side vendors prepare snacks and music blares along this promenade good for people watching.
Puerto Plata's Cultural Festival
Puerto Plata's Surroundings
The area surrounding Puerto Plata has the highest concentration of Dominican tourism. The seaside towns of Cabarete and Playa Dorada have excellent beaches and bars.
The Playa Dorada is a huge resort complex of set on an attractive beach with numerous hotels and thousands of rooms for visitors. There are also dozens of restaurants, a shopping center and a Robert Trent Jones golf course.
Sosúa is a village known for its multilingual and cosmopolitan character. It offers idyllic beaches, guest houses, hotels and cafés. In 1940, it became a refuge for about 600 European Jews who settled here to start a new life. They developed Sosúa's renowned dairy industry. The original synagogue still stands.
Cabarete has a bay with 6km/3.7mi of white-sand beach and is considered one of the best in the world for windsurfing. Cabarete offers hotels and condominiums and a prosperous community life.
La Isabela is the ruin of one of the first Spanish settlements in the New World believed to have been founded by Columbus c 1494.
Magante offers secluded bathing beaches with modern well-equipped hotels and holiday apartments plus a horseback riding facility.
Plaza Turisol Complex in Puerto Plata, the largest shopping center on the north coast, has many different upscale outlets.