Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic – a famous resort city, spread on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. They first talked about him in the late 90s. of the last century – from that time the Amber Coast or the Silver Port, as this exotic place is also called, managed to turn into one of the main tourist destinations of the country.
San Felipe de Puerto Plata is a popular resort located at the foot of Mount Isabel de Torres on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The city, whose population is about 300 thousand people, is famous for its beautiful nature and a large number of sandy beaches, offering relaxation and entertainment for every taste. But perhaps the most important value of Puerto Plata are deposits of Dominican amber, including black ambergris, known throughout the world.
Attractions and entertainment
Puerto Plata is famous not only for its golden beaches and exotic landscapes, but also for its many attractions that reflect the color of this resort town. We will get acquainted only with some of them.
The cable car Teleferico Puerto Plata Cable Car consists of two cabins – one of them carries up, and the other goes down. Each trailer is designed for 15-20 people. Places in them are only standing – this allows passengers to freely move around the car and enjoy the view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
The cable car is a way of delivering vacationers to Mount Isabel de Torres, one of the main natural attractions of Puerto Plata. At its top, which rises as much as 800 m above the ground, you will find a souvenir shop, a small cafe and an observation deck with several telescopes.
In addition, there is a small copy of the Brazilian statue of Jesus Christ, installed on the site of the prison, and the National Botanical Park, which has become the set for some scenes from the Jurassic Park. This reserve zone is inhabited by up to 1000 rare plants and exotic birds that fill the air with their trills.
On a note! You can get to Mount Isabelle in the Dominican Republic not only by funicular, but also on foot or by car. The climb is steep, so do not forget to pre-evaluate your strength and check the serviceability of the brakes.
- Location: Calle Avenida Manolo Tavárez Justo, Las Flores, Puerto Plata.
- Opening hours: from 08:30 to 17:00. Last trip – 15 minutes before closing time.
- Duration of trip: 25 minutes.
- Adults – 510 RD $;
- Children 5-10 years old – 250 RD $;
- Children under 4 years old – free of charge.
Among the most famous sights of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic is the cascade of “27 waterfalls” formed by several mountain rivers at once. This natural attraction, located 20 minutes from the city center, has 3 danger levels: 7, 12 and 27. If children under 8 years old are allowed only on the first descent, then adults can also slide down from the highest height. You have to climb these steps yourself – on foot or with the help of rope ladders.
Safety procedures at waterfalls are monitored by specially trained guides, but visitors themselves must also observe elementary rules of behavior. Each participant in the descent is given free helmets and life jackets. To avoid injuring your legs, wear special swimming slippers. In addition, do not forget to take a set of dry clothes, because you just have to get wet from head to toe. If you want to capture your descent on the camera, order a photo or video. The shots at 27 waterfalls are incredible.
- Location: Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic.
- Opening hours: daily from 08:00 to 15:00.
Ticket price depends on the level:
- 1-7: 230 RD $;
- 1-12: 260 RD $;
- 1-27: 350 RD $.
Ocean World, located at the western border of the city, includes several zones at once – a zoological garden, a marine park, a marina and a large artificial beach. Being one of the most striking sights of Puerto Plata, it is popular not only among children but also among adults.
The following types of entertainment are offered on the territory of the complex:
- Swimming with dolphins – held in the largest dolphin lagoon, involves swimming, dancing and playing with 2 dolphins right in the ocean waters. The program is designed for 30 minutes. Children under 5 years old are not allowed to have fun;
- Swimming with trained sharks – although the park workers guarantee the complete safety of their wards, this option is unlikely to suit people with weak nerves. The program is exactly the same as in the previous case, but here women in the position join small children;
- Acquaintance with the sea lion – lasts the same half hour, during which you can in every possible way interact with this completely harmless animal.
In addition, on the territory of Ocean World Adventure Park you can see exotic birds and all kinds of fish, feed stingrays and tigers, enjoy a show of whales and parrots.
On a note! Instruction in the park is conducted in English. Using your own photo and video equipment is not allowed – only employees of the complex can take pictures. The cost of the photo is $ 700 RD per piece or $ 3,000 RD for the whole set.
- Where to find: Calle Principal # 3 | Cofresi, Puerto Plata 57000.
- Opening hours: daily from 09:00 to 18:00.
- Adult – 1,699 RD $;
- Children (4-12 years old) – 1,399 RD $.
Looking at the photo of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, you will surely notice one of the newest attractions in this region. We are talking about the Amber Cove cruise port, opened in 2015 and has two separate berths. It was assumed that each year the Amber Bay will receive up to 30 thousand passengers, but 2 years after its opening, this figure has grown almost 20 times, making Amber Cove the largest transport hub in the country.
By the way, it was with his appearance that the active development of Puerto Plata itself began. At the moment, Amber Cove has a car rental, pharmacy and tourist center. Taxi drivers are crowding at the exit from the terminal – they ask dearly, but you can bargain.
Location: Amber Cove Cruise Park | Cruise Terminal, Puerto Plata 57000.
Fort St. Filipe, America’s oldest colonial bastion, is a small building erected in 1577. It was originally intended to protect the city from attacks by Spanish conquistadors, and as soon as the pirates were completely defeated, it turned into one of the city prisons.
Today, the premises of Fort San Felipe houses a local museum that has both historical and architectural value. Examination of exhibits and walks in the surroundings will take no more than 40 minutes. At the entrance, visitors receive an audio guide with several languages - unfortunately, there is no Russian in them. But even if you are not very interested in the history of Puerto Plata, be sure to climb the fortress walls – it offers a beautiful panorama of city attractions.
- Opening hours: Mon – Sat: from 08:00 to 17:00.
- Ticket Price: $ 500 RD.
Amber Museum, located in the heart of the city, occupies a two-story building, on the ground floor of which there is a small gift shop. In it you can purchase various crafts and jewelry made by craftsmen.
The museum exhibits unique exhibits that formed the basis of the famous collection of Dominican amber. World experts have included it in the register of semiprecious stones, and local craftsmen vied with each other to claim that amber is the most transparent of all existing options.
In the museum you can see unprocessed pieces of hardened wood juice, painted in a variety of shades – from light yellow and bright blue to black and brown. In most of them, interspersed with scorpions, wasps, mosquitoes and other insects can be seen. Well, the lizard, the length of which is more than 40 cm, has become the largest captive of wood resin.
- Address: Duarte St 61 | Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata 57000.
- Opening hours: Mon – Sat from 09:00 to 18:00.
- The price of an adult ticket is 50 RD $. Admission is free for children.
The Cathedral of San Filipe, which appeared at the beginning of the 16th century on the site of an even more ancient church, is located in the central city square. Being the only Catholic church in the resort of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, it attracts not only parishioners, but also many tourists, for whom English-language excursions are regularly organized here.
The cathedral is small, but very quiet, bright and comfortable. Decorated in a colonial style. Admission to it is free, the amount of donations, as well as tips for guides, depends only on your capabilities. There are no special requirements for the appearance of visitors, but, of course, the outfit should look appropriate.
Location: Calle Jose Del Carmen Ariza, Puerto Plata 57101.
The resort area of Puerto Plateau (Dominican Republic) includes several wonderful beaches, the total length of which is about 20 km. Among them there are both “quiet”, intended for a relaxing family vacation, and “restless”, washed by the stormy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. As a rule, it is on these beaches that fans of surfing, diving and sailing stop. In addition to medium and large waves, there are many sports clubs that offer not only equipment rental, but also the help of professional instructors.
But the biggest amazement is the color of sand in Puerto Plata. It is found here in two versions at once – snow-white and golden. The origin of the latter is explained by the rich deposits of amber.
As for the most popular resort areas, these include Dorada, Cofresi, Sosua and Long Beach.
The resort complex Playa Dorada, located 5 km from the city, includes 13 upscale hotels, several wicker furniture bungalows, a golf course, horse and night clubs, a casino, a shopping center and several fashionable restaurants. The main advantages of the beach can be called a gently sloping beach, a gradual increase in depth and crystal clear water, marked by the international Blue Flag Prize.
As one of Puerto Plata’s most tranquil beaches, Playa Dorada offers a small amount of water fun, limited to bananas, jet skis and other traditional options. But in the evenings, concerts, Creole dances, competitions, shows and other cultural and entertainment events are regularly held here.
Confresi Resort, named after the famous pirate who hid his treasures in the area, is located in a lagoon with dazzling white sand. On its territory you will find a dozen hotels, several private villas, as well as a lot of cafes and restaurants. All these structures stand in the middle of a palm grove, suitable almost to the water itself. In the immediate vicinity of the beach is the famous Ocean World.
The entrance to the water is gentle, the coastline is quite wide, and the ocean is clean and warm. Other benefits of Cofresia include free sun loungers, umbrellas and toilets. In addition, professional rescuers work here daily.
Sosua is a small resort town located in a picturesque bay, the shape of which resembles a horseshoe. It includes several beach areas (Playa Alicia, Los Charamikos and the beach at The Sea Hotel), as well as many bars, restaurants, cafes, discos, nightclubs, beach equipment rental and sports facilities. The coastline is a little more than 1 km long, and lovers of various types of recreation will be able to accommodate it. It should also be noted that the developed infrastructure makes the stay in Sosua as comfortable as possible.
An overview of the beaches of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic completes the Long Beach, featuring clean sand and a diverse landscape. So, the eastern part of the beach is straight and long, and the western part is dotted with numerous bays and bays. In addition, there are several rocky formations and 2 small islands located near the coast.
Long Beach is a public beach considered a favorite vacation spot for locals and tourists coming here. They are attracted not only by clear water and golden sand, but also by the presence of several sports clubs that provide equipment for surfing and sailing.
Being one of the main resort cities in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata has a huge number of hotels, hostels, guest houses and other accommodation options that belong to different price categories.
If accommodation in a double room of a 3 * hotel starts from $ 25 per day, then renting the same room in a 5 * hotel will cost $ 100-250. The greatest variation in prices is observed when renting apartments – their cost starts at $ 18, and ends at $ 250 (prices are for the summer period).
Arriving in Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), you will definitely not be hungry – there are more than enough cafes, restaurants, bars and all kinds of eateries that serve local and European cuisine. Most of the national dishes were borrowed from Spain, but this does not make them less tasty.
The most popular Dominican dishes are La Bandera, a kind of “hodgepodge” made from meat, rice and red beans, Sancocho, a thick soup of chicken, vegetables and young ears of corn, and Mofongo, a fried banana puree mixed with pork. Among drinks, the palm belongs to Brugal, a cheap rum made at one of the local factories. Traditional street food represented by burgers, fried fish, french fries and various seafood is no less in demand (grilled shrimps are most valued).
The cost of food in Puerto Plata depends not only on the class of the establishment, but also on the variety of the dish itself. So, for dinner at a budget diner you will pay about $ 20 for two, a middle-class cafe will cost a little more – $ 50-55, and at least $ 100 should be taken to a gourmet restaurant.
Weather and climate. When is it better to come?
What you need to know about Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic so that a trip to this resort town leaves you only after a pleasant experience? This list includes many different factors, but perhaps the most important of them are climatic and weather conditions. In this regard, the Amber Coast is very lucky – you can relax here at any time of the year. In addition, each season has its own characteristics.
|Summer||+ 32 ° C||The hottest months are July and August. They are also the most windy.
This doesn’t interfere with recreation and sightseeing, but the skin burns much faster in this weather, so it is better to apply the cream with UV protection in advance. Despite the abundance of tourists, you do not have to huddle on the beaches – there is enough space for everyone.
|Autumn||+ 30 ° С||In the autumn, the wind subsides, but frequent and heavy rains (fortunately, short-term) begin. The wettest month is November – rainfall at this time can occur daily.|
|Winter||+ 28 ° C||There is practically no wind; rains also stop. The heat decreases a little, but the temperature of the water and air remains quite comfortable.|
Prices on the page are for August 2019.
Having decided to visit Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), do not forget to familiarize yourself with the tips of those who have already managed to visit this amazing place:
- In the country of eternal summer, it is very easy to get sunburn. To prevent this from happening, bring a wide-brimmed headdress and a sunscreen with a filter above 30.
- The format of the sockets in Puerto Plata does not coincide with Russian electrical appliances. If you do not want to overpay for an adapter, bring it with you. By the way, the standard mains voltage at the resort rarely exceeds 110 volts.
- Going on a tour of city sights, you should be extremely careful and cautious, because motorcycle taxis carrying up to 3 passengers at a time are driving around the streets at a frantic speed. As for cars, local drivers often violate the elementary rules of the road, so when crossing the road it is better to simply skip them.
- Tap water in the Dominican Republic is used only for technical purposes – you cannot even wash your face and wash your hands with it.
- To avoid infection with viruses and bacteria, stock up on a large number of antiseptic gels and wipes.
- When paying for checks in stores, cafes or restaurants, it is better to use cash – this will save you from possible cloning of a credit card.
- Use repellents – mosquito and poisonous insect bites cannot be treated with travel insurance.
- Do not leave valuables unattended, and even better – come to Puerto Plata without them. Even hotel safes do not save from thefts in the Dominican Republic. At the same time, the claims of tourists who were robbed in hotel rooms most often remain unattended.
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