Puerto Plata is a fantastic beach destination located along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. There are 100,000+ hotel beds in the city to accommodate the crowds that pass through the city each year. Guests come from all over to stay at some of the city’s most famous resorts, such as Costa Dorada and Boca Chica. The tropical setting and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean enhance Puerto Plata’s appeal as a vacation destination. The city also happens to be the ninth largest in the country. In addition to its natural splendor, Puerto Plata is one of the most important trading ports in the Dominican Republic.
Puerto Plata has a diverse selection of activities and attractions for visitors. Water recreation is especially popular. Any reason to enjoy the golden sands and turquoise water is cause to visit the beach. Sosua, Cabarete and Maimon are a few options for ziplining, snorkeling and windsurfing. Ocean World is another attraction for those who prefer land over water. This adventure park is located on the Beach of Cofresí along the northern coast. It has the largest man-made dolphin habitat in the world, along with a yacht marina, fishbowls and even a casino. The Damajaqua Cascades is also widely extolled as a top attraction. These waterfalls are absolutely worth the hike and swim it takes to get there. For an adventure back in time, visit La Isabella in Puerto Plata to explore Columbus’ failed colony in the New World. You’ll discover one of the first European settlements of the Americas. Fort San Felipe is another way to learn more of the city’s history. The fort houses relics from days’ past, and offers breathtaking views of the ocean. Mount Isabel de Torres is another attraction with spectacular views. The gardens and bridges provide a sense of adventure until you reach the top, where the scene will take your breath away.
There are numerous day trip packages available from Puerto Plata. Many can be booked for less than one hundred dollars. There’s a Jeep Safari and waterfall tour, for example, as well as a Monkey Jungle and Zipline Adventure. You can also take a full day to explore city attractions such as Ocean World and the Damajaqua Cascades. If you want to get out of the city, head over to Punta Cana at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic. It’s a lavish resort area with gorgeous white-sand beaches. The Los Haitises National Park is known for its bird sanctuary, caves and mangroves. It’s 141 kilometers from Puerto Plata down the coast. Samana is town in the Dominican Republic that is the main destination for whale-watching tours in the Caribbean region. It’s around 215 kilometers, or about 3.5 hours by car. La Romana is another town on the coast. It’s the site of Altos De Chavón, a recreation of a 16th-century Mediterranean village with artist workshops. It’s also known as the gateway to nearby resort areas, including Punta Cana. You’ll be heading from the northern coast to the southeastern corner, a drive that takes around 4.5 hours.
Puerto Plata has its share of luxury resorts, but also has a surprising array of affordable resort-style accommodations. Most hotels and resorts are located along the coast, with views of the Atlantic Ocean. Four-star hotels are within the hundred to two hundred dollar range. Three-star accommodations can be found for under a hundred dollars. Five-star accommodations start closer to $250 per night. There are also villas that offer apartment-style accommodations, with extra amenities including outdoor pools and dining options. Spa resorts have additional recreation such as tennis courts, gyms and pools on site. Some resorts have private beaches for visitors, as well as kids clubs and other exclusive offers for their guests.
The Gregorio Luperón International Airport is the closest to Puerto Plata. It’s also called Puerto Plata Airport, being just ten miles outside the city. The best way to get to and from the city is by taxi or minibus. Most fares will cost you around $5 USD, but try to negotiate your fare before entering the cab. Taxis can be found in the central plaza area. Minibuses are also an inexpensive way to get around the city and as far as Sosúa. Fares start at around $2.50 USD, with routes that run from the central plaza to Playa Dorada. A downside of these privately owned minibuses are their irregularity. While most buses run from 6 AM to 6 PM, these vehicles do not follow a set schedule. Getting around on foot is also easy if you’re staying in the city. Taxi motorcycles, called motoconchos, are another inexpensive option. However, these drivers rarely provide helmets for passengers, so ride at your own risk. Rental cars in Puerto Plata are pretty expensive, especially after insurance and other fees. Plus, driving without a basic understanding of Spanish and reflexive driving habits is not recommended.
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